HR trends for 2022

McLean & Company reveals its HR trends for the coming year

HR RESEARCH AND advisory firm McLean & Company, a division of London-based Info-Tech Research Group, has revealed its annual HR trends report for the coming year.

McLean & Company’s 2022 HR Trends Report explores the effects of the workplace upheavals over the last two years and articulates how the function of HR can have an impact in helping organizations find their footing in the new world of work.

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“There has been a lot of talk this year about the competitive labour market and organizations’ struggles to retain talent,” says William Howard, senior manager of HR research and advisory services at McLean and Company and one of the principal research leads for the 2022 HR Trends Report.

“Our data bears this out, and the benefits for employees are clear. Organizations are increasing base and variable pay, offering more vacation time, and improving flexibility to attract and retain employees. But there’s a dark side to these benefits ― employees are working longer hours and well-being is suffering. In 2022, organizations need to focus on improving the employee experience not just to hire and keep employees in the short term, but to ensure they’re healthy and productive in the long term.”

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The trends identified for 2022 were determined based on current events, industry research and exclusive survey insights from 826 business leaders and HR professionals. The survey data was gathered in September 2021, with respondents representing those in both HR and non-HR roles, and spanning 13 Industries, including manufacturing, professional services, financial services, healthcare, not-for-profit, and government.

Four HR trends have been identified for 2022:

Recruitment & Retention ― Two Sides of the Same Coin: It’s an employee’s market, and it looks very different whether your organization is remote or on-site. Organizations’ employee value propositions need to evolve to not only recruit talent but to also retain the teams in place. HR will spend 25% more time on recruiting in 2022. Those who fail to focus on candidate and employees experience risk turnover, vacancies, and lost opportunities next year, which can negatively impact the bottom line.

Adapting to a New World of Work: Changing work conditions and increasing working hours are forcing a greater focus on employees and their wellbeing. Organizations that adopt this emphasis for 2022 can anticipate such benefits as increased employee availability, improved retention, enhanced ability to attract candidates, and expanded talent pools, all of which will be critical in the age of the ‘Great Resignation.

DEI ― After the Tipping Point: While organizations report that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continues to be a focus, actions taken appear to be biased toward quick fixes rather than initiatives that enable long-term equity and inclusion. Momentum is waning, and organizations risk coming across as performative rather than impactful.

Skills in an Age of Change: Remote work has uncovered significant gaps in managers’ skills. The rate and scale of changes to the world of work have rapidly altered what are considered essential skills. Competencies such as resilience, change management, and design thinking will be more important than ever over the coming year.

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Top research takeaways from the 2022 HR Trends Report:

Compared to the results from the previous year’s 2021 HR Trends Report, “providing a great employee experience” has increased in priority from 2021 , indicating the emphasis organizations are placing on helping employees adjust after being forced to change the way work gets done.

For non-remote jobs, organizations that are not providing a great employee or candidate experience are 34 per cent more likely to agree that retention has been negatively impacted, and 23 per cent more likely to agree that attraction has been negatively impacted.

Remote work has revealed areas of managerial weakness. Ninety per cent of respondents reported a gap in manager capabilities at their organization, but fewer than half are offering management training for those managers.

Leadership buy-in for DEI is on the decline, with only 42 per cent of respondents reporting their leadership is committed to championing DEI initiatives, despite that fact that organizations that are not focusing on creating an environment of DEI are experiencing 1.6 times more voluntary turnover than those focused on it.

“We’re hopeful for the future of HR. If there’s a silver lining to the challenges of the last couple of years, it is that organizations realize more than ever how critical people are to their success,” says Karen Mann, vice president, HR research, learning and advisory services at McLean & Company.

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“Employees also expect to have a greater voice and more inclusive workplaces,” she continues. “They are looking for meaningful actions to match organizational statements about how they are valued. HR is uniquely positioned to enable organizational success through people-centric solutions which shape workplaces where everyone thrives.”

To view the video or read the full 2022 HR Trends Report, click here. HR trends for 2022 McLean Human Resources

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