The Great Resignation has impacted almost every industry in 2021. Today, many HR leaders are facing an inflection point – how do we attract, retain, and engage the talent we need to remain successful?
However, as businesses start planning for 2022, many are turning the Great Resignation into a Great Opportunity.
In this next year, HR departments are planning to lean into growing HR trends, like the digital transformation, mental health and employee wellbeing, people analytics, and workplace flexibility, to keep staff on board. And, they’ll be doing all that with decreased HR budgets.
Let’s take a look at the trends human resources leaders should expect to see in 2022!
1. Top HR Trends For 2022: Navigating The Great Resignation Landscape
In mid-2021, a Gallup study found 48% of the U.S. working population was actively searching for new opportunities. The company pinpoints lower levels of employee engagement as the driving force for so many notices.
In the face of the mass exodus from the labor market, attracting and retaining talent will be the hot commodity in 2022. However, companies will have to stretch far beyond employee engagement to retain their frontline workforce going forward.
In 2021, we wanted to better understand what employees – especially frontline workers and their managers – wanted at work. So, we asked them.
Our 2022 Frontline Trends Report deep dives into everything essential employees are looking for – and what is stressing them out. According to our survey, late shift changes, tough working conditions, and low wages are their top pain points.
Companies that want to keep hold of their talent need to meet workers where they are. As such, we are seeing businesses take swift action when it comes to compensation. We see you, Amazon, and Costco!
And, outside of pay, employers are:
- Adopting the digital transformation in human resources that eliminate wasteful processes and save HR departments time and resources
- Evolving workplace conditions with upgraded spaces, renewed protocols, and better safety training
- Using shift scheduling tools to create more predictable and easily accessible schedules
- Streamlining workplace technology that makes the life of a frontline worker much easier
Our survey also found frontline workers want more context around when and why things change. So, let’s give that to them.
Digital frontline employee communication will play a pivotal role here. The majority of frontliners don’t have access to a company email address. Now more than ever, essential employees need a reliable tool to stay connected to their workplace.
This is also a great opportunity to prioritize internal alignment between essential employees, leaders, and the company’s mission. Frontliners need insight into their leaders’ needs, goals, and objectives so they can see the bigger picture ahead.
Finally, our survey found maintaining mental health and physical employee wellbeing remains one of the top trends in HR going into 2022. HR leaders are re-examining working conditions for hourly employees, including:
- Tough working environments
- Overly physical activities
- Long working shifts
- Access to mental health and employee wellbeing resources
Navigating the Great Resignation will be top of mind for HR professionals going into the following year. This means now is the time to listen to your frontline employees.
Knowing and acting on their pain points, top motivators, and essential needs will go miles in retaining the staff you need to stay competitive.
2. Reskilling, Upskilling, and Flexible Development Opportunities Are Top Priorities For HR Leaders
Professional learning and development are critical to creating a positive employee experience people want to be a part of. Especially for frontline employees.
According to the World Economic Forum, more than one-third of jobs worldwide will be transformed thanks to workplace technology. Meaning more than one billion people will need to be reskilled and upskilled to keep up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Our frontline survey found that being able to learn new things is a top motivator for frontliners. And, according to Gartner, 59% of HR leaders are prioritizing critical skills-building in 2022.
That makes flexible learning and development one of the top HR trends leaders should act on quickly.
“As with solving any new challenge, we need to look at what’s not working in order to create something that has greater value. We need to build programs that will inspire workers to stay with their respective organizations and acquire the skills that can advance their careers or allow them to transition into more satisfying roles.” – FastCompany
The HR digital transformation is making it easier to give employees on-demand access to training. In the future of work for frontline industries, employees need to be able to reskill, upskill, and develop new skills where and when it’s most convenient for them.
Take a look at how Beekeeper can boost manufacturing safety by providing easy access to training.
One lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic will be meeting employees where they are when it comes to development. That means offering flexible opportunities that enable employees to access training when and where they need it. No matter if they’re in their home office, in the break room, or on the road.
3. People Analytics And Automation Are On The Rise
Expanding the use of big data in HR has been on the rise for quite some time. Especially given the digital transformation seeping its way across all aspects of human resources.
With businesses doing more with less in the talent arena, people analytics is getting the spotlight it deserves. However, HR professionals need tools and education at their fingertips to make data-driven decisions that make a positive impact.
Currently, 62% of HR leaders admit to not being able to use people analytics to spot trends and provide actionable insights to inform business-related decisions.
With the right people analytics tools, businesses can fuel smarter decision making while better understanding:
- The rationale for high employee turnover
- How much revenue is spent on new hires
- How the company shows up in terms of diversity metrics
- Why there is higher absenteeism than normal
Automation will also take center stage in HR operations in 2022. Things like chatbots, streamlined workflows, artificial intelligence, automated onboarding processes, and instant manager approvals will make everyone’s lives easier.
The future of automation and people analytics in HR will look different for all organizations. However, the top trends in HR will certainly save time and boost efficiencies when human resources teams need it most.
4. Workplace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Stays At The Forefront
2021 HR trends focused on elevating workplace diversity and adopting an inclusive company culture. 2022 is expected to be the same – especially as it’s becoming an essential piece to an attractive employee experience.
Workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to any company culture that wants to thrive in the next economy. Not only because it empowers employees to proudly bring their life experiences to the workplace. It also makes businesses more competitive in the labor market.
In 2022 and beyond, workplace diversity will continue to play a critical role in retaining valuable talent. Currently, 70% of companies believe they effectively attract and retain diverse employees, yet only 11% really understand what it is.
The digital transformation also plays a key part in bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies to life for HR professionals. With mobile tools and technology, businesses can give their employees the platform they need to tell their stories.
“We’re exposing the company to who the talent already is and telling those stories by amplifying voices. Platforms like Beekeeper is something we use internally at SH Hotels & Resorts to do that.” – Rahshib Thomas, SH Hotels & Resorts
Take a look at how hoteliers like SH Hotels & Resorts emphasize the power of providing the right platform to ensure all employees feel heard, empowered, and engaged.
5. Workplace Flexibility Is Essential For A Frontline-First Employee Experience
A flexible work environment is high on employees’ lists. And not just for full-time workers.
Our survey found that there is a dire need for more flexible working hours in frontline jobs. And it’s not just hours. Better work-life balance, more time on weekends, and longer hours on fewer days are all on the table.
Additionally, Gartner found that nearly half of frontline workers want more control over when, where, and how they work, but only a third of the workforce actually has flexibility.
One way HR leaders are taking action on this is by introducing shift scheduling technology. These mobile tools make it easier for employees to access shift schedules from any location. Frontliners can also use these tools to find someone to switch shifts with in a pinch and receive instant approvals from their manager.
Let’s also not forget that dispersed workforces are here to stay. Whether it’s a hybrid, remote working, frontline, or any combination in between – employees need flexible tools to stay connected.
Enter: mobile productivity and collaboration platforms.
HR teams are covering a lot of ground these days. This means more and more HR departments are leveraging flexible workplace tools to communicate with every employee about important topics, like:
- Company news and objectives
- Employee benefits
- Health and safety protocol changes
- Shift schedule changes
- Learning and development opportunities
- Mental health and employee wellbeing tips
These open communication channels enable HR departments to ensure the correct information is getting to the right employees through the best channels. And, as a result, HR leaders are taking action when frontline employees say they want more context, communication, and clarity from leaders in their workplace.
Psst! Not sure which productivity and collaboration tool to choose? Check out our 4 ways to create an innovative HR technology stack to consider as you decide what flexible workplace tools are best for your business.
The New Digital Chapter: Trends Human Resource Leaders Should Live By In 2022 And Beyond
Regardless of the industry, HR departments are going into 2022 ready for a new digital chapter.
With the help of flexible workplace tools, HR teams can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Opportunity. Digital platforms will play an essential role in sharing diverse stories, capturing powerful people analytics, and enabling automated processes that will make internal operations run faster, smoother, and much more efficient.
These digital solutions will also create more meaningful connections between frontline employees and their workplaces. Because, regardless of how much tech enters our day-to-day work life, the basic human need to feel connected and fulfilled will remain an evergreen priority for all HR leaders.