As we emerge from the chaos of the last two years, we are walking into a very different world.
The way we run business, work, recruit and manage employees is transforming. The old employment and working models are becoming obsolete, and there are plenty of new trends ready to shape the future of HR.
The Great Resignation took hold in 2021 and continues to impact employers in the UK and beyond. Workers have different priorities, and employers must adapt to the trends or be left in the dust of the organisations that have evolved.
Now is the perfect time for leaders to reflect on their business practices and begin adapting to 2022 HR trends.
Let’s dig into the most impactful HR themes for the year ahead.
Hybrid Working Models
It’s no surprise that hybrid working and flexible work models are on everyone’s minds this year. According to a survey from Paydata, only one in three employees are expected to return to the office in 2022.
Job candidates now prioritise a healthy work-life balance, and flexible work arrangements are essential considerations for many. Globally, 83% of workers say they prefer hybrid work. Accordingly, 63% of high growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” workforce model.
Organisations that want to attract top talent, reduce turnover, and create a positive work culture must recognise that hybrid working is the new normal.
Wellbeing and Mental Health
During the pandemic, many organisations invested heavily in mental health and wellbeing initiatives. Post pandemic, these changes look set to remain an integral part of a robust employment strategy. The question is, what does that look like moving forward, and what needs to change to make mental health a priority in the workplace?
This is arguably up there as one of the top 2022 HR trends to take notice of. A survey by Indeed revealed that 67% of employees reported feeling more burnt out throughout the pandemic. Naturally, managers aren’t exempt from the effects of ongoing stress. A survey by healthcare provider Benenden Health showed that 61% of managers have experienced burnout since COVID-19 hit, and 20% have even thought about quitting their jobs due to the stress.
The reality for 2022 is that employee wellbeing should no longer be considered a job benefit. Instead, employers must find ways to integrate health and wellness into their organisation’s culture.
Talent Management – Growing your Internal Talent Pipeline
Despite increased unemployment levels in certain sectors during the pandemic, competition for highly-qualified talent has increased. Employers throughout multiple industries are having a hard time recruiting suitable candidates.
With the pressures of Brexit and the attitude shift behind the Great Resignation, employers need to be more thoughtful about how they attract, develop, nurture and retain talent.
According to CIPD, “a third of organisations report having developed more talent in-house compared with the previous year, and upskilling existing employees was the most common response to recruitment difficulties.”
A shift in focus from seeking talent externally to growing talent within your organisation makes sense in the coming years. This would include prioritising career pathing, cross-training and lateral career moves to transfer and nurture skills and experience internally.
Culture, Inclusion and Psychological Safety
The spotlight is firmly directed at improved diversity in hiring, an area that garnered a lot of attention in 2021.
CIPD states that “24% of organisations that attempted to fill vacancies say they recruited a more diverse workforce over the last 12 months compared with the previous year.”
Progress is progress; however, there’s still a long way to go in this department. According to Ideal, “70% of companies believe they are effective at attracting and retaining diverse employees, yet only 11% actually understand what it is.”
Leaders need to undertake the deep work to identify equity issues within their organisations, review pay structures, and examine the core culture to ensure employees feel safe and supported.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is set to be one of the most significant 2022 HR trends. Gartner found that 45% of HR professionals plan to spend more on D&I this year.
Pay Attention to 2022 HR Trends, but Make Data-led Decisions
Trends are useful for business leaders to get a read on the workplace environment in general, but decisions shouldn’t be based on trends alone. Remember that concrete data is your best friend.
Is your organisation affected by the Great Resignation, or do you just imagine you are because you are reading about it? What are your attrition stats (and other data) telling you about the challenges within your organisation?
The best approach is a strategic approach, but data from CIPD reveals that only 46% of organisations have a workforce planning strategy based on a clear understanding of their current and future workforce needs. Nearly half (43%) take an ad hoc approach to recruitment.
As the work environment continues to evolve, the businesses that thrive will be those that take a data-driven approach to their people management. Spend time analysing your numbers, and you will have a clear idea of exactly what HR trends you need to focus on in 2022.
Need some help deciding on what your HR focus should be in 2022? Then, reach out to me today for support and advice.