“In a time of rapid change, standing still is the most dangerous course of action,” so says motivational speaker and self-development author Bryan Tracy. The pandemic has made one thing clear to everyone, including HR practitioners everywhere: we need to change if we are to survive. Regardless of whether the Covid virus will become endemic or be replaced by something else, the order of the day is adaptability.
Without innovation, it will only be a matter of time before a company joins the corporate corpses that management gurus write case-study books about. Avoid becoming a casualty by seriously considering these HR industry trends for 2022.
1. Job Seekers Have the Upper Edge
Before the internet significantly changed the way we live our lives, it used to be that employers had the advantage in choosing the cream of the crop. Applicants would patiently wait in line for their turn to be accommodate and interviewed. And there would be a few more days, even weeks before the applicants would find out if they landed the job at all.
Today, the tables have turned. It has become a sellers market in the job scene. Having tasted the sweet experience of working from home in their pajamas and not having to worry about the daily commute, employees now realize that they have many different options other than the traditional office setup and default career path. HR practitioners may now have to consider this change in perspective, so they can establish the most suitable working conditions and schedules to attract the most talented applicants.
2. Flexibility is In, Rigidity is Out
Because of the lower supply and the higher demand for skilled workers, employers are now doing their best to edge out each other as the employer of choice. Because the freedom to choose their own terms and conditions is one of the top priorities of would-be applicants, prospective employers are now throwing out rigid rules that no longer work.
For instance, companies are looking at walking meetings as a viable way to prevent burnout, encourage creativity, and promote productivity among employees. Instead of having their meetings face-to-face, employers engage in 1:1s and quick huddles of three to four people through audio calls that will allow participants to move about and even be out in nature.
Hybrid meetings are also becoming more and more popular. This type of meeting provides the best of both worlds: employees can have the flexibility of working from home and also be able to stay physically engaged with their co-workers on set days of the week.
3. Focus on Employee Wellbeing
With the race to fill out vacant posts, companies are no longer just looking to entice job seekers with high salaries. After all, other companies are also doing the same. It will all boil down to which employer can give the better benefits package. Employees have wisened up and are looking beyond the traditional tangible financial packages to check more innovative offers, such as employee wellness programs.
The world’s industry leaders like Google, Apple, and Facebook have set the gold standard for what an ideal employment package should look like. For instance, Google encourages employees to stay fit through fitness centers where employees can participate in several activities, including gym classes and even swimming! And get this, for sites where fitness centers can’t be installed, Google pays for their employees’ gym memberships. Other perks include free food and snacks, massage credits, and onsite conveniences such as laundromats and free haircuts.
4. The Value of Upskilling
With the rapid changes in the technological front, the labor market is struggling to keep up with a skilled workforce. One strategy that will ensure that organizations continue to thrive amidst the changes is maintaining the width and depth of their pool of talent through constant upskilling. Companies need to be more invested in their employees’ continued learning to close the existing skill gaps. At the same time, this commitment to invest in their employees’ growth shows the value they place upon the latter’s contribution and potential, further boosting morale and productivity.
An example of such a company is AT&T which recognizes the importance of upskilling. Its At&T University offers comprehensive programs for its executives that focus on leadership and management. Pixar is yet another company that sees its growth as intrinsically tied to its employees. Through Pixar University, the company offers not just required training programs but also courses about other disciplines.
Things will soon be moving at quantum speed. HR practitioners need to accept that things are changing—and fast. Without the capability to adjust and become resilient,
companies will inevitably fail to transition and grow. Therefore, it will do well for competent HR managers and professionals to seriously consider and leverage the upcoming HR trends and turn these to their advantage.