The great resignation, the pandemic, vaccines, and everything else associated with the new normal have made things challenging for businesses over the last year. The adjustments being made at companies all over the world largely fall on their human resources team. It is up to HR to be on the cutting edge of new technology and identify new opportunities to not only attract and retain employees but also improve business efficiency.
New ideas and trends materialize quickly, and it is up to HR professionals to be ready for them. Missing out on new technology or processes can leave a business lagging behind its competitors, and miss out on talented workers at the same time.
This guide is going to go through some of the biggest HR trends of 2022 to be aware of.
1. Better development and training are essential to retaining employees
Today, many employees are quick to jump from one job to another. They are thinking about not only how fulfilling a job is and how it pays, but also how it can improve their resume.
They do their homework on everything from checking out effective examples of bios, to proper resume formatting to give themselves the best chance to stand out above the competition. It is important to be aware of the great resignation trend, but that doesn’t mean you should give up and accept that your best workers will leave.
If you can do things to show you appreciate your workers, they will be more likely to remain loyal. While there are many ways to do this, the top priorities of HR leaders should be to provide better skills development and training opportunities. Paying for them to take a course, or attend a skill-developing seminar are also good ideas.
If you invest in employees and better their skills and knowledge, it shows you care about their advancement and their career as a whole. Other examples of ways to show appreciation to workers include holding celebrations, publicly recognizing employees for their efforts, and even having an “employee of the month”.
2. Hybrid and remote work isn’t going anywhere
Another of the biggest HR trends of 2022 is that remote work and hybrid work continue to be a popular way to work. Today, well over half of all employees aged 22 to 65 work remotely at least occasionally, and this number will only continue to grow.
Remote work not only provides a better work-life balance but allows people to save a ton of time and money by not needing to commute. Also, much of the technology and tools used in many offices are lackluster and outdated, too.
Also, people who have worked from home have likely seen the benefits, and dragging them back into the office for no good reason has the potential to drive people away, so keep that in mind. A good compromise is to provide a hybrid workspace, which allows for people to work in the office, but also have the option to work from home at least some of the time.
3. A greater focus on mental health and wellness of employees
Thankfully, mental health and wellness are a top priority for many organizations today, and for good reason. The last few years have been very challenging mentally for just about everyone on the planet and have shown the need for greater mental health and wellness support in the office.
Businesses need to provide their employees with avenues to relieve their stress and prevent issues like employee burnout. This could be a discounted gym membership, an on-site counselor, times for meditation during the workday, or anything that can help employees feel better. HR professionals alike and other leaders need to constantly be looking for ways to provide a boost to the mental health of their workers.
4. The importance of diversity and inclusion
Employees from all backgrounds and walks of life want to be treated fairly at work. The latest hiring stats reveal 42% of workers would turn down a job offer if the firm lacked diversity in its workforce or did not have clear goals for enhancing diversity in hiring.
As a result, companies need to commit to improving their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Many companies struggle with this, and it needs to change if they want to attract top talent.
People today want to work for companies that show their support for social issues and run a fair workplace. Representation is important, so you need to ensure your management and leadership are diverse and inclusive for all. It is important to have role models and good examples within your company that people can look up to.
5. HR automation is on the rise
Automation isn’t new, but it is continuing to grow and mature, and certainly deserves to be mentioned in any list of the largest HR trends in 2022. Each year, automation continues to become more useful for businesses, especially for HR.
In 2022, automation will provide value for HR in various ways from the growing use of chatbots to streamlined workflows to ATS for hiring, HR software for automated onboarding and people management processes. All of these can save HR professionals a ton of time, and allow them to focus on more detailed and pressing company matters. These automated processes should help businesses be more productive, and make entire operations much more efficient.
Also, using people analytics to make data-driven decisions to benefit all will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2022 and beyond. This can also help them better understand certain issues within their business like high turnover rates or how much is spent to hire vs. retain employees.
6. Providing manageable workloads and a better work-life balance
While employees love great benefits, a positive workplace, and a strong salary, they also crave a good work-life balance. People still have personal lives that they want to dedicate energy and time to, and work-life balance is all about providing flexibility that allows people to have this.
You want to ensure your team still has time for hobbies and to be able to do the things that make them happy and enrich them in their lives. A flexible work environment can provide employees with more freedom, which can often make them more productive and give them more control when it comes to when they get their required work done.
Also, make sure that every employee has a manageable workload, too. If you try to stack their plate up too high, don’t be shocked when the quality of their work suffers. In addition to that, overworking employees can lead to burnout, which can hurt their productivity and may even lead them to resent you.
7. Successfully managing multi-generational workforces
A primary duty of HR is to manage a workforce. However, when you are dealing with multiple different generations like you are now, things can be difficult. There are several generational differences that range from how people communicate, how they view work, and even the things they value in life and at work.
As an HR professional, you need to do your best to manage everyone successfully and within their expectations, without playing favorites or ignoring the thoughts, feelings, and preferences of a certain group. It can take some time, effort, and creativity, but uniting these groups to work together to reach a common goal can indeed be done.
8. Transparent communication and trust
Communication is always important in the workplace, but it is more important than ever to be transparent. Your team deserves to know what is going on within the firm, and the role they play in that. This helps workers feel connected and gives them a sense of what they are working for.
Keeping employees in the dark about anything is never a good idea, and they should always be made privy to new developments or changes within an organization. Springing something on workers, especially during these troubling times (or making major changes without asking for opinions) can be a recipe for disaster.
In addition to communicating things, you need to ensure that HR and businesses as a whole are sticking to the things they say. If your team can’t trust you, it’s a bad sign and is likely to lead to additional problems down the line. The more your team trusts you and what you say, the more successful an organization you will generally be.
9. Offering better and more inclusive benefits
As mentioned earlier, many people are switching jobs at a fast pace and people are redefining what is important to them in a job. One major factor is the benefits an employer will provide. If your benefits are standard or even lackluster, it has the potential to drive some talented candidates away. You need to ensure your benefits are not only better but also more inclusive.
As far as the inclusive benefits you can provide that many companies aren’t, there are plenty to choose from. You can offer floating holidays, mental health days, flexible scheduling, wellness benefits, tuition assistance, and many others.
Not only will these improve employee loyalty and help them be happier, but they can also help your firm stand out above the competition and attract the best applicants possible for every opening you have.
In conclusion, we hope this guide has been able to shine a light on some of the biggest HR trends of 2022.