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HR Challenges: How to Connect, Recognize and Support Employees

We’re all ready to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. But even though a new calendar year has started, some of our HR challenges are likely to stay with us into the new year. Those challenges include how to best support employees not just in 2021 but in the years ahead.

The reality is that employees are tired and stressed; many are on the verge of employee burnout. HR and People professionals are feeling it too. In a recent survey of 751 HR leaders, 71% agree that 2020 has been the most stressful year of their careers.

Even as we move forward and look toward a better 2021, one of the biggest HR challenges remains: How can organizations best connect, recognize, and support their people as they lead them through this ever-changing, unpredictable environment?

A Focus on Digital Transformation

The data from the survey mentioned above shows just how important this question is to most organizations. Specifically, professionals elaborated on the biggest HR challenges ahead:

HR Challenge

When HR leaders have the tools they need at their fingertips, they have more time to focus on strategic initiatives; they spend less time dealing with administrative burdens. With a customized employee engagement platform, HR leaders can do more with less and make a more significant impact company-wide.

This is a win-win for their people, too. After all, these platforms provide a centralized place for employees to find vital company updates and help them stay connected to their colleagues. And they ensure stability in their sometimes unstable environments.

Making the shift to digital and modernizing your toolkit will set your business up for success in 2021. In a short time, digital solutions will leave you better equipped to face whatever challenges may come next.

Fostering Deeper Connections

mission mondaysUnsurprisingly, as many move into the tenth month of temporary remote work, people feel less connected. During these uncertain times and long periods of isolation, reinforcing your company’s mission, purpose, and values are even more critical.

With a dedicated employee communications tool, you can foster a sense of belonging and unity by sharing updates from various teams or leaders that your people need to hear from. For example, here at Reward Gateway, our CEO Doug Butler posts a weekly blog called “Mission Mondays.” Our people can comment on and react to that post, which helps build connections, boost visibility, and create a sense of community.

These updates are available on any device, at any time. That way, people can read them on their own schedules, whether that’s before their morning coffee, during a work break, or after the kids go to bed.

Keeping Workplace Culture Alive

Boosting morale for remote workers has always been important. And it’s no surprise leaders and co-workers must show appreciation for the hard work of employees. This is especially true now as employees may not be getting in-person contact with their colleagues or manager. Digital tools are also helping organizations improve workplace culture and reward and recognition programs across dispersed team members and support employees.

With an employee reward and recognition platform, HR leaders can spotlight all the excellent work happening across the company – even when others don’t get to see it every day. As shown below, available real-time analytics help HR teams know which departments are sending the most recognition. They also know which ones could use some extra appreciation, which helps boost collaboration and creates a culture of gratitude – even while working remotely.

analytics flow


The need to combat employee burnout and stress isn’t going away overnight. In 2021 and beyond, we’ll need to find better ways to connect dispersed employees. An improved reward and recognition program isn’t going to happen organically. But with the right tools, leaders can better face the HR challenges ahead. Specifically, they can connect, recognize, and support their people to set their organizations up for success in 2021.


To learn more about how Reward Gateway can help you future-proof your organization, get in touch today.