HR Trends for 2022 and beyond: What to expect

HR Trends for 2022 and beyond: What to expect

How is the landscape of HR changing?

People Management

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

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