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HR’s biggest challenge in 2022

While many changes at the workplace aim to improve workplace efficiency and employee welfare, the responsibility falls on HR departments to effect these changes.

NWOW Staff
May 12, 2022
Date Published
8
Time to read
HR strategy
Category

The modern workplace is incredibly dynamic. While many changes at the workplace aim to improve workplace efficiency and employee welfare, the responsibility falls on HR departments to effect these changes. Implementing change isn’t easy, which poses a huge challenge for HR professionals. So how can HR professionals deal with this challenge? Read on to learn more about HR’s top challenges in 2022 and possible ways to deal with them.

Table of contents

The New Era of Employee Engagement

Only a meager 15% of employees felt engaged by their employer, according to a 2021 report by Gallup. Considering disengaged employees are less productive than engaged ones, HR leaders must find strategies to engage their employees.  

To engage employees, HR departments will need to do two things – implement changes at an organizational level and changes within individual teams.  

At the organizational level, HR leaders will need to work with other departmental heads to identify HR issues affecting everyone.

Meanwhile, at the team level, HR leaders will need to identify the issues affecting teams by listening to individual teams’ concerns and clearly outlining expectations, to name but a few actions.  

However, successful employee engagement doesn’t happen suddenly. It requires a regular and concerted effort to bear fruit. Therefore, HR leaders may need to implement and maintain employee engagement programs for employee engagement to improve.

Developing and Retaining Talent

Competition for top talent is fierce. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for small companies and startups to keep their top employees due to competition for talent from larger companies with bigger budgets. Considering employee turnover can be pretty costly and hinder business growth, HR leaders need to develop strategies to improve employee retention.  

While increasing remuneration is one way to retain top talent, it may not be sustainable for small companies and startups over a long period. Plus, according to a panel of senior HR experts speaking during a CNBC Workforce Executive Council forum, raising wages isn’t sufficient to keep employees satisfied in their positions.

Fortunately, there are several other talent management measures HR leaders can take to retain top talent apart from increasing wages.  

According to a Work Institute report, roughly one-third of employees resign from their positions due to a lack of career growth opportunities and a lack of support from management. Therefore, creating effective development programs is one way HR managers can reduce employee turnover.  

In addition, research has also shown that new hires who undergo an effective onboarding process are 58% more likely to stay with the organization for at least three years or more. As a result, after talent acquisition, the first few weeks will be crucial to retaining talent.

After hiring new employees, HR leaders will need to help them acclimatize to their new work environment. Some things HR leaders can do to help new hires feel comfortable at their new workplace include:

  • Providing devices and equipment: Many new hires are usually eager to get going from their first day at work. Providing them with all the necessary gadgets and resources they’ll need to work can help them feel welcome and ready to get going as soon as they’re settled.
  • Preparing new hire paperwork: New hires need to fill in various documents, such as work contracts, tax documents, and other forms. Providing them with all the necessary paperwork is crucial to successful onboarding.
  • Setting up accounts: New hires may need to use various tools and platforms to perform their duties. Setting up their user accounts well in advance can make their transition into the new role smoother.
  • Setting up the workplace: Ensuring the new hire has a ready workstation with a clean chair, desk, stationery, and other supplies will not only make the new hire feel welcome, but it will also show the company is organized.    
  • Scheduling new hire orientation: Setting aside time for a new hire orientation will allow new hires to learn more about the company culture and also provide new hires with networking opportunities. Creating an informal organizational chart of the various departments can also help new hires learn more about how the various departments interact and indicate who is responsible for what.  
  • Sending welcome emails: Welcome emails are an excellent way to make new hires feel at home while also providing important details about the company, like dress code, company policies, and more.
  • Announcing new hires: Besides sending welcome emails to new hires, it’s also important to send an email to other employees announcing the new hires so that they’re ready to welcome them.  
  • Giving a building tour: It isn’t unusual for new hires to get lost at a new place of work. Providing new hires with a tour of the building can prevent them from getting lost and help them find their way around the workplace.

Workplace Flexibility (Remote/Hybrid Way of Work)

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were compelled to embrace remote and hybrid work models. While some companies were prepared for the transition to the new ways of work, many were ill-prepared.

Even though things are gradually starting to return to normal, these new work models are expected to become the norm, and they are even an expectation of many people looking for work. Therefore, HR managers must adapt to these new work models and offer employees job flexibility. They must also address the management challenges associated with them, such as maintaining productivity levels.  

To address productivity issues, HR managers can use project management tools, such as Asana, Trello, and Basecamp to track the productivity of employees working remotely. These tools can provide information on who is doing what and how fast tasks are completed.

Employee’s Well-being and Mental Health Prioritizing

Mental health at the workplace is declining. A 2020 survey of over 5,000 employees conducted by Mental Health America found that 83% of employees felt emotionally drained from work, and 71% strongly felt that the workplace affects their mental health. Exacerbated by the pandemic, declining mental health at the workplace will continue to be a top challenge for many organizations in 2022.

Declining mental health is primarily caused by issues that lead to burnout, such as:

  • Long and inflexible working hours
  • Heavy workloads
  • Frequent staff shortages

Besides these issues, some other risks to mental health at the workplace include:

  • Financial insecurity
  • Lack of support by management
  • Inadequate health and safety policies
  • Unclear organizational objectives
  • Workplace bullying

To address mental health issues, HR professionals will need to adopt a holistic approach to improve employee well-being. Ideally, the holistic approach to improving employee’s well-being should focus on the following key areas:

  • Physical well-being
  • Career well-being
  • Financial well-being
  • Social well-being
  • Community well-being
  • Emotional well-being
  • Purpose-driven well-being

Improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

As the workplace evolves, HR leaders will need to create an environment that accommodates all personnel despite their differences.  

HR leaders can create an inclusionary workplace by focusing on two key issues – the workplace culture and HR practices involving hiring.  

Implementing a diversity and inclusion training program to train employees is one way to improve DEI and educate employees on the importance of appreciating and respecting each other’s differences. By conducting training, employees may learn about their prejudiced views and how they can affect their interactions with others. This can help to improve team cohesion.

In addition, observing inclusion when recruiting employees and not discriminating against candidates based on ethnicity, gender, age, or other differences can improve diversity in the workplace.

Providing Great Employee Experiences

While good compensation can help companies attract and retain talent, modern employees care about other things besides good pay. According to a study by Glassdoor, besides compensation and benefits, many employees also consider the organization’s culture and values, senior leadership, career opportunities, work-life balance, and business outlook essential to their satisfaction. In addition, the study also found that as wages rose, compensation and benefits became less important to employees.  

To provide great employee experiences in 2022, HR leaders must prioritize these other drivers of satisfaction on top of good pay.

Building Critical Skills

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, nearly 87% of companies worldwide acknowledge that they either already have a skills gap or will have one in a couple of years.

Many HR leaders also acknowledge that they find it increasingly challenging to recruit and develop talent with the required skills. Yet, according to a study by Gartner, 58% of employees will need new skills to do their jobs effectively.

In order to address the skills gap, HR leaders will first need to identify their organizational skills gaps. HR leaders can identify skills gaps using one of these approaches:

  • Conducting employee assessments
  • Observing day-to-day activities at the workplace
  • Measuring key performance metrics
  • Soliciting for feedback on employee performance from colleagues or even clients

After identifying the skills gaps, HR leaders will need to organize employee training to equip personnel with the skills they need. HR leaders can also implement workforce education programs to allow employees to keep their skills fresh.

Equipping Future Leaders

DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast (GLF) for 2021 surveyed over 2,102 human resource professionals from over 1,700 organizations and found that a meager 28% of HR professionals felt that their organization had effective leadership. This is a worrying statistic considering the global talent shortage makes internal promotion crucial to a company’s long-term success. Coupled with the fact that internally hired leaders are often more successful than external hires, the statistic is even more troubling.  

HR leaders must tackle this challenge by equipping employees with the skills required to take over critical positions as soon as they fall vacant.

Creating a More Productive Workforce

Since the onset of the pandemic, many organizations have adapted hybrid and remote working. These changes have drastically affected productivity, as some employees have struggled to adjust.  

In addition, some employees who have returned to working on-site have struggled to achieve the same level of productivity.  

HR leaders prepared to deal with these challenges at work in 2022 will improve staff productivity. Besides using project management tools and effective employee onboarding, HR managers can improve employee productivity by doing the following things:

  • Providing employee support: At one point or another, employees will likely come across issues while working on tasks. Implementing a modern service desk solution is an excellent way to help employees tackle issues so that they can move on to other tasks instead of spending a considerable amount of time on one task.
  • Delegating tasks: In small companies and startups, it’s common for employees to wear several hats. While multi-skilled employees are an invaluable asset to have, overburdening them with work can lead to job burnout and a decline in productivity. Delegating tasks to various team members can prevent one individual or team from getting stretched too thin and enhance productivity within the organization.  
  • Communicating effectively: Poor communication or lack of communication is responsible for many challenges at the workplace, including low productivity. When there is poor or no communication, employees don’t have direction. Without direction, employees may not know how to handle tasks. Subsequently, they may fail to tackle tasks or do them inappropriately, leading to a decline in productivity. HR managers must establish clear workplace communication channels via email, phone calls, instant messaging apps, or other platforms to ensure they achieve desired outcomes.  
  • Identifying strengths in the workplace: HR managers should assign tasks to employees based on their ability to perform the particular task. Assigning tasks based on employee strengths will ensure employees work on tasks they are naturally good at. On the other hand, giving employees tasks beyond their skill set will cause them to strain to complete the task and lead to a drop in productivity.
  • Providing employee motivation: When work motivation is high, employees are likely to be more productive. Besides monetary rewards, HR leaders can improve job motivation and morale by offering employees other incentives, like paid leave, recognition and rewards, and project autonomy.    
  • Defining clear goals: HR leaders should make organizational objectives clear. Without clear objectives, employees will not work towards achieving assigned goals, and they will fail to achieve what’s expected. Providing employees with clear goals will give them a sense of direction and improve workplace productivity.  
  • Providing honest feedback: Employees need to know how they are faring. Therefore, HR leaders need to give them candid feedback. Recognizing their accomplishments will encourage them to work harder, and pointing out their errors will help them rectify their mistakes.  

While there are numerous other ways to improve employee productivity, HR managers can significantly improve employee productivity by adopting these measures.

Automation of HR Processes

As the workplace continues to evolve in 2022, the role of technology in the workplace will become even more critical. Automating tasks, such as payroll, recruiting, background checking and screening, benefits administration, and timekeeping, will significantly enhance HR processes. Consequently, automation can save time and money.  

However, HR leaders will need to be conversant with automation technologies to leverage them for their organizations.  

As a result, HR leaders will need to invest in training and development to acquaint themselves with the latest technologies and their uses in the workplace.  

However, HR professionals should remember that while technology can streamline several processes, it can’t replace tasks that require a human touch, like communication, strategy development, and content creation, to name but a few tasks.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

While many changes at the workplace aim to improve workplace efficiency and employee welfare, the responsibility falls on HR departments to effect these changes.

What’s a Rich Text element?What’s a Rich Text element?What’s a Rich Text element?What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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