The top HR trends for 2022
If we learned anything from the last two years, it is that we need to adapt in how and where we work. We learned that the world is becoming increasingly more home-centered as work becomes a virtual instead of a physical environment.
As Dr. John Cascone, Sr Vice President at Flex HR notes, “The devastating effects of the pandemic have reawakened the interest in monitoring environmental influences,” and reminds leaders to plan “to adapt quickly to moderate the impact of the crisis on the organization and its employees.”
So, with this new adaptability, here are our Flex HR top HR trends predictions for 2022:
1. An Increase in ‘Employee Wellbeing’ Benefits
As we saw in 2021, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of employee wellbeing, including their physical and emotional health. This now includes employees’ families, and issues like health insurance and time off for employees to care for sick family members are highly valued.
One study found that 62% of employees value benefits related to well-being and are more likely to take jobs that offer those.
The Future of the Industry Report 2021 also revealed that 87% of employees want employers to value mental health.
As Jessica Stafford, Payroll Tax & Compliance Consultant at Flex HR notes, “Competitive businesses will continue to adopt unlimited paid time off policies in 2022,” which increases “productivity and morale” and presents “stronger financial statements and less work for HR and payroll departments.”
2. Hybrid Work Model Will Continue
The pandemic permanently shifted work to a hybrid model. Surveys reveal that 83% of employees want a hybrid option and 63% of growing companies have already shifted to meet this need.
Therefore, it is vital to have these hybrid and work-from-home policies in writing and in the employee handbook.
Dianne Hartness, HR Client Success Manager at Flex HR shares, “As more companies become distributed and do away with office space it is important to define culture and create connection by using digital tools.”
3. More Use of Technology and Artificial Intelligence
As we noted at the end of 2021, the use of technology and artificial intelligence will continue to rise in the workplace. Businesses and employees have had to become proficient in using a plethora of tools to communicate, including Zoom, WebEx, Slack, Stream Yard, and Microsoft Teams, Strivr, Immerse, and BodySwaps.
The use of technology has become a top priority for companies as they seek to unify their workforces. Technologies including artificial intelligence, digital transactions, and e-commerce have changed business operations and will continue to do so.
Going forward, it is likely that AI will help HR teams make better decisions and will automate and streamline administrative tasks.
With the move to more cyber time, businesses must now increase cyber security to prevent phishing and malware.
4. Focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Other Values Matter to Employees
Another trend that is here to stay are DEI issues, which continue to matter to employees and companies alike. As many as 45% of HR professionals are planning to focus more on issues of diversity and inclusion in the coming year, as one study indicated.
Deirdre Huff, HR Client Success Manager at Flex HR, predicts that in the coming year “more employees and job seekers” will base “their decisions to accept employment offers off how well the company handles diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
In fact, Flex HR’s clients have been requesting DEI boot camps to help train their organizations in how to be more equitable and diversity-minded. Our consultants have already begun leading boot camps and informational seminars in the DEI space.
Dr. John Cascone predicts, “The trend toward promoting cultural diversity in all sectors of the organization will continue but coupled with the emphasis on diversity of ideas, values, work styles and ethics operating under clearly defined standards of accountability and outcome performance.”
One study revealed that 80% of employees choose their job based on aligned values, proving that employees want to work at companies that have similar values to their own.
Other values of importance to employees include childcare solutions and work-life balance. In fact, companies that value work-life balance will recruit and retain more employees as the millennial generation takes over the workforce.
Dr. John Cascone maintains that “Work-life balance will shape management practice to support worker accountability and productivity.”
5. Demand for Value and Development of New Skills
In 2022, there will continue to be a huge need for Human Resources expertise because HR is evolving into a much more expansive role.
One Harvard Business Review article predicted that there will be a need to train HR professionals in 21 new types of jobs in the near future. Because of these changes, HR professionals will need to acquire a wide range of skills for which companies are often not able to train them proficiently.
Businesses will need to outsource their HR to firms like Flex HR because of the complex HR challenges that they are facing.
6. Shifts in Recruiting Strategies, Especially to Internal
With a push to develop new skills for HR and other employees, upskilling employees and shifting recruiting strategies have become essential.
Senior Vice President of Flex HR, Phil Davis, predicts “employers will continue to see higher than normal employee turnover and rapidly escalating wages” and emphasizes the “need for effective recruitment and retention programs.”
Similarly, Heather Summers, HR Client Success Manager at Flex HR, sees the need for companies to “up their game” in the recruitment department, by re-evaluating “their benefits to employees, insurance, offer sign-on bonuses or employee referral bonuses to attract talent.”
Companies that are “winning” at recruiting have realized the importance of training and hiring from within their organization.
As Dr. John Cascone predicts, “There will be a shift away from investing dollars in recruiting new employees to investing dollars in retaining and developing employees.”
Recruiters will need to be more strategic in their approach, finding creative methods for attracting quality candidates.
Different recruiting strategies will include looking for non-traditional talent from within the company, using social media and texting, making company websites look more personable and friendlier, offering higher wages and more time off, and many other strategies we noted in last year’s article on 10 Ideas for Better Recruiting to Attract More Candidates.
Upskilling and training have become essential alternatives to recruiting.
Flex HR’s Laura Ladd, HR Client Success Manager, reminds us, “Studies show that “future-oriented” organizations are making leadership psychology training and development programs mainstream. Such programs include learning about the human brain, how we think, how we analyze data, and how we make decisions.”
Going forward, Dr. John Cascone predicts, “The greater challenge for leaders will be to retain quality employees, not to recruit them.”
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