When the world was faced with COVID-19 and organizations began going remote in March 2020, many believed work and life would return to normal within a few weeks or months. However, in many ways, 2021 continued on the path set by Covid 19 for the way workplaces function.
Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, it’s clear that nobody really knew and knows what to expect and we’ve been defining our “new normal” ever since.
Not surprisingly, even 2022 has begun with a massive new variant crisis. Quite likely, this year too will be another year of challenges for human capital. As we step into another year filled with uncertainty, here are some key insights shared by industry leaders on few of the HR trends we are likely to come across in 2022!
“Need to Retain Talent Through Better Working Environment and Creating Customised Experiences for Employees”
Rohit Hasteer, Group CHRO, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com
Developing & retaining talent shall be one of the key priorities for HR leaders in 2022. Much of it is because the pandemic has made us realize the paucity of a skilled workforce that is ready to survive in a volatile and complex world. Hence, we shall see a renewed focus on skill development with HR playing a significant role in ensuring that people are reskilled & upskilled from time to time by encouraging them to take up cross functional assignments and also investing in their learning needs aiding their development.
Likewise, The Great Resignation in US has also put the spotlight on the need for organizations to have special and unique benefits for their people. Year 2022 shall definitely see HR transforming the employee benefits landscape by creating customized experiences for people which make them feel valued and cared for. In fact, employee well-being will emerge as one of the key components of an organization’s employee value proposition with a special focus on mental well-being.
Lastly, hybrid or remote work is here to stay which means organizations need to up their game when it comes to cyber security and work towards creating a secure working environment which is free from cyber security threats because the last thing that organizations want is leakage of sensitive data which can lead to a catastrophe. Therefore, 2022 will also see organizations implementing a robust cybersecurity framework thereby mitigating the risks. HR would play a key role in promoting a cybersecurity culture and sensitizing the employees about the same”
“The Prime Focus Would Be On Technology And Employee Skill Development”
Amit Madan, HR Head, Gulshan
As 2022 begins with a massive new variant crisis. The year will be another year of human capital “well-being”, better care packages like additional sick leaves in employment policies, hybrid work models & more workshops on mental health!
The HR capital will devote their lives to help the most vulnerable humans and bring hope to our Covid battered world. Thankfully in 2022, we are gifted with further advancement in technology which wasn’t available at the beginning of the pandemic and will help us in moving to the other side of the pandemic as a team.
As the technology advances, recruitment will be more data driven and automated. The criteria of selecting a resource will be based majorly on the ability to adapt to the new world of work.
HR’s biggest venture in 2022 and ahead will be to create an environment where employees are encouraged to learn new skills and are also rewarded for their efforts. Another attention area will be the development of managers on essential skills e.g. suppleness, change management etc. to guide their team members in the ‘world of work’ that has quickly transformed. Managers will be able to help facilitate work while staying more attentive to signs of burnout as well. This year HR will be giving their people opportunities to develop their individual professional skills, showing them that we are invested in their individual aspirations. And this can set the organization apart in a big way.
“Adapting To The Remote Work Culture In 2022”
Ajay Ambewadikar, APAC HR Head, CNH Industrial
Work lifestyle in the past two years has seen a drastic change due to the pandemic and organizations have to learn to live with it. Following the Great Resignation of employees’ news in 2021, the news focus for this year will be retaining talent in the companies. India will remain an attractive country to invest and we may see a lot of job opportunities in the market.
Further, since the situation in early 2022 demands working from home again, manufacturing plants will have a tough time to keep minimal staff and ensure flexibility to run the business. Also, corporates have best opportunity to execute smart office concept and save the operational cost effectively. This will attract new talent from across the country without having to worry about relocation.
Additionally, creating a healthy work environment will be necessary this year. Policies related to mental health and wellness of the employees will have to be revisited by the organizations to prevent burnout. Some companies are already offering mental health day-offs or yoga/meditation classes for employees. But creating a healthy workspace including safety, growth of the employees will be a major responsibility of the leadership this year. At CNH Industrial, we have constantly focused on employee well-being, innovation, safety and participative decision-making process which is appreciated by the employee population.
Overall, organizations need to continue with their efforts to engage people effectively because Work from Home may bring SILO approach if inclusion strategy is not changed to accommodate the environment.
“Regaining The Growth Momentum Through Talent Sufficiency”
Salil Chinchore, Head – Human Resources, Godrej Agrovet Limited
During the pandemic, India showed commendable resilience and witnessed quick economic recovery in FY21. 150 Crore vaccinations in the country and resumption of consumer demand fuelled India Inc. expectation from 2022 as a growth year. Digitisation, Direct to Consumer (D2C) services, ecommerce channels, Hybrid work models have greatly influenced the way businesses are done now.
With the aim of bringing the growth back on trajectory, the companies have rekindled investment and transformation plans. Overnight, we can see that the talent market is disrupted with significant shortage of critical talent in all sectors. For last three quarters or so, employers are faced with ‘GREAT RESIGNATION’ phenomenon with talent market clearly in favour of the candidates. It is likely to continue for some time.
During the pandemic, HR played flagship role in supporting employee health and ensuring business survival. Now, in 2022; HR will have to focus on ‘regaining the growth momentum through talent sufficiency’.
This will include working on 5 priorities:
Reassessing the talent requirements in context of the growth ambition
Identification and ring-fencing critical talent in the business Specific plans for the critical talent: Career, Compensation and Capability will have to be chalked out and swiftly implemented.
Building new capabilities such as digital, ecommerce etc. in the business
Hiring ‘faster and better’ to support the business expansion
Making the hybrid work model benefit both the employer and employees
People will be the focal point for every organisation in 2022 and HR has another brilliant opportunity to make the strategic impact.
“2022 Will Be About Going Beyond HR Boundaries And Adding Value”
Ms. Glory Nelson, CPO, Xebia Global
In today’s times, employee well-being has taken a whole new meaning. It is an employer’s opportunity to support employees in every aspect of their personal and professional lives. It is more than just physical well-being. It includes emotional, social, financial, as well as career wellness.
Over the past couple of years, factors such as increased focus on diversity in teams and businesses, the global pandemic and work from home (WFH) scenarios have brought about a huge change in HR operations.
The year 2021 saw HR reinventing itself and consolidating its new role, while 2022 will be about going beyond HR boundaries and adding value. Going forward, HR can take up key roles in building organizations of the future, thanks to lessons from the Covid era. Initially, employees were quite enthusiastic about WFH, but, as it continued into 2021—and, now, into 2022—that sentiment has changed drastically. The Covid-19 situation since 2020 has psychologically worn out most people, and employee resilience and optimism have nosedived.
Organizations realize that research should be carried out into human thinking and behavior, which they have not utilized while developing employees and leaders. Future-oriented organizations now want to make these leadership development programs and psychology training mainstream.
Be it facilitating better career experiences, creating supportive workplaces with development and retention at the core, or developing employees through leadership psychology, and having inclusive and purpose-driven organizations, HR will try to solve them all and stay at the center of every important business challenge in 2022.
“Innovation Is The Key To Tackle Challenges Facing Human Resources”
Mr. Manav Shah, Co-Founder Eduvacancy
2022 is going to be a year powered by digitization and innovation in the HR Industry. The pandemic has brought out various new trends in the human resource industry.
Remote Working: A trend which is drastically evolving and is here to stay is the concept of remote working. In the near future even when normalcy resumes HR leaders will have to be prepared a certain proportion of their workforce will work remotely. Remote working will lead to higher productivity and lower burnout amongst employees. Promoting remote working will also enable HR leaders to add global noteworthy talent within their organization.
Empathy and Employee Benefits: HR leaders will need to build on empathy as a culture within their organization. The employer-employee relation in organizations will have to be casual and friendly. Employees want to be heard and valued in organizations today. Most importantly building empathy as a culture will enable HR leaders to develop and retain quality talent. Besides that, HR leaders will have to develop unique benefits to keep employees motivated and stay relevant. Benefits may include flexible hours of working, recognition of work, entertainment with family etc.
Addition of Skills and Upskilling: Another promising trend would be to inculcate a skill-based work culture. HR Leaders need to instil a culture to promote and elevate employees who upskill, learn, unlearn and adapt to changing work environment. Most organizations will prefer employees who constantly stay relevant with time and update themselves with new strategies.
“From Transactional To Transformational”
Ritika Gawri, Head HR, Numero Uno
As we roll into 2022, human resources will shift its focus from transactional to transformational actions. Yes, in addition to managing standard HR operations, HR leaders will drive people strategy & cultural transformation. To make HR future relevant, more & more HR leaders will harness data & analytics into HR processes & encourage automation. With new technologies coming, many skill sets are at risk of becoming obsolete. It therefore will become vital to engage, develop and upskill internal talent.
Future Trends in HR, can be compared to an escalator moving down. Staying at the top among your competition is no easier than getting to the top. Imagine you are standing at top of an escalator moving down, even if you want to stay at the same level, you will need to keep climbing, so HR will have to stay vigilant and keep an eye on the future.
HR will have to focus more on employee welfare & employee experience in the organisation. It’s often been said, “Employees are our greatest asset.” That’s never been truer. Year on year, HR teams conduct employee opinion polls, however not always respond to employee needs effectively. HR will have to be extremely sensitive to employee needs in 2022.
Even as an employee champion, HR will not be able to conveniently ignore ROI, smart HR leaders will align the organization’s needs with its people’s needs.
To conclude, world today is advancing by the minute, HR will adapt changes & be flexible in modifying / defining future-proof HR process & policies
“Time To Re-invent The Way HR Works”
Taruna Arora, Country Manager HR, Lakshya
Globally the past two years have been turbulent times for HR and support departments with COVID-19 forcing changes in the way we work and the HR function in totality. There has also been a lot of unlearning and learning for the corporates.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on employees’ physical and mental health hence, offering mental health & wellness benefits is no longer a ‘good-to-have’ but a ‘must-have’. All organizations will have to take a proactive approach to support every employee’s mental wellbeing as uncertain times leave no one immune to stress. Accepting this idea and engaging with their people to reduce the unnecessary and prevent burnout will hold organizations in good stead.
The pandemic has forced organizations to adopt the hybrid work model where the employees continue to work onsite or off-site depending upon their comfort and health and safety regulations of the city or place they are in. Many organizations realized that they were saving much more and work was at its efficient best too. Hybrid seems to be the future of work.
With the limited access to talent during the past year and a half, we see rising demands of employee skill development – it is an imperative. Many of us have found that upskilling existing employees offer better and speedy results.
Undoubtedly, technology has played a vital role in the successful shift to the work from home model but adopting technology and tools to support pandemic-driven workforce changes has been a challenge for many HR professionals. Developing digital proficiency for HR tools has enabled professionals to become tech-savvy. The conventional processes of conducting interviews, employee engagements, performance appraisals all have been reinvented.
“Data Will Be The New Currency But HR Needs To Retain The Human Touch”
Rupesh Jain, CEO, Candere by Kalyan Jewellers
The only thing that will keep companies and brands going and sustaining, is, fighting and defending their key competitive advantage(s) and Digitization is one of them, this puts the onus on HR leaders to ensure that we create an environment conducive to learning – to train and upskill the employees in the digital space.
Data will be the new currency and the advent of data will not hinder the workings of HR practice and application as long as HR retains that human touch. HR professionals will also have to tread the thin line between technology and a human-centric approach to provide the emotional connection.
Evaluation of the workforce on the basis of their current space of work but also from the future scalability and their areas of passion will be crucial. HR Leaders will need to evolve and drive strategies in balancing a hybrid work environment as one of the priorities. They will need to bring focus to areas of enhancing talent, welfare, experience and employee engagement in these shifting poles of remote working.
Besides, mental health will have to be a key aspect as it has been one of the most palpable impacts in recent times. HR Leaders will have to go above and beyond to manage the uncertainties that lie in the future.
The future holds great opportunities for HR leaders to create value through targeted organizational effectiveness, keeping in mind the importance of employee well-being and the precedence of technological efficiency.
“Increased Focus On Flexibility, Trust, Compassion & Growth”
Harshvardhan Modi, Founder, and CEO, Inveda
In the current world, we are striving to strike the right balance between work and personal life. The boundaries have been blurred out. Little surprise then that in 2022, mental health would be the top priority for organizations. To ensure that employees not just maintain good physical health but are mentally healthy, strong and uplifted, team building sessions, mental wellness sessions and fun activities need to be increased in order to empower minds. Besides, leaders need to be eager to listen to employees, to understand their situation and lend that human touch.
In the past year, a phenomenon called the Great Resignation was witnessed around the world. This brought to surface many aspects of managing people that was being done wrongly. Sensitivity is the key to retaining individuals in the present world and trust plays a critical role. Hence leaders should create trust in their people which would help in harnessing loyalty as well as additional valuation in the work that is being delivered.
Learning has been one of the things that has acquired one of the greatest importance during pandemic. A lot has changed in the learning landscape and this shall further undergo transition. Upskilling existing employees, teaching them new skill sets for future growth and success would be extremely important.
The pandemic also helped employees to figure out that they could be more efficient at home. They also used their extra time that work from home gave them to indulge with their families, pursue their hobbies, and even increase their personal well being. People don’t want to give that up now. Hence organizations need to offer increased flexibility and work choices to employees inorder to retain them.
“Increased Flexibility in The Way We Work & Manage Talent At The Workplace”
Deep Shikha, HR Manager, Red Dash Media
In many ways, 2021 continued on the path set by Covid 19 for the way workplaces function. The pandemic unveiled a future of the hybrid work environment and the importance of the physical dimension of jobs. Here are some key insights and trends to look forward to in 2022.
Hybrid Work Environment
HR leaders all over the world believe that a part of the workforce will work remotely in the years to come. The shift to this hybrid work environment has put an emphasis on the safety of employees, cost reduction, and maintaining the balance between working from home and office.
HR Professionals all over the world now understand the need to prioritize the productivity of employees while creating a happy and engaging work environment. They are formulating corporate policies that focus on work-life balance, the mental well-being of employees, and flexibility to get the most productivity out of the employees.
Focusing On Ways To Engage Employees
There is a pressing need to construct a more interactive work environment by engaging employees in activities and strengthening CSR policies.
With changing times, there is a shift in the way people work. The traditional employment style is becoming obsolete as more and more people are prioritising the flexibility they get working as a freelancer. Focusing on this arrangement promotes an inflow of fresh talent and a much better work-life balance.
“Redefining How Organizations Prioritize Employee Wellness, Health And Safety”
Prerna Chauhan, Senior Manager – Human Resources, Media Mantra
As COVID continues to wreck havoc, HR leaders have been presented with the unique challenge of redefining how they prioritize the health and safety of their employees during a health crisis. Owing to this some of Latest HR trends in 2022 we are likely to see are.
NEW ONLINE TOOLS
With teams out of the office and working from just about anywhere, there has never been a more pressing time to ensure your HR function is performing at its best. Using HR software can help you with everything from interview, employee wellbeing, training, automated pay runs, leave management, payroll, rostering, and more.
Distributed working is not a concept that many of us would have heard of before the pandemic. But, with so many of us forced to switch to remote working, businesses had to hustle and adapt just to keep up.
As many workforces continue to work remotely at least some of the time, we can expect to see a continuation of remote workplace culture. While it was difficult to transition a workplace online at the start of the pandemic, now many HR departments are hitting the ground running.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Humans spend about one-third of their lives at work – that’s over 90,000 hours. Any changes in mental health will spill into our working lives.
What will actually happen no body knows but it is quite evident from the way things have transformed that Human Resources department has emerge as a clear winner. In the past two years human resource professionals and the departments at large have taken drastic measures to ensure that the organizational ship keeps sailing against the waves of uncertainty, thereby gaining the value and momentum in organizations that was always missing.
With so much more to shoulder, it would be interesting to see how this department will display further agility and hold its mettle strong with the changing needs of the people, the resource, the employees. However, one thing we can all be sure of and that is “The human resource management would be termed as the most agile of all organizational functions in the years to come”!