Over the last 18 months, the coronavirus has accelerated workplace transformation, forever altering the working world. In a race to remain relevant and stay afloat, businesses of all sizes were quick to adopt new and flexible workplace models, embrace technological developments and focus on employee wellbeing. Based on the latest reports, 2022 will be another year of transition. Although it’s hard to accurately foresee the future, here are some of the more prominent HR predictions and trends that will continue to take centre stage over the coming years:
1. Employee Engagement
One of the more prevalent trends that has emerged over the last few years is the focus on employee engagement. We know that engaged employees are more enthusiastic, more committed to the company and to their work. Yet, statistics tell us that 84% of employees don’t feel fully engaged. We also know that unengaged employees cost Canadian companies billions annually in lost productivity. Employee engagement strategies such as organizing events, group collaboration, promoting wellness, creating mentorship programs, providing learning and development opportunities, and recognizing achievements improves the lives of employees while simultaneously improving business.
2. Employee Wellness Programs
Health and wellness remain a core area of focus. More than ever before, employers understand the importance of a healthy workforce and its impact on business success. During uncertain times and in times of great transition, HR staff needs to focus on improving employee wellbeing. Effective wellness programs vary and should be based on the needs of the company along with its employees. Programs can range from basic to elaborate, multi-faceted programs. It’s important for business leaders and HR professionals to find ways to create a flexible and healthy work environment that supports the health and mental wellbeing of employees.
3. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives will continue to be important for companies of all sizes. In an increasingly global economy, a diverse workforce provides companies with competitive advantages. High performance teams include individuals from varied educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, diverse religious and political beliefs, cultures, and physical abilities. People who want to grow surround themselves with people who bring differing perspectives and knowledge. This helps avoid “group-think.” Additionally, companies that promote DEI tend to perform better financially and they find it easier to attract and retain top talent.
4. Reskilling & Upskilling Employees
Whether it’s reskilling employees to learn new skills to help them perform different jobs or upskilling employees to better equip them to do their job, investing in your resources critical. In our current transitional work environment, where we are dealing with external economic factors, residual pandemic effects and adopting new workplace models, we need to ensure employee skills are upgraded. This trend emphasizes the importance of reskilling and upskilling existing employees rather than increasing efforts and incurring the expense of hiring or replacing employees.
5. Recognition & Rewards to Boost Morale & Retention
Employee recognition and reward programs boost employee job satisfaction, morale, and retention. According to recent studies, 82% of employees feel that their managers don’t recognize their contributions enough. Going forward, recognition programs that celebrate and reward employee contribution and performance will continue to gain momentum. These programs will serve as the foundation for solid employee engagement, continuous employee development and retention strategies.
6. More Data-Driven Recruitment
Using data-driven metrics is one of the hottest recruiting trends. With powerful HR analytics, recruiting professionals can gain deeper insights, make smarter decisions and predictions about the workforce. With analytics, companies can track metrics such as turnover rate, offer acceptance rate, absenteeism, and revenue per employee. More businesses are realizing the advantages of data-driven recruiting to drive the talent lifecycle and enhance recruiting strategies.
7. Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Virtual Reality (VR)
These three technology trends will continue to gain traction with HR teams. According to CareerBuilder, 70% of employers expect to automate elements of their talent acquisition efforts over the next decade. When applied to the recruiting process, these integrated technologies can help find, attract, engage, nurture, and convert candidates into applicants – streamlining the recruiting process. A recent survey found that 50% of companies use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to source and screen candidates, as well as schedule interviews. AI can also enhance the candidate experience. As an example, chatbots can be used to proactively build relationships with passive candidates, which can then reduce the hiring cycle. These technologies can give companies an edge when securing top talent. Virtual Reality (VR) tools will also remain invaluable for recruiting, onboarding, and training employees. The modern workplace combines traditional, remote and hybrid workplace models. VR tools facilitate collaboration and connection within teams whether teams regardless of team member workplace model.
8. The Hybrid Workplace & the Gig Economy
Now that employees are returning to the office, employers are embracing the hybrid workplace, where employees can work both onsite and offsite. With a hybrid workplace employers have more control while employees have the flexibility needed to manage other aspects of their lives. Hybrid workplaces improve work-life balance, increase productivity, and widen the talent pool by eliminating geographical boundaries. Another trend growing in popularity is the Gig economy, which is a practice of outsourcing work tasks to independent freelancers. While this trend is nothing new, it can have an impact on company bottom line and on how employees view their working careers.
Companies have had to reconfigure and transform their business operations to survive COVID-19. The predictions and trends we’ve outlined are just a few of the changes accelerated by the pandemic; several existed prior to the pandemic, others emerged because of the pandemic. These last 18 months have been disruptive for every company and the human resource implications have been significant.
As businesses move into recovery and renewal, Vexxit can help you manage transformation and adopt these and other HR trends through our Distinctive Employee Engagement Program or by matching you with an experienced HR consultant.