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2021 reinvented the HR industry by solidifying its new rules and regulations. 2022 will be all about pushing boundaries to maximize value. In this article, we will look at the emerging HR trends aiming to help businesses manage their workforce more productively and with greater empathy in 2022 and beyond.
Since the pandemic hit the world, there has been a paradigm shift in where and when we work and how we measure progress. The years 2020 and 2021 have changed the rules of the game — forever.
Emerging HR technologies are being designed today to change the way employers screen, hire, onboard and manage talent. Gartner research shows that 90% of HR leaders want to either maintain or increase their technology spend, while one-third intend to slash their budgets. This shows employers are all set to embrace the changing HR trends one way or the other.
To keep winning the game, the HR industry should deploy a working model that offers greater flexibility to employees and maximizes productivity and efficiency. Responding to a survey by Gartner, almost 60% of HR leaders said building critical skills and competencies will be their top priority in 2022.
From my perspective, here are the top HR trends for 2022 and beyond:
• Hybrid work model
• Employee wellness
• Diversity, equity and inclusion
• Employee reskilling and upskilling
• Data literacy
Let’s discuss each trend in detail.
The hybrid work model is the future.
The pandemic has forced organizations to adopt a hybrid work model where employees can continue to work remotely as well as from the office.
According to a 2020 report, 90% of HR leaders would like to allow their employees to split their time between working remotely and working from an office post-vaccination. According to a survey by WeWork and Workplace Intelligence, 79% of the C-suite will encourage their employees to adopt the hybrid work model if their job permits it.
The hybrid work model is here to empower employees while keeping them engaged even when times are difficult. Instead of paying unnecessary attention to the place of work, the entire focus is on delivering better business results while ensuring employee wellness.
This shift to hybrid work will be a massive transformation in the coming years, and every HR professional must be prepared to support it.
Employee wellness will be more important than ever.
The pandemic has had a negative impact on workforce health. Factors such as anxiety, fear of losing one’s job and high workload have dented employee morale across industries, resulting in burnout. According to Gartner, 85% of employees said they experienced higher levels of burnout while 40% reported adverse impacts on work-life balance.
Indeed, employees have been stressed since the pandemic began, which has caused several physical and mental health issues. Employers in 2022 and beyond will be more proactive than ever to make employee wellness a foremost priority. In fact, according to the CDC, employer investment in employee wellness programs could lower healthcare costs and insurance claims.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are the rising needs.
The pandemic has created a need for greater empathy as well as a more humane and inclusive work environment, which has inspired organizations to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). DE&I in the workplace is likely going to be top of the list of HR priorities in the future. HR professionals should plan to invest more in diversity and inclusion to spur innovation and growth.
DE&I is more than just a trend; it helps organizations penetrate a wider talent marketplace and build a global brand.
Employee upskilling and reskilling will be in focus.
In this rapidly evolving workplace, many of the skills that were sought after for a job in 2018 may not even be applicable in 2022. This has forced businesses to focus on upskilling and reskilling their existing workforce. Another reason is the shortage of multi-talented professionals willing to change jobs.
There is a shift from people analytics to data literacy.
Not very long ago, businesses were looking for expertise in people analytics. But now, there’s a conspicuous shift from people analytics to data literacy. For 2022 and beyond, HR leaders should prioritize enhancing their data literacy and data mining skills using the latest technologies and automation.
The challenge for HR professionals is to read data contextually and obtain the insights that are relevant to executing the job at hand. To achieve that, many HR professionals need to improve their data literacy capabilities. Currently, only about four in 10 HR professionals can read, apply and communicate data effectively to influence decision-making, according to findings from the Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR). Data literacy is surely here to stay for long as it empowers leaders to accurately deal with workforce data and drive better business value.
2022 represents a year full of promise, innovation and greater inclusion. Heading into the new year, HR leaders should focus on maximizing value and pushing boundaries.
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