04 January 2021

A New Year Dawns – with RedThread's 2021 Trends

Dani Johnson
Co-Founder & Principal Analyst


  • This infographic highlights the 10 trends the RTR team saw in 2020 and hopes will continue into the new year and beyond.
  • 2020 is over (yay!) but sparked all kinds of positive change in people practices.
  • Organizations are beginning to take a look at the intersections of those people practices and solving for one problem instead of many.
  • These trends will also inspire the research we’ll be conducting through 2021.

2020 was a hell of a year for…the entire world. No doubt many people leaders are still trying to figure out all of the repercussions of COVID-19, civil unrest, natural disasters, and other disruptions that left almost no industry untouched.

While some of those 2020 repercussions will undoubtedly carry over into this year, we're really hopeful for 2021.

Why? Many of the challenges faced last year accelerated much-needed discussions and cooperation between different factions of HR functions – Learning functions started talking about mobility and skills; performance groups started talking about manager roles, and everybody started talking about DEIB. Indeed, one of the most promising things we saw was a convergence of people practices – one that we think will continue into the new year and beyond.

Stacia, myself, and our team starts each year by trying to understand some of the larger trends we're seeing – it helps us drive the research and make sense of the world. This year, we built a pretty picture summarizing the top ones we'll be talking about in 2021.

As always, please give us feedback! What would you add?

Dani Johnson

Dani is Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research. She has spent the majority of her career writing about, conducting research in, and consulting on human capital practices and technology. Her ideas can be found in publications such as Wall Street Journal, CLO Magazine, HR Magazine, and Employment Relations. Dani holds an MBA and an MS and BS in Mechanical Engineering from BYU.


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