It’s safe to say the world has changed drastically over the past year and a half or so. The working world has changed with it. The COVID-19 pandemic caused or accelerated these changes, some for the worse and some for the better. And as we continue to deal with the virus and the ripple effects that it’s caused, there are a few trends we can identify when it comes to the workforce and HR.
The Great Resignation has impacted many, many industries throughout 2021. That’s why retaining top talent is one of the top HR trends of 2022. Additionally, the increasing value placed on mental health in the workplace and an emphasis on employee engagement will see top attention paid to them next year. Add to that the continued importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives, an increase in automation, efforts to improve data literacy, and more inclusive benefits, and you have a dynamic, ever-changing, and downright exciting HR landscape to look forward to in 2022.
Let’s dive deeper into each one of these HR trends and find out how they might affect human resources staffing and recruitment in the year ahead.
Strengthening Retention Strategies
As you know, finding great talent for your organization is only half the battle. Keeping those employees around—and satisfied with their jobs—is a whole other ballgame. Turnover rates are expected to remain high throughout 2022. According to a survey by MindEdge, nearly 55% of HR leaders say that turnover is higher now than it was before the pandemic, and they don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
What can employers do to stem the tide of top talent leaving for greener pastures?
Retention strategies will be paramount in the coming year as The Great Resignation continues. Those strategies might look different depending on the industry, the company, and the employee, but some great examples of top retention strategies include:
- Proper onboarding. When employees are brought into the fold with care, they’re more likely to remain. A good onboarding program takes at least a month, if not longer, with regular check-ins scheduled at the three-month, six-month, and one-year marks.
- Flexible scheduling options. Now more than ever, employees are demanding flexible scheduling. Whether it’s simply for convenience or because employees need to juggle child care and other obligations outside of work, hybrid work or flexible schedules will remain some of the top retention strategies across all industries.
- Mentorship programs. When an employee has a solid mentor at work to guide them through their job and career, they’re more likely to stay. It’s one of those benefits that may not be listed in the employee handbook, but makes a huge impact.
- Perks. Perks never hurt, whether it’s a gym membership or free lunches on Fridays. In addition to inclusive benefits (more on that later), throwing a few perks into your employees’ packages is always a good idea for retention efforts.
- Regular check-ins. Post-onboarding, keeping a schedule of regular check-ins with employees is a valuable retention strategy. This way, employees feel connected to leadership and can have a chance to get their voices heard, ultimately improving company culture across your organization.
Increasing Value of Mental Health
If there’s one thing the pandemic showed us all, it’s that mental health can be just as important as physical health. It’s safe to say that the pandemic had a widespread effect on many employees’ mental status, and it’s up to HR teams to recognize and respond to that.
Companies must invest real money in efforts to maintain and improve mental well-being in the workplace. Make sure that your employees have access to—and are aware of—wellness and assistance programs that you have in place. Flexible work as discussed above is another part of this; when employees are able to have some flexibility or simply take a day off when they need a break, mental well-being goes up.
Emphasis on Employee Engagement
With remote work here to stay, employee engagement is more important than ever. Employees working alone at home can begin to feel isolated, and disengagement can happen just as easily to employees working on-site. What can HR leaders and management do to keep employee engagement high?
Here are some strategies for maintaining good employee engagement at your company:
- Shift your perspective. View employee appreciation as an essential part of good leadership, not an option. Otherwise, your employees will begin to drift.
- Compensate fairly. There are few better ways to keep your employees engaged with their work than paying them fairly. Make sure your compensation and benefits packages are up to par with the competition, or you may find employees seeking better opportunities.
- Recognize great work. Even if it’s a simple shout-out at the next team meeting, recognizing and rewarding great work is an essential part of engagement.
- Provide development opportunities. Employees aren’t engaged when they feel they’re stuck in a dead-end job. Provide learning and development opportunities wherever you can.
DEI to DEI&B
In 2022, companies will see increasing pressure to improve equity and inclusion in their organizations. That includes diversifying leadership as well as the workforce at large, and making sure that each and every member of the organization feels empowered to be themselves at work in order to do their very best.
The acronym DEI—diversity, equity, and inclusion—is getting an update: DEI&B. What does the “B” stand for? Belonging. And it’s an important addition.
There can be all sorts of policies in place about equal opportunity employment, fair hiring and interviewing practices, and diverse leadership efforts. But without a cultural sense of belonging, employees can still feel ostracized and discriminated against. That’s where HR teams and leadership come in; it’s these individuals’ jobs to root out any problems within the organization that make anyone feel that they don‘t belong. DEI&B is about employees feeling like they’re an integral part of the organization, no matter who they are.
There’s no denying that technology will continue to take over all things HR as 2022 arrives. Automation is expected to take center stage as well. This refers to things like automated workflows, AI chatbots, automatic onboarding processes, and instant manager approvals. The goal of these automated processes is not to remove the human element, but to make everyone’s lives a little easier and to make things happen faster. You might find that your candidate sourcing process, as well as applicant reviews and hiring in general, becomes more and more automated as time goes on.
Improving Data Literacy with HR Employees
A bottleneck in human resources is general data literacy among HR professionals. HR leaders, for example, can benefit from a better understanding of data analytics in order to implement changes throughout organizations. Of course, HR professionals don’t need to become expert data collectors or analyzers—this is accomplished through automated processes most of the time, anyway—but a better data literacy across HR is still a big benefit. Human resources recruiting as a whole can be greatly impacted by improved data literacy, as HR professionals gain a better understanding of HR trends in hiring as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
Another thing that the pandemic has shifted is what people value in their jobs. One of those increased values is inclusive benefits, including mental health support (discussed above) and holistic employee well-being approaches. Inclusive benefits also means benefits that focus on the needs of underrepresented groups. Examples of this include selecting healthcare providers who practice cultural sensitivity, or ensuring there are no racial or ethnicity-based disparities inherent in healthcare plans.
How an HR Recruitment Agency Can Help You Find and Retain a Top Team Today
Is your organization in need of HR professionals who can tackle the trends described above head-on as 2022 rolls in? Now more than ever, it’s important to have the right people in your human resources department to guide your company through these tough times. If you’re struggling with HR staffing and recruiting, a professional job placement agency can help
Turn to The Hire Firm for your human resources recruitment needs in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM areas and beyond. We can source and hire top HR professionals for your organization that don’t just have the skills you need to drive your organization forward, but who are great cultural fits as well.
Ready to get started? Contact the HR staffing experts at The Hire Firm today.