10 Things Employee Relations Professionals Can Do to Make 2021 a Great Year!

I don’t know a single person who said 2020 was the best year of their life! Well, maybe my friend, Merritt. But she was born in 2020, and she can’t talk. She’s very happy, though, now that she’s learned to walk and open cupboards. It was not a great year for the rest of us, and we’re all hoping that 2021 will be a better year.

Leaving aside that we can’t control world events, let’s focus on the things Employee Relations Professionals can do to make 2021 a great year for ourselves and our employees. (Remember, don’t forget yourself–HR is pretty burnt out, and President Biden is releasing new labor-related rules right and left, so we can’t coast through this year either. Take care of yourself!). Here are ten things you can do!

Encourage (but don’t require) employees to get the Covid-19 vaccination. Ensure that your employees get the time off to get the vaccine and use sick days to cover any recovery time they need. (Some people are sick for a few days after receiving the vaccine.) The more people vaccinated, the quicker this virus retreats into the corner, and the better 2021 will be.

To keep reading, click here: 10 Things Employee Relations Professionals Can Do to Make 2021 a Great Year!

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9 thoughts on “10 Things Employee Relations Professionals Can Do to Make 2021 a Great Year!

  1. Heck, I would require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, once it become readily-accessible to everyone. I’m an essential working in an essential Government service. Our agency is seriously struggling right now with the number of employees who are out due to the coronavirus, whether it’s due to the lack of childcare — due to schools and daycares being closed — due to being unable to come to the workplace due to being high-risk, due to being under quarantine following possible exposure, due to being sick or suffering disabling after-effects, and due to having died from it. Every one of our facilities — of which I am aware — has been affected. We all know someone who has died from it, or has a family member who has. We’ve all received multiple notices of possible exposure in our facility. Sure, we have telecommuting for those positions for which it is possible — for most it is not — social distancing markers, masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, touchless bathroom and breakroom fixtures, extra cleaning, hand sanitizer, etc., but the risk and attendant worry are constant, which takes a toll. Employee Assistance Program, COVID-19 leave and CARES Act assistance for those who need it. Our employer is seeking to have all of us classified as 1-B for purposes of vaccine priority. Obviously, some of us already are, due to our roles, ages or pre-existing conditions. I have no doubt that — once the vaccine becomes available to us — we will be required to get it, absent the few found exempt due to disability or sincere religious belief. In fact, we will probably have the option of getting vaccinated at work. I wholly agree that “[t]he more people get vaccinated, the quicker this virus retreats into the corner, and the better 2021 will be.” Our employers have a legal duty to ensure safe workplaces for us, and they need to fully live up to that duty.

  2. 2020 was a great year for those who knew how to take advantage of the opportunities. More time at home, more time with our families, more time to pursue personal goals while working and earning money too, more time to update our skills, sometimes with trainings paid by our employer (a lot of employees have access to e-learning platforms paid by the employer). And if people keep that trend, 2021 will be even better.

    1. A great year for those who are financially secure.

      An awful year for frontline workers and for anyone who couldn’t work or who lost customers because of covid, such as hairdressers, musicians, nannies, actors, chefs, waiters, etc. Etc. Etc.

      I am not concerned about the rich people who are riding this wave and talking about all the new quality time with family.

      I am concerned about the people who are afraid of losing their homes and of not being able to feed their children.

      1. If any effective changes for employees are made by HR it has to be for those workers whose jobs are front-line in-person not adaptable to WFH. Let’s face it, most white-collar jobs are high-income level positions, and the only reason, anyone failed financially from those positions had more to do with lifestyles, than necessity issues. All this talk of giving extra sick paydays and encouraging people to not work sick doesn’t help if it is not going to happen in the jobs that need them the most and get the lowest pay. Like the other commenter from Texas said the rich will survive and recover. HR needs to address this level of jobs because these jobs are the ones most affected by shareholders’ (rich) desire for profit over employee relations.

          1. The FFCRA only applies to Feds covered under Title I of the FMLA, less than 2 million people. And, it only provides for 2 weeks of paid leave, up to certain limits, with an additional 10 weeks of partially-paid leave for those caring for children whose daycares or schools are closed because of COVID-19. As you may know, there are not a lot of lower-paying Federal jobs. And, it’s certainly arguable how “effective” one would consider such a limited — in scope and amount — form of relief.

    2. MAYBE a great year who actually HAD those opportunities. For a lot of people WFH did NOT mean more time for anything because they did not (and often still do not) have the appropriate spaces for WFH. In addition for a lot of people WFH was accompanied by school from home, which can be incredibly disruptive, even if you are dealing with older children who don’t need much supervision.

      That’s besides the people who did not get an opportunity to work from home. And the people who got sick or had to deal with someone who got sick.

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