2021 Pulse of HR Report

Leading in a New Era: HR Leaders' Challenges, Priorities, and Predictions for the Modern Workplace
2021 Paychex Pulse of HR Report: Leading in a New Era

A dramatic shift is underway in the structure and management of the workplace - and HR professionals are at the forefront of this evolution. Some of the factors shaping this seismic change include transitions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasingly diverse workforce, and recruiting and retaining talent in a uniquely challenging labor market. Furthermore, the increased adoption of HR technology and ongoing innovation in the market continues to drive change for the role of HR.

The fifth annual Paychex Pulse of HR Report provides an in-depth look at how HR professionals are contributing to the success of the companies they serve. Despite the fact that seven in 10 HR leaders say this has been one of the most challenging years in their career, HR professionals are still integral to the strategic decision-making in their organizations. Nearly eight in 10 HR leaders say they are a strategic partner within their company and continue to be involved in C-suite conversations about new business initiatives.

The 2021 Paychex Pulse of HR Report uncovers how HR professionals are:

  • Engaging HR technology to reach company goals
  • Leaning on training and development to build and retain their workforce
  • Evaluating and improving employee benefits to remain competitive
  • Keeping pace with new and evolving laws and regulations
  • Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives
  • Planning for and managing the return to the workplace

As businesses approach a new way of working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, revised priorities for HR professionals are clear. For the first time ever, HR technology has emerged as a leading focus, just ahead of an emphasis on productivity. Team training and development holds steady as the number three HR priority, while new work arrangements edged out program development and company culture as additional topics on the minds of HR leaders.

Key Takeaways

About This Report

The rapidly changing HR landscape and competitive hiring market have challenged HR leaders to bring their formidable strategic and problem-solving skills to the forefront. As 2021 continues to unfold, exciting opportunities exist for businesses to strengthen employee communication and collaboration through new policies, ongoing training, and technologies. As HR leaders continue to focus their efforts on DE&I and providing more support for their employees, a new vision for the workplace is emerging which may maximize productivity - in a way that benefits both employees and employers - like we've never seen before.

Paychex is committed to providing HR professionals the tools, resources, and guidance they need to contribute effectively to their organizations. Our unique combination of innovative, award-winning products and world-class service is designed to meet the evolving needs of employers and their employees. Whether your company is looking to fully outsource human resources, or you're simply looking for ways to improve your business, our team of certified HR professionals is here to help.

About the Publisher

Paychex, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-aservice technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 710,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2021 across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees.

Publish Date

October 2021