HR Trends for 2022 and beyond: What to expect
How is the landscape of HR changing?
Being exposed to recruitment decisions daily, we have come to see emerging HR trends that we would like to share. First and foremost, people management is beginning to reshape the concept of recruitment. Instead of taking simple hiring decisions, firms increasingly value the development of individual employees within an organization. This includes, inter alia, training employees, enhancing their productivity by motivating and engaging them, and aligning their goals with those of the organization.
In total, people management can be seen as a sub-field of human resource management, encompassing all characteristics of how employees behave, perform, and develop. People management is particularly crucial, given that managing people impacts the very core of a firm, resulting in a quest to satisfy individual desires with what the organization needs, thus one must keep an eye to both, the small and the big picture.
The most common commitment to people management that we have seen emerging is employer branding. Other activities that we observed are, among others, training, wellness, employee empowerment, active listening, communication, and conflict resolution.
Diversity and Inclusion
Among all business departments, HR is one of the most affected by trends. As such, it is the responsibility of the HR department to leverage and capitalize on what is most sought after. In our work as consultants, we have come to see diversity and inclusion as a crucial trend that firms should not miss out on. Awareness is certainly growing, and firms risk backlashes in cases of noncompliance.
While diversity relates to differences among employees, inclusion is linked to embracing said differences and including all employees in the firm’s culture. Inclusive workplaces are characterized by support for employees of varying attributes, such as ethnicity, gender, culture, etc.
The benefits of incorporating diversity and inclusion in the workplace are multifold. What stands out is companies ranking high on the two criteria systematically outperforming those firms that show little respect to diverse and inclusive workplaces. In addition, diversity and inclusion may reduce inequality, help attain organisational commitments, develop, retain and motivate the workforce.
People development is gaining momentum for HR professionals. We have observed that the rate of employee training in companies has been increasing since years, for very good reasons.
Training employees is vital for businesses as it can act as the bridge between the company’s and the employee’s goals. Training promotes corporate competencies and value creation, and should thus not be neglected, particularly for employees in key positions. In addition, by developing employees, firms foster employee retention. Companies also offer training initiatives to keep their staff competitive in the job market which is ever more important in order to remain agile and cope with market challenges. In the process, HR departments become creators, rather than acting as administrators. Their role is to provide employees with a range of training initiatives to choose from, drawing from a professional network . Consequentially, employee retention strengthens, and productivity increases. Satisfaction levels also rise, along with the employee-company identification level.
Seeing the broad range of employee training initiatives, we have come to see how crucial it is that employee development measures take a hands-on approach, allowing the worker to learn better and directly apply what was learned. Webinars and interactive presentations are a key way how firms implement measures in line with the HR trend of employee development.
Agile work has unfolded in recent years and significantly impacted the structure of most firms. The concept of working as one department in a shared office is fading, being replaced by self-organized teams. This shift can be seen as an adjustment to today’s work environment. Self-organization is an adaptive and flexible organizational construct in response to the volatile and changing work environment.
Self-organization means that each team member is responsible for their own projects and actions. Intervention by executives is reduced as much as possible, with the team being in charge instead. Management is still a crucial part of the organizational structure, but less so in terms of hierarchical levels, which cuts out middle-level managers. Top-level management only intervenes when necessary and is not a point of contact for general questions. As such, employees are encouraged to take independent decisions without seeking approval from a higher authority. For managers, this means granting more freedoms to the workforce, who are the decision-makers, whilst also ensuring that no one feels left alone.
Following bureaucratic orders is no longer commonplace, replaced by more flexible processes. Companies are more willing to try new approaches, particularly for operational practice, while strategic planning is still reserved for executives. Managers need to show tolerance for mistakes so that employees are confident in their actions without repercussions in the event of making an erroneous decision. Thus, the manager’s role is to create psychological safety.
The role of the HR department is to act as an enabler, facilitating a self-organized workplace of both accountability and flexibility. HR professionals may resort to more monitoring than before, albeit at a more passive level.
Well-practiced self-organization is beneficial both for firms and their members; employees feel taken seriously and included, thereby displaying more commitment to the enterprise.
Author: Glasford International Deutschland