6 HR Trends to Watch for in 2022

Culture

February 7, 2022

Taryn Hart

X min

7 min

Many organizations are continuing to adapt to the impacts of the pandemic including permanent remote arrangements, improved health benefits, and more flexible hours. Here are the trends HR leaders should focus on in 2022.

6 HR Trends to Watch for in 2022
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Table of Contents

As the world continues to adapt to the pandemic’s impact, many organizations have made adjustments like permanent remote teams, more work-life balance, flexible hours and improved health benefits. These adjustments have significantly changed how we see the future of work; however, employee expectations are constantly evolving. Here are the trends HR leaders should focus on in 2022.  

1. Building Critical Skills Within the Organization

According to a Gartner survey, 59% of HR leaders consider building critical skills within the organization a top priority. However, many HR leaders are struggling to predict the skills their employees will need for their organization to succeed in the future. HR leaders are also struggling with rising turnover rates due to increased competition for talent. Although remote work has widened the talent pool, it also means it’s easy for employees to find work elsewhere if their needs are not being fulfilled at their current place of work. In addition to actively disengaged employees having an easier time finding new work, the competition and constant recruitment efforts from global businesses means that even moderately disengaged employees pose a much higher risk of leaving than they did before. Gartner suggests organizations should build a more adaptable workforce by structuring talent management around skills instead of just roles.  

  • Provide cross-training across the organization. Encourage leaders to share ownership of skills throughout the organization. When employees share skills, it increases productivity and empowers employees to do their job more effectively.
  • Encourage a knowledge sharing mindset. Sharing skills should start at the top and managers should lead by example. Knowledge sharing could also be included in your company values and should be communicated across the entire organization.  
  • Collect skill data. Understand what skills your organization has plenty of and areas where it might be lacking. It’s also important to focus on skill trends and how they impact your organization and whether they create a threat or an opportunity and build a strategy around that.
  • Thread skills through talent management processes. There’s always an opportunity to use skills as the foundation of your hiring practices. Instead of just focusing on the roles required for the organization, focus on the skills you want to add.

2. Organizational Change Management

There’s no denying there has been a lot of change in the workplace over the last two years, and leaders need to recognize when their employees could be feeling burnt out. Today’s average employee can absorb only half as much change before feeling fatigued as they could in 2019 (Gartner). There are many ways HR leaders can foster a positive change experience:  

  • Encourage teams to implement their own change that works. Not all teams will function and perform efficiently the same way, and they shouldn’t have to. Instead of having a structured team dynamic across your organization, empower your teams to shape their own change experiences.
  • Don’t overlook the day-to-day changes. Even though some changes may seem small, they can significantly impact your team and can easily become overwhelming.
  • Ensure your employees have the right tools. Organizational change often comes with new systems or processes employees must follow. Make sure the tools you are providing will set your employees up for success and are the right solution to a previous challenge.  

3. Creating a Healthy Work Environment

Many factors go into creating a healthy workplace, all of which should be considered a priority. Workplace health is not just work-life balance; healthy employees will form healthy relationships with their coworkers. Here are some factors to consider when trying to build a healthy work environment:  

  • Healthy employees: this doesn’t just mean the physical well-being of employees, but also their financial well-being, their stress and burnout levels, their work capacity, and their work-life balance.  
  • Healthy relationships: this includes not only trust in leadership, but trust within your team, employee-manager relationships, and how your team collaborates and respects one another.  
  • Healthy work environment: creating a healthy and inclusive work environment is a huge contributor to your organization’s productivity. A healthy work environment increases innovation, responsiveness, and changes receptivity and efficiency.  

A healthy work environment means offering your employees the support they need. 62% of employees identified well-being benefits (including financial, mental health and physical well-being) as a key factor when applying for a job. In addition to that, 80% of employees want support and guidance from their employers on personal finances. HR leaders should move away from universal benefit packages and lean more towards a personalized approach, with the goal of being a workplace culture of care that meets the needs of everyone. There are also EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) available for organizations to utilize that provide counselling for employees both personal and work-related.  

4. Flexible Work Arrangements

The global pandemic has shifted how we work in so many ways, with work-from-home or hybrid work arrangements being one of the most significant. Some of your employees may thrive in a work-from-home environment, while others may prefer a hybrid situation where they can still go into an office if needed. However, flexibility is not just about where employees work; it also means allowing employees the ability to adjust their work schedule to accommodate their lifestyle. Many of us have other priorities outside of work and a non-flexible work schedule can be a massive deterrent for employees.  

Focus on results and deadlines instead of the number of hours employees are working. Not everyone is productive during the same time periods, and part of adopting a more inclusive mindset is allowing your employees the freedom to design their work schedule. Utilize technology and move towards a productivity-anywhere approach and make your work systems easily accessible for all employees.  

5. Pursuing vs. Established and Thriving Workplace Culture

Your future employees aren’t interested in working for an organization that is behind on updating its company values. Forbes research has found that more than 50% of employees will leave their jobs if the company values are no longer aligned with their own. It is vital that HR leaders ensure they are closing their employee expectations gap by engaging with their employees and are committed to incorporating what their employees value into the organization.  

A major component of this is representation and diversity. Gartner research revealed there were only 29% of women and 17% racial minorities in c-suite positions. Low diversity in leadership positions is a result of a lacking DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) strategy. HR leaders need to incorporate consequential accountability instead of collective accountability in their DEIB strategies and hold the leaders within their organization accountable for DEIB outcomes.  

6. Regular, Meaningful Recognition

Regular, meaningful recognition will be critical in 2022. Robert Half found that 66% of employees would quit if they didn’t feel recognized – for Millennials, that number jumps to 76%. Similarly, a study by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) found that 79% of Millennial and Gen-Z survey respondents said an increase in recognition and rewards would make them more loyal to their employer.  

By 2025 Millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce; the need for robust employee engagement strategies and management is urgent to fight this unprecedented wave of resignations. Modern recognition platforms like Kudos® make it easy for managers and peers to recognize employees regularly, regardless of their location.  


What does the future of work look like?

Hybrid work arrangements are the new normal, skill-based hiring is shifting HR practices, and employee well-being is becoming a pivotal concern everywhere. This new world of work is encouraging leaders to ask important questions about their organization’s current challenges and how they are going to invest in the right solutions. The HR landscape in 2022 is not just about the best business practices but rather shaping the future of work.

About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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