There’s no shortage of work for Human Resources professionals, and 2022 is no different. When you look at the challenges ahead, most of the things on the list will be familiar. But, the circumstances have changed dramatically. A tight labor market, fewer qualified applicants for jobs, and significant turnover make headlines day after day.
What workers are looking for — and, in some cases, demanding — are different than in the past. And, they’re all somewhat interconnected. It’s time for HR teams and company leadership to take a hard look at how they are operating if they want to meet these human resources challenges for 2022.
Attracting & Recruiting
Talent acquisition is crucial to developing a strong workforce, and it’s always near the top of the list for HR departments. In 2022, this job has become even more challenging.
According to a 2022 Gallup poll of more than 13,000 employees, here’s what employees expect today when considering a job:
- A significant increase in pay and benefits
- Greater work-life balance and personal wellbeing
- The ability to do what they do best
- Greater stability and job security
- COVID vaccination policies that align with their beliefs
- A diverse and inclusive organization
Right now, if every unemployed person took a job tomorrow, there would still be more than a million jobs left unfilled. For HR teams, the script has flipped. Employers are now in the position of having to sell their company to potential employees.
HR managers should think about their employee value proposition (EVP) and how to position their company to align with candidate expectations. Your EVP needs to demonstrate to candidates that you take their concerns seriously. It needs to show that you value work-life balance, well-being initiatives, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies in your organization.
Companies will also want to benchmark their competitors, industry, and other organizations to ensure they are offering competitive compensation and benefits packages. Top talent who is looking for a job will likely have their choice of where to work. So, human resources teams will need to put together an attractive package if they want to land top-tier candidates.
Flexibility in Working Arrangements
Many employees got a taste of working from home and want to continue to work remotely. Those willing to work on-site are also increasingly seeking hybrid work arrangements, splitting their time between the home and office.
If you can offer such flexible working arrangements, it can make a big difference, especially when it comes to recruiting. A report from LinkedIn shows that job listings in the US that are available to work remotely receive twice as many views and more than two-and-half times more applications than jobs requiring employees to work on-site.
About one in every eight job openings on LinkedIn currently features remote work. A 2022 report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says about a third of private-sector companies expanded remote working arrangements for employees and nearly 60% say they intend to keep those policies.
However, not every job can be done remotely, and not every employer wants to offer such flexibility. Organizations should audit jobs to see if it’s possible to do them remotely and consider whether remote or hybrid working arrangements are in their best interest.
The Great Resignation isn’t over. A Gartner report forecasts annual employee turnover in 2022 will exceed pre-pandemic levels by nearly 20%.
The pandemic has led to some soul searching by employees. Nearly 70% of employees say they are rethinking the role of work in general. Companies wanting to retain workers must be proactive in helping employees redefine roles.
That means examining compensation packages, flexible work arrangements, wellness initiatives, and taking a more human-centric approach that is designed to work around what works for employees rather than just the company. During the height of the pandemic, most employers made accommodations for workers as they navigated through multiple challenges. Such has now become an expectation.
Organizations should identify key individuals within their organization and develop specific strategies for retention. This should include one-on-one conversations to uncover employee goals and desires that create a customized growth and retention plan. An interactive approach with sincere dialogue and feedback can go a long way in making employees feel valued and appreciated.
Training & Upskilling
With high turnover and challenges in finding top talent, it’s time to reinvest in training and upskilling your current workforce. Not only does this help employees grow, but it also helps reduce attrition levels. More than three-quarters of employees say they are more likely to remain with an organization that offers continuous training.
Besides retention, however, training and upskilling help develop an employee’s overall skillset and produce a more engaged and productive workforce. It also helps protect a company when highly skilled workers leave by ensuring others within the organization can step into their roles.
HR leaders need to assess their current learning and development strategies and how they are being applied. It takes a proactive approach to create a formalized plan to develop a learning culture within an organization.
Training in 2022 also needs to take a holistic approach for employees, going beyond just the hard skills they need to do the job. 78% of employees surveyed said they want training on life skills, such as:
- Emotional skills, including self-awareness, dealing with stress, and managing emotions.
- Social skills, such as empathy, communication, and managing relationship.
- Cognitive skills, including problem-solving, decision-making, and creative thinking.
Training on life skills can help, but when it comes to employee well-being, HR leaders have some work to do. Just a quarter of workers strongly believe their employer cares about their well-being. Despite programs, initiatives, and accommodations made during the pandemic, employees are less likely to think their company cares about them more than they did pre-pandemic.
Well-being is a catch-all phrase that encompasses many areas that impact the overall employee experience. Fostering a positive experience requires organizations to think beyond the job to help employees navigate their life challenges.
Employees have prioritized a work-life balance. Employers need to as well.
According to Gallup, an effective program for employee well-being includes five essential components:
- Career: A positive on-the-job employee experience.
- Social: Meaningful relationships and friendships.
- Financial: Ability to manage money responsibly and plan for the future.
- Physical: A healthy lifestyle and energy to get things done.
- Community: Employees enjoy where they live.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Companies that actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have happier, more engaged employees. By ensuring that all workers can grow and thrive in the workplace, you set the table for success.
DEI means bringing together people from different backgrounds, respecting them as individuals, and ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to succeed.
- Diversity: Diversity among employees includes a variety of different viewpoints and experiences. That can mean differences in race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, socioeconomic class, and more.
- Equity: Making sure processes and programs are fair for everyone.
- Inclusion: Providing a sense of belonging within an organization and respecting people as individuals.
A proactive DEI strategy can make every employee feel valued at work, allowing them to be their true self.
For HR teams, this means creating and managing the work environment to ensure DEI principles are actively promoted. DEI isn’t something to just put in a job description or employee handbook.
Companies that are elevating their DEI initiatives are more attractive to employees. 76% of employees and job seekers say they evaluate companies based on how they approach diversity, equity, and inclusion.
How Resourcing Edge Can Help
At Resourcing Edge, we empower companies to focus on success. We support human resources teams to meet their challenges and excel. We can handle the back-room functions to free up your time to focus more on strategy while also helping you move your organization forward across the HR landscape.
Our professional employer (PEO) services include:
- Human Resources
With more than 20,000 clients across 44 states, Resourcing Edge has the experience to help you meet the challenges of today’s workforce. We can help you control costs, reduce risks, and manage your workload more efficiently.
Contact Resourcing Edge today, and let us show you what we can do.
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