Approximately 1 in 4 Americans continue to work remotely or in a hybrid setting amid COVID-19.
We predict we’ll continue to see lots of remote work this year and more shifting to hybrid workplace policies and hybrid offices rather than full-time remote workers—a blend of the old and new.
So, don’t get rid of your office space just yet, but don’t push too hard for complete in-office attendance either. Try a blend of the two.
Working in the office has the benefit of increasing collaboration and it can be easier to track and maintain a certain level of productivity. But remote work has its perks too.
Remote work has the ability to improve employee experience and create a better work-life balance. Office workers have long complained of issues with commuting and a lack of flexibility that remote workers don’t have to deal with.
Employers stand to gain a lot from remote work as well, including decreasing overhead costs of maintaining physical offices. But with hybrid work schedules, you don’t have to pick.
Double Down on Digital
This should go without saying after our last key trends, but most teams are going fully digital. Remote workers can’t use physical documents or in-person processes.
That is why teams have gone digital, and you need to too. Your business model should be incorporating more webinars, online learning, and a strong CRM to manage everything.
If you’re doing to compete with the big tech companies out there, you will have to incorporate some perks for your employees. You know what they say: if you can’t beat them, join them and their dog friendly-offices.
You don’t have to go crazy and break the bank catering every meal. But you should consider making a few small changes that will make employees feel appreciated.
Treadmill desks, free drinks, nap pods, and “bring your dog to work day” are some ideas to get you started.
Lately, more than ever, workers feel burnt out, and they need support. As an HR team, you should get ahead of employee burnout before it turns into employee turnover and impacts your attrition rate.
Mental Health Takes Precedence
Speaking of employee burnout, you can do much more than just offer free lunch for your burnt-out employees. We’re talking about mental health benefits.
Mental health awareness is improving, and it’s a great time to double-check your policies and consider implementing some mental health benefits—free counseling services and health insurance that includes mental health coverage.
Beyond the typical issues in their personal lives, the past few years have been especially hard on employee mental health.
Investing in your employees is an obvious yes for employers and HR teams. Your money and employee's time will be returned once your employee can improve their workflows and instruct others on their new skills.
Corporate learning is crucial to career development and is an excellent way to keep employees motivated and engaged in their jobs. What better way to show your employees you value them than investing directly in their careers.
Whether they stay with you for their entire career or eventually move on, you will create a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect.
However, if you’re worried about investing money into current employees and them immediately leaving to use those skills at another company, you do have some options. Some companies require employees to stay with the company for a set time period after completing their training.
However, this tends to create less trust and should be avoided unless the career advancement investment is exceedingly large.
There are countless ways to help employees learn including online learning and remote learning, webinars, and continuing education courses.
As an HR professional and business leader, it is your job to ensure that your company is equitable, has proper hiring policies, and offers inclusive benefits.
Consider issues like the gender-wage gap and hiring policies that prioritize one race or gender over another.
Recently, many companies have been moving towards offering paternity leave as well as maternity leave to increase gender equality in their workplace.
Not only is encouraging diversity the right thing to do, but it’s also the best thing for your business. Diversity of thought and people can create more profits and a richer work environment.
McKinsey's research has proven that the most diverse companies are likely to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.
With more employees working from home, collaboration is more critical than ever.
It is crucial to create a working environment (both physically and digitally) that encourages teams to work together and connect regardless of where they sit or live.
Employees will feel more connected and engaged and are more likely to be productive and creative when working in teams and bouncing ideas off of each other. It’s a win-win for your business.
Hire From Within
With The Great Resignation looming over managers' and HR teams' heads, many are scrambling to figure out how to retain employees and improve their attrition rate.
Making use of the talent you already have in a tight labor market has benefits for the employee and employer.
One of the best ways to ensure employees feel valued and are incentivized to stay with a company is by offering internal hiring and promotions whenever possible.
Companies can no longer rely on getting their talent externally. Rather, they need to focus on corporate learning and internal mentorship to mold current employees into the managers and directors they will need in the future.
Prepare for Turnover
Turnover, as much as we dread it, we can’t prevent it. Especially in the era of The Great Resignation.
Employee turnover is inevitable, so let’s at least be ready for it.
Workers are now less likely to dedicate their entire careers to one employer. In fact, on average, people now change jobs every four years.
We can try and stop it by employing some of the strategies above to improve employee retention and create a healthier, happier, and more productive workplace. But beyond that, it’s your job to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Strengthen your exit interview strategy, keep a list of strong candidates who have applied for previous positions in mind, and get ahead of employee conflict and complaints.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that the business world can change on a dime. Let’s try to not be taken by surprise this time, let’s get ready for anything.
So limber up, do some yoga and get ready to create a flexible workplace.
This is really the culmination of many of the other trends we’ve talked about today: remote work, perks, and mental health. To pull off these strategies, you need to be flexible with your employees.
You don’t have to completely take your hands off the wheel but be ready for what might come your way. Embrace changes and be ready for what might come next.
The Future Is Now
As business leaders and human resources teams you are building the ideal future workplaces.
It isn’t easy, but that’s what we’re here for. We’ve given you all the tools you need to modernize your business and keep up with this year's biggest trends.
Now that you know all the major HR trends for 2022, it’s time to employ them!
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