The HR industry has witnessed some remarkable changes in the last couple of years. The pandemic has revolutionized the work culture and led to the increased adoption of remote work. It has changed the way we work, and while 2021 was about reinventing the role of HR to meet changing global demands; 2022 will focus on how HR management can add growth and value while pushing boundaries. While building critical skills and competencies are important priorities, this year will also feature an increased focus on leadership management, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
Let’s look at the top forecasted trends for the HR industry in 2022:
- Focus on employee well-being
The advent and rapid adoption of remote working have shifted the focus on employee well-being, with HR managers bringing in strategies to prioritize the well-being of employees. Employee well-being has expanded in the last few years beyond physical well-being to include emotional, social, mental wellness. Organizations are prioritizing the work-life balance of employees, providing educational resources, therapy sessions, and extra time off for improving employee productivity. Lack of employee well-being can stem the great resignation.
- Developing hybrid work
A vast majority of businesses are expecting that a portion of their employees will continue to work remotely. Others are preferring a hybrid model, and this shift will drive the transformation of the organizational process. The HR department must ensure that hybrid work is seamless and causes no disruption to daily activities. Further, it is important to see that employees have access to all resources required for smooth delegation of duties in a remote setup. Strategizing this properly is a huge task that falls on the HR department. Employers are creating policies that ensure smooth virtual collaboration, employee mentoring, and asynchronous brainstorming for those who work from anywhere. Creating a fair and equitable workplace for all irrespective of their location is a critical task for leaders.
- Employees look for companies that match their values
Employees seek organizations that align with their values and follow a progressive and tolerant culture. Alignment of values ensure a long-standing partnership and makes for a more productive work environment. Workers today are concerned about pay equity, equal rights, workplace discrimination, racial injustice, economic inequality and demand a parity irrespective of any underlying prejudices. Leaders should work to include learning programs that tackle these biases and educate workers and management on the right set of conduct and address any such issues. Committing to providing a more humane work condition will attract the right talent and retain existing staff.
- Developing and retaining talent
Like most previous years, developing and retaining key talent remains one of the most important areas of focus for the HR department. This has become more challenging recently due to remote working and its unique features. It has expanded the talent pool of available candidates, who are no longer held by geographical constraints, which makes it easier to hire good-quality employees and leaders. The flexibility of remote working will make it likely easier to hire and retain a diverse workforce. To meet this unique challenge, organizations must design strategies that focus on KPI-based productivity, performance tracking, highlights long-term goals, provide skill-based training to derive maximum outcome.
- Rise of skill-based hiring
Artificial Intelligence has already created a dent in the labour market, and for fulfilling one’s role satisfactorily it is important to develop new skills or polish them regularly to meet changing market demands. The ability to demonstrate one’s competencies in the new-age skills will become a determining factor for success in the business world. Many organizations are now offering people jobs possessing in-demand skills but lacking a degree. More and more companies are looking for skill-based hiring rather than looking at a candidate’s credentials. This propels candidates to upskill themselves and acquaint themselves with new and emerging technologies.
- Diversity and inclusion initiatives
Remote working has been a blessing in disguise for the HR department as they can now hire employees without worrying about geographical constraints and give a push to their diversity initiative. Many job seekers and employees are looking for inclusive workplaces while evaluating job offers. It was always highlighted how diversity in management had several business benefits like improved productivity, profitability and stability. The opportunity to attract and retain diverse talent should not be missed if organizations are serious about inclusion. Along with expectations of greater empathy and a humane work environment, diversity and inclusion are other driving factors in a modern workforce.
- The changing role of the CHRO
At the onset of the pandemic, the Covid-19 crisis was dealt with as just a health issue, but as the situation kept progressing the role of HR in keeping processes running became pivotal. While dealing with the situation empathetically, it was important to understand the changing situation of workers, manage their health leaves, provide resources for remote setup, create a healthy environment, fair and equitable workplace, and many such affiliated activities. The CHRO was pivotal to the response and responsible for the seamless functioning of processes even during the pandemic. The new and modern workforce requires an evolved participation from HR and focus on different development activities, like never before. These improvements will drive employee experience and pave the path for a thriving organization.
While certain parameters remain the same, it is also true that the current HR trends look a lot different than they used to five years down the line. A majority of these factors have arisen due to the new way of working since the pandemic. The crisis has changed and evolved the role of HR by bringing them to the forefront of all-important business challenges in 2022. Leaders today must demonstrate resilience, empathy, and adopt transparent strategies to become strong proponents of the future of work.