Talent Management

HR Trends 2022: Realign, Reconnect, Redeploy

hr trends 2022 woman in meeting touching colleagues arm approvingly

No one could have imagined the events of the last two years. The thought that a truly global pandemic could bring a halt to so much was quite unimaginable for most people and organizations before 2020.

Now, as the world begins to finally emerge in a sustainable way from the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time to look ahead again without trying to ignore or paper over the massive workplace changes that have occurred in the last two years.

As we’ve seen already, the temptation for many organizations has been to rush to get ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible. However, more and more business and HR leaders are now realizing that a return to normal is nothing more than a mirage – it’s not real. It’s simply not possible. There is no reset button.

So what’s the answer?

We surveyed HR experts to see what they predict we’ll see as emerging HR trends next year in an effort to adapt to the new normal. The themes that came up the most were centered around (in no particular order):

Attract and retain talent

Romain Echallier, HRBP at Lumapps, shares, “We (companies) are going to be even more challenged by employees and candidates regarding our benefits because it is getting more and more complex to attract new talents.”

Regarding benefits, transformation strategist Cordelia Gaffar from WOAMD predicts the biggest HR trend for 2022 will be to have non-gender-specific caregiving benefits. “Right now we are adding to the collective stigma and belief that only women can be the caregivers for children and elderly parents, and not opening that door to allow men and other genders to be care providers as well.”

Similarly, career coach Nick Frick talked about how in 2022, companies need to break down gender binaries and how they relate to gender roles at work. “With a record number of women leaving the workplace in 2020 and 2021, credible workplaces will be the companies that understand it’s not just support for mothers that we need, but for all caregivers. This will include family first policies like flexible work hours, wage increases, child care, and increase parental leave.” She adds, “If companies do not invest in retention, employees will find another job that invests in their wellbeing. And if companies finally put employee wellbeing first, they will be rewarded by retaining their best talent.”

Diversity and inclusion

D&I programs and initiatives are no longer a “nice to have”. In 2022, companies must continue to amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion in order to not only retain talent but also attract new talent.

“One of the things that I do see a value add within the HR domain is to reactivate mentorship programs so that you not only can retain the amazing talent that you have within your company but also to use that as a way to attract talent with diverse backgrounds,” shares Vivian Acquah from Viva La Vive in the Netherlands.

Mathilde Nicolas, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Contentsquare, also mentions D&I as being a top trend for companies in 2022, and even goes on to share ways in which the HR teams at Contentsquare are preparing for the HR trends of next year, which include “Structuring [their] Talent Acquisition team, hiring a DEI expert, and defining new ways of working with remote and flex office.”

Remote and hybrid work

This brings us to the third recurring theme we found when questioning experts in the field about their predictions for the biggest HR trend for 2022: remote or hybrid work environments.

Dr. Steve Yacovelli, a.k.a. The Gay Leadership Dude from TopDog Learning Group in the United States says that 2022 will be all about maintaining that sense of workplace inclusivity within these hybrid workplaces. “HR professionals and leaders alike will have a challenge with proximity bias, where the bias that us humans have for things and people that are physically closer to us. We’ll need to be aware of when this type of bias creeps into our teams and workplace culture.

“Are physically closer team members getting better projects, more accolades, more raises, and movement? Are remote team members feeling alone, disenfranchised, neglected? Hybrid workplaces are here to stay. And our challenge as a profession is to support them and the people working in them to make them as successful as they can be.”

Pierre Lucet, People Operations Manager at Heetch, takes this a bit further by saying that an important trend to look out for next year will be how employees manage their time now that the majority of knowledge workers have experienced remote work at some point during the pandemic, and how HR is going to respond. He shares:

“The flexibility of remote working is changing the way we’re working and the hours we’re spending at work. For the best and for the worst. Our 35-hour workweek in France is something made for on-site working. But everything changes when you’re at home:

  • It will open the eyes of some of us and will help us understand that we can easily achieve our business goals in less than 35 hours because we’re more focused and less distracted. This will force companies to adapt their contracts and the way they’re organized.
  • This will also boost the gap between knowledge workers and skills workers (who need to stick to a schedule). And that social gap is going to be pretty bad.”

He goes on to share that in order remedy the foreseen situation, companies should “offer employees to possibility work less, while minimizing the impact on productivity, by focusing on high ROI projects and data-driven objectives.”

Our predictions for HR trends in 2022

Before we introduce the HR trends we see developing for 2022, let’s look back at 2021. This week on our podcast, The Ins and Outs of Work, we reviewed our 2021 HR trends video. We listen to some of the most interesting things our guest experts had to say and discuss what we feel has happened (or not) in the world of work over the past year.

This episode is a fantastic way to refresh your memory, form your own opinion about the developments you saw – or didn’t see – this year, and reflect on what’s yet to come. Watch or listen below:

While we can’t simply ‘go back’ to a time before the pandemic, it’s time to look back to move forward. What we can do is make the decision to build again, on strong foundations. Not ignoring the events of the past two years, but taking them into account and letting those experiences inform your decisions on what to do differently.

That’s why our HR Trends for 2022 are based around three words, all starting with the prefix ‘re’:

Realign, Reconnect, and Redeploy.

While uncertainty continues to linger, the trends we discuss in our HR Trends 2022 ebook are the sure foundations to help you focus your HR strategy in 2022.

Click to read HR Trends 2022: Realign, Reconnect, Redeploy

Build your organization and people processes again on practices that will help you become a resilient, future-ready organization. Our ebook deep dives into the top three HR trends we see for 2022 and includes exclusive interviews with HR experts discussing each of the trends:

Stay tuned as we share more about what it means for companies to realign, reconnect, and redeploy next week!