As 2020 caused industries to be in a state of panic and forced them to change and adapt, 2021 was the year to restore equilibrium with well-informed strategies while coping with the aftermath of the global COVID-19 epidemic. From assisting employees during difficult moments and ensuring compliance with vaccination guidelines to preparing for constantly evolving viruses, companies were constantly learning, relearning, and planning for the near future.
Knowing these shifts in the cycle is vital for any company to keep up with the fast-paced changes taking place, especially in light of the pandemic. To help, we’ve sought out experts and industry leaders to discover the top HR trends to help you make educated decisions regarding your business.
Hybrid Work Model
As things get back to normal, The workplace is changing into a more appropriate method for employees and their efficiency -the hybrid work model. It’s a more employee-centric flexible model of work that combines remote work and office work.
In May of 2021, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, revealed Google’s hybrid plan of work that allowed people to operate from their office three days per week and remote on the remaining two days. “The future of work is flexibility,” declared Pichai. Other firms that have jumped on the hybrid workforce bandwagon comprise Ford, Hubspot, Microsoft, Infosys, Siemens, and Amazon, to mention some.
Sixty-six percent of leaders in the industry are looking at redesigning their workplace to accommodate hybrid work, as per a report from Microsoft. With more and more businesses choosing to adopt this model, it is clear that the hybrid model of work is going to be around in the near future.
The transition from employee well-being to a Healthier Organization
The last couple of years finally saw the mental health and well-being of employees receiving the attention it deserves in the workplace. Nearly 68% of HR executives and executives rated employee health and well-being as their prioritization in the survey of HR sentiment in 2021. What is the next step to unfold on this front, bearing in mind the anger, shock, and uncertainty that followed the pandemic?
The solution is what is known as the Healthy Organization — a broad and holistic corporate-wide approach to well-being. The concept extends beyond the safety and health of employees and aims to provide more flexibility and opportunities for education and development. This Healthy Organization framework includes the following components:
- Physical Health
- Mental Well-being
- Financial Fitness
- Social Health and Community Service
- Secure Workplace
- Healthy Culture
After enduring a fatal disease that has affected employees and the workplace, it’s safe to conclude that a Healthy Organization would be a good idea for increased productivity and a higher level of satisfaction for employees and retention.
DEI on the Spotlight
Diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion are buzzwords that have been used in many organizations for quite a while, and they’re rightly so. DEI initiatives are an aspect of dealing with discrimination, bias, and harassment, as well as unfair wages and other issues that arise in the workplace. The demand for DEI is also growing due to the changing work environments that have moved from in-person to hybrid and virtual environments.
79% of the companies that responded intend to boost the DEI budget by 2022, according to a report from Traliant. But it’s not enough to solve the root of problems. The report also notes that just 13% of top executives actively participate in DEI initiatives, which highlights the need to develop more DEI leaders who can make positive changes to workplace culture and behavior.
According to a study conducted by SHRM in collaboration and Harvard Business Review, Analytic Service Companies can take these guidelines to boost DEI for 2022:
- Set up a hotline for reporting DEI incidents and an advice line and guidance on the issue.
- Make use of employee resource groups and networks to their fullest potential.
- Diversify hiring panels.
- Form a DEI group to steer the DEI.
- Provide sponsorship and membership opportunities.
- Make sure to remind people to be aware of biases that can sneak into the unconscious.
Power Skills play a significant role
The workplace is changing, and so are the needs. In a digital workplace, employers need more than just technical expertise to sustain general productivity. Employers are looking for the power of the new employees they hire. 63 percent of Employers prefer hiring those with transferable abilities -such as teams, time management, or leadership, and preparing them for the technical aspects of the job.
Power skills are behavior-based in the nature of things. Technology has advanced, and technical skills are handled, but it’s the skills that do the work and help make employees make a mark. Steven Cates lists leadership, collaboration, teamwork, problem-solving, and work ethic, as well as ability to adapt and people capabilities as a few of the key power qualities that recruiters are looking for.
Dave Millner, Founder and Consulting Partner at HR Curator, believe that the abilities to power are the key ingredient for efficient operation management in an increasingly competitive world. So, leaders and managers who possess these abilities are the top candidates to hire, and development options should be available to develop these capabilities. He also discusses the growing importance of power-related skills by stating these points:
Efficiency: The areas of motivating people and attracting talent are as important to the performance of leaders as outcomes as well as data-driven business decisions.
Communication: Connecting with colleagues/peers who have different work patterns (hybrid remote, office employees) is more crucial now than ever before. The ability to communicate with employees is not only dependent on managers and leaders having the skills to be effective but also on utilizing these skills more often.
Workplace environment: Skills that power creates an effective work environment. Create a sense of community for employees, where they are able to be engaged and learn constantly.
Customer: Customers are more likely to purchase from people than processes, and it is based on their attitude and the behavior they display to them.
With the increasing need for power-related skills, 2022 is a fascinating year to see the thought and creativity that will be in helping employees improve their abilities in work.
Accepting the Gig Economy
The gig economy isn’t an infrequent newcomer to the block. The term was used in 2009 to define the emerging workforce trend that relies on free-floating projects, consulting, and part-time jobs in a marketplace online. Incredibly, this notion of the gig economy is a long time in the making and dates to the early 1900s when companies let temporary workers fill the gaps in the workforce.
With the recent turn of events, as well as numerous opportunities for workers to study and improve their skills, the graph of the gig economy is gaining momentum for good. 86.5 million freelancers will be working throughout the U.S. in 2027 and will constitute 50.9 percent of the U.S. workforce, according to a study. The gig economy gives flexibility to a certain degree for workers. Due to the disruptions brought on by the pandemic, increasing numbers of full-time workers are looking for gigs due to necessity.
With full-time employees embracing gig opportunities, it’s an advantage for companies dependent upon gig employees.
We predict that 2022 will be a year of embracing the gig economy by implementing policies and plans to retain gig workers and improve efficiency. It will be interesting to observe the steps that businesses will take to ensure the safety and benefit of freelancers.
Maintaining Human Touch Alive Human Touch Alive
What is the primary reason for this Great Resignation? What dramatic shifts have the workplace experienced in the past? The remote working environment brought up concerns about the engagement of employees and identification with organizations. A survey conducted by Promoleaf indicates that 46% of the employees feel that they did not receive support from their employers, and 44% feel overwhelmed. This underscores the importance of keeping the human touch in place more important than ever before.
According to a study, “How Business and HR Leaders Can Rise to the Opportunity,” written by Professor, author, speaker, and HR thought-leader Dave Ulrich, management needs to develop new ideas for both the content (new concepts about the organization and people) as well as process (ways to transform ideas into action).
Re-skilling and Upskilling
Let’s first distinguish between upskilling and reskilling. In simple terms, Reskilling means learning new skills. While upskilling means specializing in one of the fundamental skills. What is the reason why skill transformation is required? A skill transformation that is efficient can:
Better implement plans for your company and policies that are based on the latest trends in the industry and market.
Increase productivity, employee performance, and satisfaction.
You will gain a significant advantage over competitors who weren’t upgraded with new requirements for skills.
77% of the top executives in the business said that retraining was very or moderately important to their business, according to an analysis of McKinsey. Skills transformation requires an assessment of existing gaps in skill and trends in the industry, the creation of an effective strategy, and then scaling the strategy to ensure seamless execution across the organization. It’s among the most significant investments an organization could undertake as part of its management of talent strategies, and it’s not without reason. Alongside the pulse survey and other employee aid programs, it’s vital to keep in mind that there is no technology that can substitute emotions, engagement, or loyalty within an organization, particularly in a constantly changing working environment.
2021 was the year that saw the creation of a brand new world characterized by the lessons we took from the pandemic. 2022 is the year in which we will implement these lessons, as well as improve and greater efficiency.
Combining traditional and remote working methods will significantly affect the operations of organizations. A comprehensive approach to employee health, as well as skill development and human interaction, will provide high-quality work experiences regardless of ever-changing concepts. With the changing preferences for skills and the boom of the business, the gig economy might not be out of the question to say that HR is likely to be expecting surprises as the year gets underway. Companies need to plan to anticipate these changes in advance to make sure they don’t compromise their overall efficiency and growth.
What are your thoughts on the major HR trends for the next year? Did we miss any? Let us know with us in the comment section!
Daniel Howard gives life to writing through the power of words. He is our fervent blogger who spends the majority of his time writing informative articles for the studycrumb blog. A true expert in journalism, we’ve invited him to join our platform to assist students in writing essays that will be a hit with readers.
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