As 2021 comes to a close and the new year approaches, thoughts turn to emerging trends in HR for 2022. Shaped by events over the past year, as well as the impact of the global pandemic, technology has a prime role to play, especially as we enter a new age of AI.
But that’s not all. After the long office hiatus, HR will be tasked with bringing teams back together, as a people-centric approach is favoured. Keen to learn more? Let’s take a look at some of the HR trends 2022 will bring.
1. Remote working is here to stay
It will come as no surprise that remote working is the new normal. According to a HR trends McKinsey report, HR will need to adapt to the new and diverse work situation. Personalising training and development will be core to this, as well investing in technological tools, such as Slack, Monday, and Microsoft Teams. Above all, organisations must equip individuals with the necessary tools to thrive if remote working is to be adopted.
In addition to this, HR will need to think of creative ways to bring teams together since we’re spending more time than ever apart. Expect to see more company conferences, workplace retreats and week-long strategy sessions as we move forward.
2. Hybrid Offices
While the pandemic showed us that remote working is possible, it also showed us the necessity of human contact. Bringing the best of both together, the hybrid model is touted as the new working way. With 85% of employees keen for hybrid working, this approach to balancing office time with remote working continues to be rolled out.
In the coming year, HR teams will need to respond with infrastructure changes, hot desk options and boosting technology and WiFi facilities to accommodate this new approach. Office spaces will continue to adapt, especially in supporting employee energy and preventing burnout.
3. Reshoring and recruitment
With the backdrop of Brexit, let alone the increase in costs for importing, many companies are looking at ‘reshoring’ to satisfy supply chain demand. This is where manufacturing goods is returned to domestic production – and we’re already seeing signs of it. As one of the HR trends to watch, companies impacted by this will need to bolster their recruitment and talent pool, and look at new and creative way of attracting skilled employees to their business in a highly competitive marketplace. Bolstering your company credentials and brand reputation will continue to be significant, especially online where many employees are sourced.
On a similar note, a shift towards outsourcing is starting to emerge. One of the top HR trends 2022 to note is that in-house HR teams will continue to downsize, especially with new software and data systems plugging the gaps. This all means that outsourcing specialists will be in greater demand, especially those well-versed in cloud HR software and digital skills. Keep an eye on this emerging trend.
5. A people-centric approach
One of the big take-outs in the HR trends McKinsey report, is that we must return to a people-centric approach. With the past two years taking its toll on remote worker, HR plays a crucial role in bringing teams together and putting people back at the heart of business. From wellbeing strategies, to offering flexitime initiatives, to investment in training, and office perks such as food deliveries to employers working long hours – the time is now for HR leaders to adopt a more dynamic work model.
6. Virtual Onboarding
One of the big learnings from the pandemic, is that virtual onboarding is a viable option for the long-term. Offering employee onboarding virtually has helped to speed up the onboarding process, making it an efficient and smooth way to ease new employees in their positions. Research by Glassdoor found that an effective onboarding process can improve employee retention by up to 82%, so it’s not to be overlooked as we plough into the year ahead.
7. Employee upskilling
Although it’s not new to the HR scene, upskilling continues to grow in importance. Enabling and inviting colleagues to level-up their skills, is not just an investment in individuals – but in your business too. It allows greater promotion from within – preventing costly recruitment fees – and has been found to reduce labour turnover as well as boost employee morale.
And because remote working is the number one HR trend we’ve seen, employee training has never been more important, as professionals respond to the ever-changing workplace and learn to adapt to new skills required.
Perhaps one of the most popular upskilling options is to invest in employee development software, which can help drive company-wide performance and tap into powerful data and insights at the same time.
Speaking of data, we know that insights and analytics help HR teams to make informed decisions. With dispersed teams and less face-to-face contact, leaders will continue to rely on data to tap into emerging trends. As such, data analytics in all its forms, is one off the HR trends 2022.
HR managers will continue to be led by big data, from personalised marketing plans to real-time data to monitor and adapt to evolving trends. As such, HR will need to take a more marketing-like approach, by personalising its communications and policies to achieve this.
9. Diversity and Inclusion
One of the HR trends that continues to grow every year is the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Research shows that diverse companies benefit in many ways – from breadth of creativity to increase in profits. HR will continue to lead the charge, by being champions in the diversity stakes in 2022.
10. The distance dilemma
And finally, in the wake of coronavirus, workers moved out of the cities and into the suburbs to benefit from more space and disposable income. But, as the hybrid model is adopted, companies will need to address issues such as ‘London waiting’ and other compensation such as reimbursing annual travel cards. Will salaries be reviewed to take into account of less office time and the expense of having a city office, or will it stay the same? The debate is only just beginning, so watch this space as it unfolds.
If you enjoyed this feature, you need to read our new resource download – The Top 3 HR Trends to Prioritise in 2022.
Smart organisations are tapping into three top trends: sustainable hybrid working, employee experience, and critical skills coupled with diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA).