2020 ushered in the beginning of major shifts in how we live and work. After surviving the devastating spread of a novel virus and an unprecedented pandemic, the world gradually readjusted and came back to its feet in 2021. However, things were no longer the way they used to be. Many employers struggled to keep their staff, while a significant number of employees preferred to switch to remote work.
In all, it seemed as though the only department in the workplace that took the worst hit or came under the most pressure was human resources. To ride the tide while ensuring a sustainable system that allows for productive work in the best work environment, HR departments and employers had to introduce several changes. In the midst of it all, employees needed to be sure that their interests still mattered. Employers, on the other hand, needed to ensure they were not running at a loss while keeping their workers productive.
As we go into 2022, more shifts are expected in HR practices. In this post, we will discuss some important trends to watch out for in the HR space come 2022.
1. HR as a Product
With HR shifting from focusing on deliverables, timelines, and resources to continuous improvement in value delivery, processes, and impact assessment, we can see that a product mindset now supersedes the project concept of HR. This requires better coordination, more need for improvement, and more resources. Going into 2022, employers and HR professionals would be smart to brace themselves for this.
2. Collaboration by design
Come 2022, HR departments will need to be more deliberate about creating an atmosphere that encourages interaction and collaboration among workers. The advent of remote work now makes several workplaces look siloed. For this reason, workplace conversations seem to be dwindling, although many organizations have reported an increase in productivity since going remote. To ensure that collaboration is sustained optimally and that workers have all they need, HR would need to step up in 2022.
3. Remote work is a trend
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, 98% of people prefer to work remotely for the rest of their careers. This means that HR departments can expect to have increased adoption of the work-from-home model, that is, if they haven't fully implemented or adopted remote work at all.
4. Remote learning
As employees continue to work from home, a new trend is starting to emerge. People need to develop and acquire more skills to improve themselves and their productivity. Although e-learning has always been a thing, the rise in remote work has afforded people more time to enroll for online certifications. Platforms like Udemy and Coursera have also made it easier for enrollees to learn at their own pace.
5. More focus on diversity and inclusion
There were predictions that diversity and inclusion initiatives would attract more attention in 2021, and guess what? They did. As the trend gains more popularity, we can expect that 2022 will be no different. In fact, a Gartner survey reveals that 46% of organizations plan to retain their budget for diversity and inclusion. In other words, HR departments of companies that are yet to follow this path should have a solid plan regarding diversity and inclusion, especially if they intend to hire in 2022.
6. Better employee perks and benefits
Work-life balance is a major talking point in many circles today. Employees are clamoring for better employee benefits packages. Some even leave their employers for companies that offer better alternatives. The great resignation we witnessed between the later part of 2020 and much into 2021 can always be traced back to the quest for better benefits. And this very much includes a sustainable work-life balance. In 2022, this trend will remain, meaning employers who are still behind need to step up their HR strategies so they, too, can provide better employee benefits. For this, a go-to option is often teaming up with a PEO.
7. Virtual team building activities
Many companies now work with a global workforce. Employees work remotely from their homes and even across different states, while some work for overseas companies. For the traditional HR team, that's a call to embrace dynamism in managing the workforce and directing how work is done. Of particular interest in coordinating remote work is team-building activities. Like we have in regular in-office settings, team building must be encouraged deliberately to foster that sense of collaboration and team spirit. This also assures remote staff that they are not alone. Also, they know where to turn when issues arise.
8. Data-driven HR
HR teams now use data collected from employees and internal processes to assess the performance of employees and identify gaps in their processes. This might indicate a need for more hands in the company, a need for more training, a pending issue in the company's internal processes, or a combination of these. With data collection and analysis, so many issues can be solved, HR can relate better with employees and drive increased productivity.
9. Automation of tasks
Automation is winning and gaining more ground as the days go by. Thankfully, many automation tools and software are in the market already. Some mundane tasks like composing emails, creating drip campaigns, and creating customer databases can be automated. This way, you can free up more time to allow employees to focus on more productive tasks each day. Automation is a necessity these days in HR circles, meaning that companies looking to increase productivity in 2022 should consider going the automation route.
10. Smart Recruiting
Recruiting doesn't have to be any more difficult than it should be. Smart recruiting has gradually become a need in the HR space. HR professionals now use tools that help them screen out the wrong fits while also encouraging diversity and equity. As 2022 gets underway, smart recruiting would mean using better tools and automation to carry out recruitment, interviews, and onboarding.
As discussed here, HR departments need to tighten their game for 2022. And there's no better way to win in 2022 other than leaning on insights like these and taking appropriate, timely actions. These insights will inform preparations and necessary adjustments in processes to accommodate emerging changes. In the end, everyone wins — both employers and employees.