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by Julie Miles / December 9, 2020

This year brought about unprecedented change, both in our personal and professional lives. Pivoting, innovation, as well as complicated and ever-changing compliance laws were just a few of the themes with which businesses and HR professionals were grappling. But with this immense demand on our skill sets and resilience in the face of crisis, brought an invitation to see how our systems serve our people, and what new opportunities of growth lie ahead after an unprecedented year of disruption. Here are the top trends we invite you to consider for 2021:


Antifragility asks us to acknowledge and accept what is happening in the present moment, and then choose a nurturing tool that will propel us to grow from the situation. Coined by author Nassim Nicolas Taleb, the term was created to explain the phenomenon of growth that lies beyond resilience.

In his article, “How to Build Antifragile Companies,” Ravi Mehta names the following key components of antifragile companies:

  1. Diversification in product/service offerings
  2. Instead of efficiency, make capacity the priority
  3. Leverage the power of human adaptability


With mandatory remote working for some, the lines between our business and personal lives blurred. Employers and employees alike got a glimpse into the benefits and drawbacks of an altered working state. It brought about a new conversation to inquire what a win-win situation looks like for both.

Considerations must be taken into account for preserving company culture, communication and employees’ needs, but offering a variety of work location options could help employee retention and attract new hires.

Look at each employee individually: their personality, their home life, their role within the company, and set up the ideal working environment for them to be their most successful. This could be working in the office full time, a blend between the office and home, or working entirely virtual.

Different work environments offer different benefits for productivity and focus. For example, in-person meetings for brainstorming sessions, collaborations, team building, and client consultations might be best conducted in a traditional, office setting. Whereas, a home office can offer precious space for focussing with limited distractions that are found in a populated office. Working from home can also offer more time for self-care, time with family and flexibility due to the lack of commute. A third option can be an alternate, third location, both away from the home and office. This change of scenery can be uplifting, offer networking and community engagement opportunities.

Now is a great time to re-evaluate and possibly re-structure the landscape of how your company gets the job done.


It could be argued that the greatest test of abilities this year, fell into the laps of leaders. Making difficult, critical, strategic decisions for the trajectory of the business, and then communicating, connecting, and supporting employees through crisis was the enormous task given to business owners and managers. But, because the stakes were so high, it brought about an opportunity of effective leadership inviting change that could boost company morale, engagement and employee retention for the days and years to come. Below are key components of great leadership. Click here for a more in-depth read.

    1. Transparency Builds Trust. When difficult decisions or actions need to be taken, if you have kept your team informed, they are more likely to trust your judgement and rally behind you.
    2. Consistency Builds Confidence. Ensure you and your direct reports communicate in a consistent tone and level of data revealed to be sure your message is understood.
    3. Accountability Strengthens Teams. Leaders have an opportunity here to lead by example. Owning both good and bad results and show skills for learning and improving situations will help your team do the same.
    4. Be empathetic. Empathy is the great diffuser of a crises. It quickly shows people that you care. Sharing your own vulnerability and strength will help your team feel your support.
    5. Resiliency helps frame the situation, which can help pivot from panic to positive actions. This helps the team understand the opportunities of learning and growth of the situation. For deeper understanding, read our blog: “How Failing Forward Nurtures Company Growth.” 


Skill mapping is a process of analysis that recognizes the strengths and gaps that a company possesses as a whole and among the members of its team. Once the assessment is complete, steps such as training can be implemented to fill the gaps that were identified.




Much more than a resume, a personal user guide maps out all facets of you. What are your professional skills? What helpful soft skills do you possess? What special projects, teams, or boards have you been a part of? What is your ideal work flow? Keep your guide on your smart phone, ready to compare and share with others to create the best collaborations. Download this helpful guide to get started.


Having the ability to swiftly shift procedures to adhere to pandemic safety standards and offerings, like in the restaurant and retail industry, was never more important than in 2020. Moving forward, the more agile a company can be, the more their longevity will be secured.

When a company is merely focussing on having efficient systems, it can create blind spots for how the market is shifting, and what changes need to be implemented to keep up with demand, or shifts in consumer preferences.

Nurturing expansive mindsets in employees is essential for agility. It helps them focus on learning and adapting to the necessary changes to grow the company, verses a fixed-mindset that is concerned with validation and avoiding failure.

Understanding employees' mindsets allows us and our employees to quickly assess where they are and where they need to go. Focusing on mindsets allows us to enhance learning, innovation, development and growth.” ~ Emily Lundi-Mallett, executive director of talent and organization development at Ingram Micro, a 30,000-employee tech company headquartered in Irvine, Calif.

Here are a few essential steps HR managers can take to change employee mindsets. First, help employees understand the mindsets that are most supportive for growth. Then, help them assess their current state of mind. From there, they can set their sights on the direction they need to move towards positive change. Finally, help them see what mindsets they would like to cultivate for their greatest success, and put an educational process in place for them to learn the necessary skills. For the full, in-depth read from the SHRM article, “How to Develop an Agile Workforce,” click here.

7. establish a strong dei program

It goes without saying that 2020 was the most stressful year for our employees, and made it necessary to check in with their well-being beyond just the work environment. It was also a time when inequities in the workplace rose to the surface. Below are steps you can take to create a diverse, equal, and inclusive company. To see the full list of actions, visit here.

  1. Educate managers who will then implement diversity workshops, cultural training, conduct a comprehensive evaluation of their department, and implement an employee feedback system.
  2. It is necessary to reform workplace policies by ensuring recruiting, performance evaluations, salaries, and holidays are inclusive, non-bias and fair.
  3. Once a plan towards diversity, equity and inclusion has been formulated, it is essential to communicate goals and measure for success.
  4. Include these goals and new company culture right from the start during the onboarding process.
  5. Form a DE&I committee to help the success of the plans in action.

Need help? A wonderful resource, based in Asheville, NC, is The Adaway Group. They offer consulting, equity audits, and are available for speaking events such as workshops, lectures and webinars.

8. adopt a malleable WORKFORCE model

Although not a new concept (the term was introduced by Accenture in 2016 report), a liquid workforce is still somewhat of a futuristic model. Typically today, a company’s workforce is comprised of employees with specific titles and duties. A liquid workforce is just what the name implies: a more fluid structure that, when utilized, can give a company more agility in adapting to the fast-paced change of our technological and global business world. Work centers more around projects instead of individual roles, and utilizes both full-time employees as well as freelancers that can bring temporary but specialized assistance.


Workforce analytics can be tracked by a platform such as iSolved. It has a powerful reporting tool that transforms the way organizations manage and use their people data. All of the people data originates from one source to ensure everyone from human resources to frontline supervisors to executives have access to the critical data they need.

With access to vital payroll, benefits and time information, organizations can make data-driven decisions faster. Trends emerge sooner, and data can be viewed across the entire organization. iSolved makes it easier to keep track of the pulse of the organization with data available at-a-glance on executive and supervisory dashboards.


Building the following foundation and operational structure for the HR department will create momentum towards HR having more of an impact on the organization’s transformation as a whole. To view the full article from Consultancy on reinventing HR, click here.

2019-06-25-140013724-Building-Blocks-to-Reinvent-HR{infographic credit: “Reinventing HR Practices,” by Fayette Bosch, Eveline Sintnicolaas, and Bettina Boele}

About Platinum Group

Platinum Group is a human capital management resource with solutions to help you streamline operations so you’ll have time to manage your business. No matter which division you work with: Payroll/HR or Accounting, our team is built upon a foundation of support, service, camaraderie and collaboration that we share both in-house and with our wonderful clients. For more information about Platinum Group, or to schedule a demo of iSolved, please visit our website.



Davinci Virtual, “How to Build a Hybrid Workplace in 2020”

One Powerful System. Explore iSolved, offered by Platinum Group.

SHRM, “Influencing DEI Strategies: Tips for Emerging Professionals”

Gartner, “Top Priorities for HR Leaders”

Consultancy, “Four HR Building Blocks for Supporting a Modern Workforce”


Tags: Employee Leadership Organizational Strengths Business Growth Asheville Payroll iSolved HCM Talent Acquisition Employee Retention HR iSolved Payroll COVID-19 Remote Working Top 2021 Trends Agile Workforce Skill Mapping Personal User Guide DEI Hybrid Office Ethical Leadership Asheville HCM

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Julie Miles

Julie Miles

Julie’s passion is to act as a liaison between the Platinum team, their wonderful clients, and the community, striving to tell their stories and make connections.