Progress in technology, the pandemic, and other economic factors continually impact the way we work. HR professionals are no exception. So many hot topics that impact HR are in the spotlight. For example, trending topics include employee engagement, work-life balance, employee well-being, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and retention and recruitment strategies. These topics are not going away and are likely to be important in 2022. So, we’ve put together several things you should consider when developing your 2022 HR strategy for the new year.
1| HR Technology
HR technology makes it easier than ever to complete tasks in a compliant and efficient way. There is technology available for streamlining candidate sourcing, onboarding employees, training and development, and so much more. Artificial intelligence technology options help organizations make better decisions quicker! Utilizing these technologies allows you to cut down on administrative time and focus on high-value tasks. Now is a great time to consider the effectiveness of the tools you use. What efficiencies would other technology enhance? Is it worth joining a group of smaller businesses to access these technologies using economies of scale?
2| Preparing for multi-generational workforces
Today, four generations most likely make up your workforce: traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen X, and millennials. Pretty soon, you’ll have more Gen-Zers joining your ranks, making it five generations! Each will boast their own set of values, needs, and career priorities. Educate yourself on these aspects of employment important to each generation and identify what may be coveted by all. For example, preferences for flexible work schedules and remote work associated with the younger generation may also hold true for others in your organization.
3| Employee experience
A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to HR no longer works. Employees now expect companies to offer a better employment experience that meets their individual needs. So, you now need to develop a flexible HR strategy that takes those needs into account. This means offering employees individualized schedules, compensation and benefits packages, and job content.
Also, individuals expect more from their employer than a bi-weekly paycheck. They expect their employer to behave ethically and socially responsible. So, as part of your future 2022 HR strategy, reinforce your corporate social responsibility programs. Communicate your policies, your values, and what you stand for – loud and proud!
Employee retention will continue to be a major concern in 2022. Competition for the best talent is increasing, and the turnover tsunami is not over. You need to proactively develop strategies that will enable you to retain your valuable employees. The delivery of a better employment experience in meaningful work, flexible work schedules, and generous compensation will play a vital role in this.
Modernizing your benefits programs also plays an integral role in retention. Tangible office-based benefits, such as free lunches and exercise classes, may no longer appeal to your employee. Employees desire benefits that take care of their physical and mental wellness and help them achieve a better work-life balance. These include comprehensive mental wellness programs, paid time off, parental leave, and strong recognition programs. And don’t forget career path opportunities. With employees changing jobs an average of every 3.7 years, the desire for advancement is clear. What if they found the benefit of their next career move right inside their own company? Offering these benefits demonstrate that you value your employees and care about them, persuading them to stick around.
Businesses now operate in a digital world where the pace has become more rapid than it has ever been before. So, upskilling your workforce will be necessary. To achieve this, you need to build an agile, skills-based organization. An organization that can keep up with changing skills needs to make sure you equip your employees for future success. You can build a skills-based organization by encouraging everyone throughout the company to take responsibility for skills development. It also involves gathering dynamic skills data and basing talent decisions on skills, not just roles.
6| Diversity, equity, and inclusion
While this is not a new trend, building diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is likely to grow in importance in 2022 and the years to come. The Black Lives Matter movement has once again put racial inequality and injustice in the spotlight. Also, according to Gartner, only 29% of women and 17% of ethnic minorities have positions at the C-suite level. There has also been increased scrutiny on HR professionals’ susceptibility to unconscious bias, which could influence the selection of candidates.
DEI starts at the top, so it’s important to put systems in place that make C-suite leaders accountable for meeting diversity and inclusion goals.
7| Remote/hybrid working arrangements
Even before the pandemic, flexible working arrangements already appealed to employees. A 2019 FlexJobs survey revealed that 69% of respondents viewed flexible working options, such as remote work, as the most important factor when considering a job offer. Since the pandemic, more people have experienced remote work, and companies have invested heavily in supporting remote and hybrid working. So flexible working arrangements are here to stay and a must-have in your HR strategy to attract and retain talent.
These key considerations highlight the importance of aligning HR strategy with changes in the business landscape and the opportunities and challenges those changes bring. By doing so, you’re ensuring that HR policies are kept updated and can meet the needs of both your company and its employees. This, in turn, leads to a happier workforce, greater productivity, and future business success.