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Leveraging the Enneagram to Drive Collaboration in 2021: A Guide for HR Leaders

Human Resources leaders at all levels of business and organizational life, and in particular, Talent Management leaders, are enjoying a well-deserved moment as we begin to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.  As COVID hit the United States (and the rest of the world) this spring almost all businesses were forced to make difficult and far-reaching decisions in a matter of days without adequate or clear information about what was ahead.  Top of the list of issues to be addressed:  How do we support our people during this crisis and how can our people help support the business as it turns on a dime?

Talent Management leaders in companies of all sizes responded to this call in creative and strategic ways that struck (and are still striking) a balance between the financial/ business goals of the company and the “human being” issues of disease prevention in a deadly pandemic, isolation and disconnection from team members, technological challenges, and increased pressure on the always tentative balance between work and home.  

And business executives are noticing.  In a survey of 3,360 executives leading up to their December 9, 2020 Deloitte Insights article entitled Diving Deeper:  Five Workforce Trends to watch in 2021, Erica Volini and her colleagues reported that among non-HR business executives, 54% were either “confident” or “very confident” in HR’s ability to navigate future change, up from 42% the year before.  The confidence boost was even higher among HR executives, with the numbers increasing from 58% to 75%.  

Given HR’s primary focus on talent and how to leverage it effectively, what do individual contributors say should be HR’s focus in 2021?  Volini et al found that from the perspective of workers, “the top three objectives of work transformation should be improving quality, increasing innovation, and improving worker well-being.”

So if we know that business leaders are increasingly looking to HR to drive and guide change and that workers themselves report that change needs to focus on innovation, employee engagement, and quality, what holds those concepts together?  What should the focus for HR leaders be in 2021?

In a word:  Collaboration.

Collaboration in 2021

As HR and Organizational Development leaders move into 2021, and particularly as they think about more and more employees returning to work physically, their top concern should be how to re-invigorate collaboration on teams and in the organization as a whole.  Collaboration has almost certainly taken a hit in the vast majority of companies as a nearly inevitable side effect of people living in fear and frustration month after month, disrupted and erratic work schedules, and, most of all, working physically disconnected from colleagues…

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