Since this is our last blog post of the year, we thought that it would be appropriate to take a look back at 2021 and also a look ahead to 2022. At the end of 2020, the assumption was that we were going to soon be coming out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, that did not happen. We can only hope that’s true this year, as we look onward to 2022. Although COVID-19 vaccines rolled out in the first half of the year, unpredictability was again an organizational theme in 2021. There wasn’t always a roadmap for what was up ahead, and businesses had to adjust on the fly. From an HR perspective (and pretty much any other perspective, not the least of which was/is the health difficulties faced by those directly impacted by COVID-19), the pandemic has brought about numerous challenges. That said, on the business side of things there have been opportunities created by this situation. Organizations have been forced to find new ways of doing things, including embracing remote work and/or adapting to the safety needs of employees and customers when working on-site. Ideally, businesses will have found new and innovative ways of doing things in order to remain competitive during this time (and no doubt business owners and leaders found a new level of innovation that they didn’t know existed!) For organizations where workplace flexibility is possible, decisions have likely been made as to how employees will work for the foreseeable future – that is, from home, in the office or a combination of both. As things in the world continue to shift, the workplace of employees may evolve over time, and that’s okay. Afterall, this is a situation that none of us has been through before.

While the calendar year-end likely doesn’t align with your fiscal year-end, it’s still a good time to look back at what you accomplished and review what you didn’t get done (and why). In other words, a great time for reflection. Of course, it’s always advisable to set goals for the upcoming year. While it’s best to have regular goal-setting discussions with staff – on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, for instance – this time of year is ideal for pulling the entire group together and talking about larger, company-wide goals for the year ahead. And if it’s best for your organization to review goals at fiscal year-end, you can still do a pulse-check/review of goals now. Of course, any goal that you set should have a path back to your strategic plan.

We hope that the end of this month will provide an opportunity for you and your staff to spend some quality time with those you care about. And as we soon look to wrap up the year, we wish you and yours a safe and healthy Christmas/Holiday Season, and all the best as we head into 2022!

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