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Key HR Trends for 2022 and Beyond

Learn key HR trends to stay ahead of the curve in 2022.

More than a hundred years ago, Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management laid the foundations for modern human resource management. At the core of his management theory was the idea that employers should turn their workplaces into psychology labs, measuring and monitoring employees’ every move to boost their productivity and reduce their stress levels. This theory, practiced by industrialists like Henry Ford, led to unprecedented innovations in human engineering, with the creation of the assembly line, and a formula for optimizing performance in the workplace.

New HR Trends (2022)

Key HR Trends for 2022

Today, some of the largest, most successful companies, such as Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft, are scaling up use of data science, recruiting experts in organizational psychology, and expedite their digital transformation to deploy technologies like AI and ML in the workplace to improve their people analytics. In a world of work that is increasingly evolving it is worth reflecting on HR trends we’re expecting in 2022 and the years beyond. 

AI & Machine Learning

The advent of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and the herculean amount of data available with companies are making it easier for recruitment professionals to streamline their hiring workflow, including pre-screening and onboarding. New-age employers can address recruiting flaws such as subconscious bias among recruiters when evaluating candidates.

For workers, AI and ML can help amplify productivity by taking on mundane data entry tasks so that employees can focus on more creative and high-value work. This also translates into more opportunities for workers to upskill in a new arena in which they may excel. In a study by PwC, 72% of business leaders said AI can enable workers to focus on meaningful work, while 34% of business leaders said AI can help free up time for more meaningful, valuable work.

Upskilling

In a Mercer study, only 34% of HR leaders said they are actively investing in reskilling their workforce. Hopefully, this figure will increase in the coming years as more business leaders play a critical role in preparing Americans for the jobs of the future. Without the right skills, employers and employees will struggle to be agile in the future.

 

Savvy leaders need to act now and plan how their businesses will upskill their workers to thrive in a digital world.

 

The modern workforce expects change and is willing to adapt and learn to be future-ready for it. Businesses must promote upskilling to help workers prepare and to avoid a workplace in which some workers are ready for change and others are not.

People Analytics

Organizations sit on a goldmine of data. But this ‘data’ without insights is rendered meaningless. Businesses need the right framework, model or expertise in order to ensure that data acquires meaning, so when the time comes they can leave guesswork and take data-driven decisions. For HR professionals, using data for people analytics can help them drive better business results and improve workforce management.

 

By leveraging people analytics, HR professionals can create more efficient systems, develop better client experience and create a quantitative impact on their bottom line.

 

The rise of SaaS and cost-effective HR tools and technologies has helped HR professionals properly measure KPIs and employee performance. For example, with the right data, HR professionals can dig deeper into strategic HR metrics such as revenue per employee, performance turnover in jobs, quality of hire improvement, diversity hires in customer-impact positions, etc. and create a quantitative impact on organizations.

Employee Experience

The Covid-19 pandemic has given business leaders a peek into the personal lives of their workers. They have realized that by supporting workers in their whole lives, not just their experience as workers, will affect their ability to perform in the workplace. Employee experience will continue to be a top priority for HR professionals. This no longer pertains to concepts of individual strength such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, etc. A completely new concept that emerged in the workplace and that is, a sense of belonging.

 

A sense of belonging in the workplace increases the number of high performers.

 

Studies have shown that a sense of belonging at work can not only increase productivity but also be a better motivating factor than monetary rewards. A high sense of belonging in the workplace increases employee performance to 56%, reduced turnover risk to 50%, and decreased sick days leave to 75%.

VR Training

VR training is a game changer in the workplace. It is immersive enough for workers to take training seriously, but also creates a sense of privacy where workers who are more self-conscious can speak freely to their trainers. By 2022, VR in enterprise training market is estimated to peak $6.3 billion. If trends continue, we can expect VR training to replace traditional training methods in industries, such as retail, insurance, customer service, and safety training.

VR training was beginning to catch on before the coronavirus pandemic, but the recent shift towards remote work has fast-tracked its role in the modern workplace. A growing number of companies are looking towards VR to train employees safely, effectively and efficiently.

Remote Work

The global pandemic forced organizations to quickly adopt remote work tools and solutions in order to provide flexible work options to their workers. But even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems that workers have been putting a high value on remote work arrangements. For example: A FlexJobs’ 2019 survey noted that 69% of workers said flexible work options are one of the most important factors when evaluating a job offer. Moreover, 78% of workers believed that a flexible work schedule would allow them to lead a healthier life, while 80% responded saying they would be more loyal to their employer if they were given flexible work options.

 

Businesses need to break away from the 9 to 5 work culture.

 

How do you win the fight for top talent? If companies want to attract talented workers and decrease their attrition rate, they need to look into ways how they can offer remote work arrangements.

Power Skills

It is said that soft skills are the new ‘power skills.’ As a result of AI taking over repetitive tasks in the workplace, employers are now focusing on power skills when looking for candidates. Examples of important power skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and learning agility. Recruitment professionals may want to search for candidates not just for their current set of skills but also for their curiosity and motivation to continuously gain new skills throughout their career.

Numerous studies have shown that the costs associated with upskilling are far lower than letting go workers and replacing with new ones. Workers need to adopt power skills in order to gain a sense of control over their career direction. Employers can provide a tailwind with the right set of training, which will create an agile workforce, and help the bottom line.

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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