It’s that time of the year again when we attempt to predict some of the key trends and challenges facing human resources professionals and organizations in 2022. For 2021 we predicted an increasing focus on employee mental health, diversity and inclusion, conflict, and a focus on manager’s well-being.
These themes will continue to dominate in 2022, along with other trends that are coming into the spotlight:
CHROs are at the table, finally
One clear impact the pandemic has had is in redefining and elevating the role of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in organizations. No longer a sidelined C-Suite member, the CHRO has emerged as a key role in steering organizations through some of the more challenging issues facing employers today.
Behind this is a realization that leadership in the new business world requires both HR and Business acumen. Just this past month, luxury fashion house Chanel appointed Leena Nair as Global CEO. Nair’s background includes being the CHRO for Unilever and reflects the growing need of organizations to focus on the people side of their business and could be heralding a new emerging trend.
Employee well-being continues to be redefined
No longer a ‘nice to have’ benefit, employee well-being is being redefined to include emotional, financial, social, and career wellness. In 2021 organizations focused on improving organizational benefits to employees and their families to help tackle the added emotional and physical stress brought on by the pandemic. In 2022 we see a focus on employees in a more holistic manner by creating new opportunities for financial stability, training, and career advancement, while continuing to provide benefits that support mental and physical well-being.
Halting The Great Resignation
Directly tied to employee well-being, retention was a primary concern for all business leaders, and it continues to be so in 2022. If you are an employer trying to hire talent you can certainly relate to this challenge. While 2021 witnessed employers throwing money and signing bonuses at employees and candidates as quickly as they could, this pace cannot be sustained. We see a return to a more balanced retention and hiring market in 2022. But this will not happen on its own. Employers still need to action a new value proposition to employees and ensure that organizational values are more closely aligned to that of their workforce.
Employees seek values alignment
A recent study by Blue Beyond Consulting and Future Workplace reveals that 75% of employees would not want to accept a job with a company whose values do not align with their own. And for employees who are classified as knowledge workers more than half of survey respondents indicated they would quit their job if the company values were not aligned with their own. In all, over 70% of respondents believe that business in general and their employer in particular, have an obligation to be a force for good in society.
Working parents seeking flexibility
With the pandemic still raging and the impact of new variants still unclear, especially for schools, many working parents are finding themselves having to take care of their kids while also trying to work. This challenge is not new. A recent survey by McKinsey found that over the past 2 years working parents were more likely to quit their jobs than nonparents.
This means organizations will need to continue to be flexible and creative in how they support working parents. Having an open and creative mind will be needed to help employers and employees navigate this new work reality.
Navigating a new legislative landscape
2021 ushered in a multitude of case law decisions and changes to employment standards legislation across provinces, as well as for those employees who are governed by the Canada Labour Code. From newly legislated job-protected leaves, and new requirements concerning employment contracts, to guidelines regarding hiring children and foreign workers, the legislative landscape is active like no other time in recent memory.
We expect this coming year to bring more changes, and possibly ‘tweaks’ to existing legislation. Some bills were introduced and passed quickly but needed additional refinement and consideration. A glaring example of that is the newly implemented paid sick leave in BC which has many employers scratching their heads when trying to understand how to administer it.
Your Engaged HR assignment:
These trends may well become your reality in the not too distant future. Reach out to us to discuss how we can support you with mitigating the impact and leveraging the opportunity.
Looking to learn more about other HR topics? Check out our Art of HR series!