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Top Priorities for HR in 2022

Priorities for HR

The transformation of many workforces to hybrid work has forced many organizations to change their mindsets and how they are structured. It has also altered the way employees and their organizations relate. 

With that in mind, here are top priorities for human resources in 2022.

The Issue

We’re at a kind of tipping point with COVID-19, which is still around, but appears to have been slowed. Thus, some employees are heading back to worksites, while others continue to work remotely.

All this is accelerating the transformation of HR, which was once more of a catchy phrase than anything else. Now, for many employers, it’s a matter of survival. The fact is that scores of organizations cannot prosper without agile workforces and digitalized work.

HR Priorities for 2022

Organizations continue to do strategic workforce planning for this year and into the next, as the pandemic has slowed – for now – but has disrupted nearly every organization, and on many levels. A survey of more than 800 leaders across various regions and industries reveals where organizations are headed. To wit, they are:

Experimenting with Hybrid Work

Most employers are now figuring out how to handle the fact that some employees will be returning to the workplace while others will continue to work remotely. Organizations in these situations must build upon what was learned and experienced during the height of the pandemic. In so doing, they should revaluate job duties and positions, while incorporating optimal ways of using technology and introducing new forms of digitalization. You must also assure that all tasks add value to your organization.

Showing They Care

It’s been a rollicky time for everyone, so expressing empathy is a must. In fact, a recent Gallup survey found that just 24 percent of employees feel like their employer cares about them. That is down from 49 percent during the thick of the pandemic. 

This means that you should considering putting your people above processes; embracing growth; “asking” employees to do things, rather than “telling” them; enhancing and contextualizing – in this era of hybrid work – the employee experience; and creating organization-wide transparency.  It’s all about HR transformation.

Focusing on Skills Rather Than Job Roles

Dealing with evolving skill needs is among the highest priorities for most organizations. You likely will need outside help with this, since many employers indicated that they lack the insights necessary to align skilled talent with organizational roles. You’re going to need a data-driven strategy to understand, evaluate, and track skills at all levels, particularly as they evolve.

Emphasizing Positive Change

The survey found that 54 percent of employees are burned out from all the changes since the start of the pandemic. That’s understandable. So, rather than highlighting challenges, employers should embrace positive change. That mindset means homing in on what’s going well and what the future could be. You should consider reflecting this mindset in all your workplace communications.

Emphasizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

When it comes to recruitment and retention, the employee experience is everything. And employees aren’t that shy about expressing in online forums or elsewhere how they feel about their experience. If your organization is lacking on the DEI front, you’re going to have to shore that up to preserve your reputation. Doing so means holding leadership accountable, perhaps by incorporating DEI measures into performance evaluations.

Overarchingly, top priorities for HR include a complete HR overhaul. The current business milieu calls for changing course – from phased-in evolution to swift transformation. If you need help with your changes, we recommend the leading global HR consultant Mercer, which can help you reimagine the employee experience at a time in which recruitment and retention must be a top priority.

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