Top HR Trends & Recommendations for 2022
Top HR Trends & Recommendations for 2022
As 2021 – a year of challenges, change, and much uncertainty – comes to an end we look toward the future of the workplace in 2022. Based on what we’ve experienced throughout the pandemic, the team at MaxPeople anticipates several workplace trends so we wanted to share our thoughts and recommendations on how employers can prepare.
1. The Continuation of Remote Work Arrangements:
Due to the continued prevalence of COVID-19 and a spike in the number of reported COVID-19 cases seen at the end of 2021, we predict many companies will continue with remote work arrangements.
Although this is an effective means to protect the health and safety of employees and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, remote and/or hybrid working arrangement may continue to pose several challenges for employers, including, but not limited to:
- Decreased productivity
- Impaired communication
- Increased IT security risks
- Decreased team collaboration
- Changes in workplace culture
- Decreased employee morale
- Proactively establishing policies, processes, and protocols to address any predicted setbacks associated with new or continued remote work arrangements.
- Invest in IT software (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoon, etc.) that will allow employees to connect as needed and cyber security tools and practices to create a more secure online work environment.
- Routinely communicate updates with employees. Emphasis should be placed on updates with respect to change management and organizational design.
- Increase employee visibility and in-depth “people data” (e.g., routine check-ins, time-docketing, etc.) to ensure productivity does not decline.
- Establish several assessment periods in which the effectiveness of the remote work arrangement will be reviewed and revised or revoked if necessary.
- Stay informed of applicable Government and Public Health updates.
- Plan routine social activities, both virtual and in-person (when safe to do so) to allow employees to connect socially if desired.
- Stay abreast of company culture and employee morale throughout the pandemic by running anonymous employee feedback surveys, schedule focus group sessions, and conduct exit interviews.
- Keep an eye out for signs of decreased employee morale, inquire when necessary, and consider implementing an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help employees with increased stress and uncertainty associated with the pandemic.
2. Recruitment Struggles Due to Market Competition
We anticipate the difficulty of recruiting and retaining top talent to continue into the new year due to tough market competition. We encourage businesses to reflect internally and brainstorm ways in which your company could increase its competitive edge in the 2022 marketplace, especially considering the modern workplace demographics.
- Update your current recruitment approach and practices (e.g., hire a recruitment agency, post on multiple online forums, hire remote workers, etc.).
- Consider your Employer Brand and define (or redefine) the company’s Employee Value Proposition.
- Focus on employee retention and invest in your top talent. Think about what your company offers its employees compared to what your competitors can (e.g., higher pay, more comprehensive benefits and allowances, paid sick days, more vacation, employee recognition and rewards, flexible work schedules, etc.).
- Promote from within, formulate and communicate clear and transparent career paths and succession plans, offer employees growth and professional development opportunities (e.g., training and tuition reimbursement, leadership training, etc.).
- Establish written policies, communicate standard operating procedures, and implement training to establish a fair and equitable workplace where policies are practiced by both employees and managers.
- Adopt practices and initiatives to improve the employee experience (e.g., encourage just-in-time recognition, engagement via non-work activities, and the ability to disconnect after work).
- Implement Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that employees can participate in.
- Continuously invest in workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts and initiatives that are supported and driven by the Management/Senior Leadership Team.
3. Increased Need to Focus on Employee Well-being
Employee mental well-being will continue to be a priority as we enter into another year foreseeably plagued with much uncertainty and frequent change. It’s essential for employers to proactively establish policies, practices, and protocols to help improve employee well-being.
- Conduct routine workplace risk assessments to assess any risks to employee well-being in the workplace (including the remote workplace), in order to proactively establish practices and protocols to mitigate any identified risks.
- Remind employees of the importance of work-life balance, and review workload of employees, and encourage “disconnecting after work hours”, in order to prevent burnout.
- Establish routine manager-employee check-ins.
- Ensure employees are aware of all medical or health related benefits available to them, via group benefits package, or through the government if needed.
- Provide employees easy access to tools that they can use to improve mental and physical well-being (e.g., offer subscriptions to meditation apps, memberships to yoga centers, gym membership allowances, or passes to well-being events or webinars).
- Build a climate of psychological safety at your workplace, where employees feel safe communicating with their managers and/or human resources about personal or work-related stresses without risk of being reprimanded.
- Offer temporary flexible work schedules or alternative accommodations to employees dealing with unforeseen personal obligations.
- Proactively establish a Return-to-Work Program, to be customized as necessary and implemented in the event that an employee goes on a health-related leave of absence.
4. Increased Importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are recognized as key components of a healthy workplace and will be vital to employee well-being and success in 2022. While many companies have established policies and processes to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, emphasis should be on actions which illustrates your continuous commitment to these initiatives.
Putting in the effort required to ensure a healthy workplace culture where all employees feel that they “belong” is a competitive edge to attract top talent and retain existing employees.
- Invest in methods to assess and/or measure your company’s current DEI status (e.g., administer an anonymous employee survey), and ensure it embodies all aspects of the DEI equation. (Diversity = the presence of noticeable differences within the workforce; Equity = programs, protocols and practices are fair and impartial; Inclusion = everyone in the workplace feels that they belong and are respected by their peers).
- Establish a DEI policy and provide related professional training (delivered by a certified DEI expert) to all employees, including the Management/Senior Leadership Team.
- Include psychological safety within workplace health and safety policies and ensure employees have the necessary tools and support to feel heard, valued and protected.
- Establish a DEI committee and implement routine company-wide DEI initiatives and obtain valuable whole-team feedback.
- Ensure your Group Benefits Plan is inclusive and there are no disparities between race, gender, sexual orientation with respect to coverage.
- Review your current recruitment practices to ensure you target a diverse group of applicants and apply fair and consistent practices in the selection process.
- Advertise your DEI statement in all job postings and communicate to all recruitment candidates.
- Review and standardize your Performance Management Process to eliminate bias.
- Ensure there is a culture of respect, open-mindedness, feedback and information sharing without fear of reprisal, and growth.
- Encourage social initiatives where all members of the team can connect and get to know each other individually.
- Continuously review, revise and update your DEI stance and commitment dependent on societal changes and legislative updates.
As you consider which trends may impact your workplace in 2022, we hope that you can use the above recommendations to adapt and evolve as necessary to promote employee health, morale and productivity, while maintaining effective business operations throughout the year.
If you believe your company may benefit from implementing any of the above recommendations and would like further advice from a MaxPeople Human Resources Professional please contact us at [email protected] or complete our contact form here.