We are about to be awarded “understatement of the year,” but 2020 and 2021 truly changed the way we work. Nonetheless, how you handle change is the most important thing in life, and 2022 is the year HR will have to surmount the waves of transformation that have rippled over the past two years.

So, what are the key trends in HR for 2022 and how can you plan for them? Here are five HR developments to keep an eye out for in 2022, from saying goodbye to old-fashioned office perks to introducing yourself to your senior business leaders.

· Increased internal mobility and a change in hiring processes.

· Multigenerational workforce management (and whether that is the right approach).

· Aiming to align with business goals in order to drive impact.

· Diversity and inclusion programs are crucial.

· The Over-Hauling of employee perks and benefits.

Increased internal mobility and a change in hiring processes

So why wouldn’t you want to promote from within? You’re providing your employees with a path for progress and benefiting from their progress. Professionals working in talent management cite the following trends in LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020 report:

· 81% believe it improves retention rates.

· 69% say it boosts new hire productivity.

· While 63% agree that it speeds up the hiring process.

We could see internal mobility take off in 2022! In LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report 2021, 51% of learning and development professionals said it’s a greater priority now than it was before COVID. In the same period of 2020, internal hires will account for 19.6% of all hires, an increase of 19% from 16.5% in the April-August 2019 period.

Top Trends in Human Resource Management in 2022

Multigenerational workforce management (and whether that is the right approach)

For the first time, it’s possible to have five different generations in the workplace at the same time, so we need to be careful that work doesn’t start feeling like a family reunion. Multigenerational teams consist of individuals from different generations, including traditionalists (born between 1927 and 1946) and Generation Z (born 2001 to 2020).

Right now, the biggest question is how to manage a multigenerational workforce. The bigger question is whether this is the right approach and if they really need to be managed from an age perspective.

Recognizing the differences and managing differently

To begin with, it’s important to acknowledge the differences between generations. Firstly, you have people who wouldn’t see a computer until decades after they entered the workforce, alongside digital natives whose tech-savvy makes them look like slackers in comparison.

Secondly, these people are at different stages in their lives, and that will influence what they want from a role. It was revealed in Biospace’s Ideal Employer Report that Boomers “didn’t seem as interested in career advancement and promotions as younger groups”, whereas meaningful work was more important to them. Promotion opportunities were ranked much higher by millennials than by other generations, with 81% of millennials stating that they were important.

Aiming to align with business goals in order to drive impact

We mentioned it earlier, but the HR budgets are looking to be trimmed in the coming years! Approximately a third (34%) of HR leaders plan to cut their HR budget this year, according to Gartner’s 2021 HR Budget and Staffing Survey. In the previous year, 17% of HR leaders expressed the same intention.

· 30% plan to reduce recruitment budgets.

· 25% plan to cut L&D spending, the second-largest cut.

· Interestingly, 37% of respondents plan to increase their budgets for L&D. These are the second-highest increases behind diversity and inclusion.

Both the report and this statistical snapshot demonstrate a mindset shift. Gartner’s list suggests that some companies will decrease spending on L&D to boost spending in other areas, and this applies to the other topics in Gartner’s list, like HR technology or total rewards.

However, the best way to ensure that you aren’t affected by these budget cuts and that those craving for savings don’t harm your finances is to prove your impact and value. In 2022, aligning HR goals and objectives with business objectives will be imperative.

Diversity and inclusion programs are crucial.

Didn’t HowNow mention that in their predictions for 2021? Indeed, we did! Nonetheless, the numbers tell us not only that we were right (who doesn’t love to hear that), but that we are well advised to add it to the ballot for 2022.

Gartner’s latest stat suggests that 45% of HR pros plan to spend more on diversity and inclusion, and 46% will maintain their previous budget – meaning just 9% will scale back their D&I spending.

As reported by the 2nd annual HR Sentiment Survey conducted by Lyra Health, Boston University and Future Workplace, DE&I is the second most important HR priority. According to their survey of 200 senior HR leaders across the country, employee wellbeing and mental health came in above it.

The Over-Hauling of employee perks and benefits

During the 2010s, employee benefits went through a strange phase. It was surprising to find any desk space with all the ping pong tables, beer pumps, and free pizza (usually on Fridays) available.

As soon as these perks became old hat, there was a race to provide the weirdest perks, including nap pods, free SCUBA certification, a ‘posh bog roll’ guarantee, and Botox injections.

Hopefully, no one took up that last offer because 2020 and 2021 taught us two lessons: there’s plenty to complain about, and employee perks like this are pretty much useless.

Over half of non-remote employees want contributions towards household bills and 46% want equipment for their home offices, while those heading into the office surprisingly prioritized free breakfast and lunch.

Still, only a quarter want subsidies on commuting costs. This would seem to be a valuable perk compared with free fry-ups on Fridays. Perhaps the best way to your employee’s heart is through their stomach after all.

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