We all would agree that 2021 was a year of managing pandemic and solidifying Organisation’s belief in people care & sustenance, HR Trends in 2022 is going to be all about pushing the boundaries of how HR can add further value to the business & people practices.
A lot has changed in the past two years than the way we work, prioritise our lives, the modus operandi of all Companies & the way they operate! There is no doubt that while business & Revenue were under tremendous pressure, but no other business department has been under more pressure to keep up with this fast pace of change /uncertain time than Human Resources function!
We have seen it all…. from Offline/In-premises working to a complete shift towards virtual work settings, frequent lockdowns, life loss/medical complications Post-Covid, vaccination drives, spur in attrition owing health/Reset of personal choices & then “Return to Office” syndrome. Everything seemed like a continuous process rather than sporadic activity and HR was always at the centre stage in all these events.
The entire universe is becoming more agile both emotionally & technologically & undeniably future of HR too needs to transition towards being more agile & digital. As we unwrap these uncertain times & adapt to this new normal, it is indeed crucial to be conscious of what are some of the new HR trends we need to leverage to transition towards this change and add more business value in 2022 and beyond!
Employee Wellness is a Top Priority
In the last 2 years, almost the entire workforce across the globe has been stressed since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Today’s employees are more stressed than ever, and this stress has given rise to several health issues/complications in employees. In the coming year, we will see employee wellness and mental wellbeing as one of the top HR trends & focus areas for the future. The focus would be to improve employees’ physical and mental health, while also increasing their productivity and engagement.
HR Digitalisation is the “Way of Life” But Keep “Humane” Alive
Digitisation has been a hot topic in the last few years. We are now seeing rapid adoption of HR technology right from “Hire to Retire”. Automation in HR has now become a reality that has nearly touched all aspects of human resource management. As we move forward, the expectation would be to have all HR/Employee services on the palms of an Employee. Digitisation would enable to overcome HR challenges and improve business efficiency and workplace productivity.
While most of the things will move to Digital, many elements in HR (of being humane) cannot be replaced. Teams will become more complex, and employees would therefore need more human attention and empathy. AI will continue to help Organisation in a lot of smart ways, but when it comes to physical and mental well-being concerns, HR will have to continue to tackle employee issues more emphatically.
Employee Retention & Upskilling via Internal Mobility is the Key
Retaining the talent was always one of the key priorities but now the focus would be more to keep employees happy and willing to stick around. Covid outbreak has forced the workforce to reprioritise their career and choose employers/jobs which fits into their new priorities. Employees & prospective candidates are increasingly demanding more flexibility in how they would like to work.
This has led to a surge in attrition as wide section of the employee base is now looking at Work Flexibility, Health & Health Benefits (self & family) & being closer to family as the new criteria for choosing/continuing their jobs. This mindset has led to a double whammy impact as the employers are not only losing their own employees but facing a huge dent on attracting talent from cross geography.
There is surely a need for employers to produce new tactics to keep employees happy and willing to stick around. One of the answers to fix this issue would be to foster internal mobility program. This not only would serve to improve retention but also management improvement. It additionally reduces value, effort, and time in hiring expertise from the external markets.
We will see Companies would invest in equipping their high worth workers on acquiring new skills for them to move across within the Organisation. While upskilling, there will be a need to carve out ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have’ skill. There will be an all-around focus to give direct attention to reskill existing employees who have already proven their value rather than searching for new hires.
This trend is likely to grow as employers seek ways to improve their employee’s skill sets from within, which can improve retention and reduce burnouts. Promoting and rewarding the employees who stayed through thick and thin seems to be one of the main ideas on everyone’s agenda. Needless to state, technology will play a key part in identifying which skill sets are missing in the Company and needs upskilling amongst the current employees.
Employee/Candidate Experience will Define the “Fabric” of Employers
The entire employee lifecycle from the very first point of interaction with the Company till the exit Interviews will decide “Fabric of the Organisation. Companies will continue to work on offering more perks in providing splendid experience to each employee/new joinee but more than perks it’s the overall experience an employee goes through (Respect, Fairness, Skilling, Transparency, Empathy) that will decide whether Companies are “preferred choice” for their own employees/prospective candidates.
Given the talent combat, there will be boosted focus to chase the talent before any competitor company does that! Companies will have to accelerate the hiring process & time to offer/onboard the candidates using AI/Technology. Companies will put impetus on creating a sense of belonging & an inclusive workplace to foster a positive experience for their employees and future employees.
HR with Differentiation
In this “new normal”, HR will not be seen as a function only doing hiring, recruiting, or talent management activities. HR experts would now be required to address issues that were never within their purview. CEO’s, Board & shareholders would now expect HR to proactively think and strategize on health, diversity, workplace safety, inclusion & innovative engagement activities to create a “Happy, Healthy & Engaged workforce”. With too much moving on digital & AI, the humane side of HR should not go missing! It is no longer getting the basics but also going beyond what’s scripted in the HR role!
Overall, in 2022 & onwards, HR function will have an impactful role to play in ensuring the future success of the organisations as economy moves into the new year and beyond. HR will carry a wider responsibility to keep the Organisation agile, competitive & future-ready to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the corporate world.
Note: The views expressed herein are solely personal and do not reflect the views of the organisation they represent.