5 Key HR trends to look out for in 2022

Check out these 5 key HR trends to gain insights into what the future of work has in store for HR and business leaders.

HR News

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have shown remarkable resilience by leading transitions to remote workplace models in what seemed like an overnight shift.

How? Well, many HR leaders have now become a crucial piece in the formula for success as they are being relied on more than ever to keep employees engaged within newly remote or hybrid workplaces. This means they’ve had to figure out how to foster a workforce that is connected, supported, and satisfied no matter where they are located (no easy feat by any means). 

With this goal in mind, these are the five key HR trends that we noted are helping facilitate the transition to high-performing virtual workplaces. 

1. Remote workplace transformation

The mass transition to remote and hybrid workplaces has forever changed employee expectations. From avoiding a frustrating morning commute to being able to control their schedule, 69% of employees state that flexible work options are one of the determining factors they look for when deciding if they will accept a job offer.

Today companies also have strong incentive to give employees this benefit with the onslaught of evidence demonstrating how crucial it is to meet the preference for remote work. Just this last year, surveys reveal that:

  • 62% of working parents would quit without the option to work remotely
  • 98% of workers appreciate that working remotely saves them annual costs worth up to $10,000
  • And remote work promotes gender equality, and important workplace initiative considering US female labor force participation decreased to its lowest record in 33 years in 2021

This means that HR must find a way to offer their talent remote or hybrid opportunities, while still maintaining a vibrant, positive company culture via technology that maintains human connection.

2. Implementing AI-driven employee engagement tools

Historically, organizations would periodically (and manually) get employee feedback to learn about their workplace, and its culture and challenges. Today, they’re introducing AI-computed employee engagement tools to gain this data and reach new levels of productivity. 

These platforms recognize when employees are facing:

  • Too many nonessential meetings
  • Frequent low-impact assignments
  • Trending challenges that get in the way of them meeting important deadlines
  • An unrealistic workload that accelerates burnout

Based on an analysis of an employee’s tech stack usage, the AI algorithms eliminate guesswork about an employee’s engagement and how they work. These tools also nudge individuals to form better work habits, such as by letting them know when they keep blocking an important project —with actionable insights into why and how they can stop this trend. 

For management and leadership, these tools show where tedious tasks must be automated, when a new hire is needed to balance out a tough workload, and where the employee experience is lacking. 

And it works —72% of business leaders agree that the insights AI tools collect enable employees to prioritize strategic, meaningful work, keeping them engaged!

3. Utilizing people analytics

Going hand in hand with these AI employee engagement tools, enterprises are sitting on a gold mine of data. However, without actively harnessing the data for actionable insights, it’s rendered meaningless. That’s where people, or HR, analytics come in.

People analytics is exactly what it sounds like: data that helps HR, managers and business leaders learn what works and what doesn’t when managing employees. It even helps employees understand how to improve the management of their own work within a virtual team environment so they can raise their performance.

Insights that can be discovered via people analytics are if an employee is excelling or regressing in their role, and why it’s happening. For example, you can learn if their engagement or skills (shown by performance) are higher on certain items, indicating further interest in this area. This data can guide HR when making decisions regarding development and evaluation, or hiring for new promotions and projects.

Modern people analytics take this information a step further by gauging employee stress-levels according to their baseline of what’s normal. It gives you that much more insight into how your employees may experience their current workload and job scope, as well as how they view themselves as an individual and team member within their organization.

By understanding how the workforce around you is truly feeling as they adjust to all the workplace changes of the last two years, you gain the data to position yourself as an ally to your employees. And you’re able to better quantify the impact of your workplace initiatives that support employees, such as whether employee satisfaction rates improving has led to an increase in revenue.


4. Creating a great employee experience 

A superior employee experience has never been more essential to stopping your employees from browsing job search websites that are only a click away. Even the largest of organizations recognize the usefulness in taking care of their employees, and how it directly improves employee engagement and performance.

For instance, Microsoft conducted research surrounding their employee fulfillment strategy as compared to Google and Apple. They created personas surrounding employee behaviors, pain points and motivations to create a more tailored pathway for employee learning and development. 

This strategy formulated Microsoft’s 5Ps of employee fulfillment, as shown below, which guides the organization on how to always give employees a sense of belonging in their workplace. This sense of belonging creates tangible results too, shown by how organizations use it to increase employee performance by 56% and reduce turnover by 50%.

5Ps of employee fulfillment pyramid

5. Upskilling your workforce for the future of work

Lastly, despite large scale workplace transformation and the accelerated pace of technology, only 34% of HR leaders are investing in upskilling or reskilling their workforce. However, this will change quickly as enterprise tech stacks grow and jobs become more automated. In fact, it’s key to remaining resilient and productive in the future of work as we navigate disruptions, big and small. 

HR leaders who are ahead of the curve are making sure that teams are using the right technology for the scope of their job, and are fully trained to use automated, integrated processes that keep their organization productive and cost-effective. 

Remember, in order to succeed in this new world of work, going outside of your comfort zone, taking risks, and trying new things will be essential. Take your seat at the table with pride and don’t be afraid to launch your organization into the future of work. 

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Put simply, these five HR trends are necessary to ensure employees are set up for success behind their screens. Want to learn more about the future of work, like what’s new in the market of people analytics or how to navigate digital transformation? Subscribe to Pattyrn’s newsletter to get regular insights.

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