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PwC has just released its pulse survey on chief human resource officer insights. 

Almost 70 CHROs and leaders from Fortune 1000 and private organisations shared their perspectives on crucial issues such as headcounts, how voluntary employee relocations are helping the bottom line of companies and the actions they’re taking to help staff sustain productivity.

One of the more remarkable findings of the survey – with the US election just two weeks away – was that 72% of CHROs believed that a government led by Joe Biden would result in an increase in company headcounts, while just 42% thought the same under an administration led by Donald Trump.

As HR leaders consider how to keep their workforce engaged, productive and optimistic, personal benefits will be crucial to assist employees with different needs get support in areas important to them.

It’s also key to focus on the areas important to employees right now – such as work flexibility, mental and physical wellbeing and upskilling.

Data analytics are considered critical to this.

“Using data analytics to easily tap into employee sentiment data can help, something CHROs appear to recognise. A total of 39% say they’re seeking to optimise their approach to data analytics across the business to accelerate revenue growth over the next twelve months,” the report states.

Want productivity? Focus on flexibility and wellbeing
With employee anxiety and burnout a serious consideration due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, CHROs are mindful of delivering on workforce priorities.

In light of this, it’s hardly surprising that “employees considered flexible working hours and a focus on their health and well-being – factors relatively within people’s control – as the most successful of their employer’s initiatives to improve the workday experience and help sustain productivity”.

The survey also found that HR leaders can consider upping their efforts in employee wellbeing, either by enhancing existing programmes or communicating more frequently and openly about available options.

“As we enter month eight of the pandemic, CHROs also need to review their traditional onboarding plans to make sure they are helping new employees get off to a fast start in a changed work environment,” the report states.

Employees where art thou?
One of the interesting impacts of the switch to remote working is that CHROs are no longer able to account for the location of their charges with the same degree of certainty.

A total of 28% of CHROs were unable to identify the actual physical whereabouts of their employees on a daily basis.

“As ‘work from anywhere’ becomes the norm, even CHROs who believe they know where their employees are based on any given day should be testing the systems and procedures they have in place to help track that information.”

This is in part for compliance purposes, but also helps with business continuity at a time when typhoons, the pandemic and other disruptors affect work.