Since the pandemic, the HR industry has had a tough time solidifying new rules and  regulations. With neither work nor life returning to normalcy, the new normal is getting redefined with the passage of time.  Business leaders in 2020 and 2021 scrambled to navigate a rapidly changing environment.

In particular, the HR industry had to overcome unique challenges of redefining how they prioritize employees’ health on the one hand and safety on the other. They also had to face the onerous task to retain and recruit top talent amidst a wave of resignations. The one lesson we can take from the pandemic is to expect the unexpected. The years 2020 and 2021 were a roller-coaster ride for both employers and employees. All of this has also shown that a good Human Resources (HR) strategy is a sine-qua-non for every organization.

In a bid to prepare themselves for the unknown, organizations must strategize their moves and address the needs and expectations of their people. 2022 is the year when the HR industry has to deal with the transformation waves that rippled it in these past two years. The Great Resignation saw employees quitting their jobs in record numbers in pursuit of better opportunities. It has, thus, become necessary for HR leaders to keep up with the trends in HR management and adapt their processes accordingly.

Let’s Take a Look at The Top Five HR trends That Will rule in 2022:

#HR Trend 1: Key competencies and skill management

For many years, it has been a priority for organizations to develop employee skillsets, but with workplaces changing rapidly, the need of the hour has been upskilling and reskilling. What supercharged this trend is the pandemic and a shortage of multi-talented professionals willing to change jobs.

Several organizations have fast tracked their efforts on boosting the digital skills of their employees. Skill management is, thus, gaining importance as an HR trend. It is nothing but it is all about development, knowledge, and deploying individuals and their skills.

Areas for HR to concentrate on in 2022:

  • Empower managers with tools and data.
  • Revisit manager evaluation KPIs.
  • Abandon the mindset that can and must have all the answers.

#HR Trend 2: Change management and organizational design

As it is said, change is the new normal. The same applies to organizations, too, more so with events of the past year. Workplaces need to get to the basics and rethink how they will operate this year. Organizational change is a difficult ball game. It needs a well-planned strategy, effective leadership and concerted effort. One of the biggest obstacles, however, is our attitude toward change. Here, the HR teams have a critical role to play in facilitating successful change if they look at it from the right perspective.

Why is change management so crucial in 2022?

According to Gartner, out of 500 supervisors, about 48% see change management as the most crucial human resources issue. The two main factors involved:

  • Smooth changes
  • Agile adaption

Areas for HR to concentrate on in 2022:

  • Create policies for stress mitigation
  • Develop a climate of physiological safety

#HR Trend 3: The talent war is quickly becoming a zero-sum game

Organizations that do not invest in their employees or talent are being left behind. This shows that few employers are playing a zero-sum game by not investing in talent.

Accordingly, HR teams need to make more efforts towards talent acquisition and retention in 2022, thus developing an employer brand and friendly environment for both present and new employees.

Focus area for HR in 2022:

  • Engagement through non-work activities, encourage just-in-time recognition, and the ability to disconnect after work.
  • Develop transparent and clear career paths and succession plans.

#HR Trend 4: New Work Paradigm

In a New Work paradigm, individuals see their work as more than gainful employment. Evidently, there is a disconnect between HR policies or leadership strategies and employee sentiment. Thus, organizations need to design their plans well to make new shifts work for them, not against them.

Highlights of areas HR needs to work in 2022:

  • Allow more interaction between employees and their managers to address and detect problem areas early.
  • Design a two-way communication strategy.
  • Deploy continuous listening.

#HR Trend 5: Diversity and inclusion will be a key competitive differentiator

As per McKinsey, “Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in leadership were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than their bottom-quartile counterparts. Unfortunately, many organizations are yet to fully invest in diversity and amp; inclusion (D and amp;I) as a key cultural as well as operational tenet.”

Areas for HR to concentrate on in 2022:

  • Apply D and amp;I into manager selection and training to address gender equality in leadership roles.
  • Give an idea about the D and amp;I agenda to all layers of the organization.

Top priorities for HR in 2022

  • Pressure is increasing to make progress on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
  • Hybrid work is escalating business transformation.
  • Rocketing turnover is an increasing battle for talent.

The above top five HR trends will drive change and add value to the business.

It’s a wrap-up

The COVID-19 has changed the way we work and prompted a slew of HR trends that the whole human resources function must answer in an organized way.

The top HR priorities for 2022 reflect an immediate response to the above-mentioned HR trends forcing firms to change their workforce and workplace strategies. This, in turn, will make HR leaders to evolve the way they attract, retain, and identify important skills and rework to advance the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and boost overall business performance.

The above-mentioned trends are a win-win for employers as well as for employees.

Also, let’s not forget that dispersed workforces are here to stay. Whether is a frontline, hybrid, or remote working – employees need flexible tools t stay connected.

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