By Lauren Winans
Many employers have been actively reevaluating how they approach human resources, especially in recent years. The pandemic was almost a reset button in many ways, allowing businesses to look closely at their various processes and make changes to allow for more growth, efficiency, and retention.
As we close out the first quarter of 2022, we can observe emerging trends in HR that companies have hitched their wagon to. The goal for most companies remains the same: attract and retain top talent. With many people working from home, companies are having to find new, often more automated ways of serving them in a human resources capacity.
There exists a new employer/employee relationship. Employees have opened their eyes to what has likely always been possible concerning remote work and flexibility. Employers are quickly learning that they have to make changes that work in tandem with new employee expectations.
Here are some top trends to keep an eye on for 2022:
New HRIS Systems
Many employers have recently implemented or are in the process of implementing new HRIS systems, data warehouses, and dashboards that make it easier to have a pulse on the organization’s talent. These systems keep track of certain data elements and critical business metrics to better leverage people analytics to make company decisions. A gap made more obvious during the pandemic was the lack of centralized people data. Implementing new HRIS systems helps close this gap.
Newer HRIS systems allow companies to effortlessly manage payroll, benefits, and personnel data in one centralized location. Some programs allow for cloud-based data tracking for companies that have remote workers in multiple locations.
Creating More Workplace Flexibility
Flexible workspaces have been the game’s name in the midst of the COVID pandemic. They don’t seem to be going anywhere as we come out on the other side of this unprecedented time. Employers have no choice but to offer flexible work options to keep talented employees. Remote work, hybrid schedules, flexible start/end times, and condensed work weeks will be vetted and deployed across salaried and hourly workforces alike.
Companies are racing to adapt to the rapidly changing workspace. Companies that fail to recognize where workplace flexibility needs to go in 2022 are likely to be left without a reliable workforce. The pandemic proved that good work could be achieved almost anywhere and on a schedule outside the 9-5 norm. Now that Pandora’s Box has been opened, there is no going back.
Pay Structure Reviews
It’s a competitive labor market. There are more open jobs than workers to fill them, high rates of turnover, and soaring inflation. This climate is forcing employers to reevaluate their pay structures. Employers that wish to compete for talent will increase pay, implement bonuses, and reassess if the existing pay structure is adequate for a post-pandemic workforce.
With a focus on retention, companies will be approaching pay structure reviews with empathy and respect to what we have experienced over the last two years as a world and working community.
Focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion
2020 was a year where many companies came to grips with how they fell short concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). With civil rights in the news and diversity initiatives making headlines, many leaders also realized how important these aspects were to employees. Employees want to work in diverse, inclusive environments where everyone has opportunities to learn and grow. In the past few years, many employers have made strides in this area but continue to deepen the roots in 2022.
Strong diversity and inclusion programs have been shown to improve the financial performance of a business. But, the bottom line should not be a company’s only reason for a DEI focus. Enacting change in the workplace on a systemic level should be a priority of leadership in 2022.
Developing retention strategies in addition to hiring strategies
As the Great Resignation continues, employers are looking to retain their talent, building out strategies that enhance and evolve the employee experience. Employers are also laser-focused on their hiring strategy, including how to market their company to prospective hires, how to source new talent, and ensuring the onboarding process is seamless.
The workplace is not a static entity, but rather one that is constantly in flux as attitudes, social norms, and opinions change. The COVID-19 pandemic was a situation that brought about a monumental amount of change, especially to the working world. It will be the job of human resource professionals to stay abreast of the rapidly changing landscape and enact changes that work for the betterment of their organizations and the people who work there.