What are the key HR trends for 2022?
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in the way we work — and prompted a slew of HR trends to which the entire human resources function must respond in a coordinated way.
The top HR priorities for 2022 reflect an urgent response to these HR trends, which are forcing organizations to change their workforce and workplace strategies. This, in turn, means HR leaders are having to evolve the way they identify, attract and retain critical skills and redesign work to enhance the employee value proposition (EVP) and drive business performance.
This moment presents a unique opportunity for HR leaders to shape the future of work in ways not previously considered a possible win-win for both employees and employers. A few HR trends, in particular, create challenges and opportunities for all HR professionals in 2022.
HR Trend No. 1: Hybrid work is driving business transformation
A vast majority of HR leaders (95%) expect that at least some of their employees will work remotely after the pandemic. This shift to hybrid work will be a massive driver of transformation and one HR leaders must be prepared to support.
HR Trend No. 2: More and new skills are needed
The total number of skills required for a single job is increasing at 6.3% annually, and new skills are replacing old ones. Twenty-nine percent of the skills that were present in an average job posting in 2018 will be obsolete by 2022.
HR Trend No. 3: Workforce health is being eroded
Employee performance stayed high during the pandemic, but disruptions have already made long-term and hard-to-reverse impacts on workforce health — that is, the health of employees, the state of trust between individuals, teams and leadership, and the work environment (e.g., feelings of inclusion). Ineffective approaches to hybrid work will only exacerbate these impacts.
HR Trend No. 4: Employees want to feel understood and valued
HR leaders need to build a more human employer-employee relationship and employment deal to meet employees’ demands to be heard and valued. All HR leaders across HR subfunctions have a role to play in ensuring the EVP holistically centers employees as people.
HR Trend No. 5: Mounting pressure on diversity, equity and inclusion
Along with expectations of greater empathy and a more human work environment, there is increasing pressure to improve equity and inclusion within organizations. In particular, there is mounting pressure from all of HR’s stakeholders — internally and externally — to make real progress on diversifying leadership.
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