Work From Home, Attendance, Leave Management, Hiring & Payroll, etc, they are all managed by our great human resources unit, they are the key to company management. Sometimes HR units would be asked to predict the future. Even though they probably don’t have any superpower, there is some evidence that might be able to tell us a few trends are likely to stay with us through the new year 2022.
Since 2019, The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s work and life for over 2 years. Slowly, things are improving and we’re getting our organization used to the new norms. While we can settle in, we can also pay special attention to the coming HR trends.
Employee Well-being Benefits
According to Paychex and Future Workplace, their research shows that 62% of employees identified well-being benefits as a major factor in deciding whether to apply for a new job. 67% of employees strongly agreed or agreed that well-being benefits will be a priority for them in evaluating new job offers.
Financial well-being and emotional/mental health well-being are the benefits that are most in-demand. Financial education and training are growing in importance for workers across generations. The survey from BrightPlan shows that over 80% of employees want their employers to provide support and guidance on personal finances. What HR leaders need to know about is how to create a culture of care that meets the needs of all workers.
The pandemic shows us that mental health and wellness are important to everyone. Nowadays, companies providing support to employees for their mental health in the workplace is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity. It is not only for workers but also for companies to remind employees’ productivity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that “Workplace wellness programs can identify those at risk and connect them to treatment and put in place supports to help people reduce and manage stress.
By addressing mental health issues in the workplace, employers can reduce health care costs for their businesses and employees.”
Moreover, CDC also stated that mental health issues would affect business growth and lead to their employees’ poor mental health and stress, which will bring follow negative outcomes:
Low job performance and productivity
Low employee engagement with one’s work.
Become inarticulate and hard to communicate with coworkers
Reduce the abilities of Physical capability and daily functioning
Lead to Mental illnesses such as depression
HR and Businesses are recognizing this fact and providing employees with tools for relieving stress such as providing paid time off, WFH support, or meditation time. To maintain the productivity of workers, paying more attention to the employee’s mental health will become a large part of HR’s responsibilities in 2022.
Flexible work arrangement
In 2021, there were many COVID variants (e.g. Delta, Omicron) that came out and infected the world. It is predictable that this situation will continue, different new COVID variants will keep emerging in 2022.
At the beginning of 2022, the Omicron variant swept over Hong Kong, and it started bringing the workplace back home. Although some workers tend to work in the office and some occupations require employees’ go to a physical location to get the job done(such as security guard, driver, etc), the reality is most businesses will have to prepare for remote work, because different COVID variants might surface anytime.
According to Human Resources Online, employees hope companies would help them work from home effectively by providing these 5 things which are:
Policies on work hours to help workers keep a proper work-life balance
Allowance for remote working
Strict and clear protocols for on-site and remote working
Software for remote working
Hardware and office equipment for remote working
If businesses provide support for remote workers, it could be able to improve their working efficiency, engagement, and morale.
New Powerful Skills set
The working experience in 2021 taught us that we need to develop our resilience to acclimate the changes in how and where we work. Since everyone no longer needs to sit in the office all the time, becoming proficient in digital skills is necessary, such as perfectly using multiple technology platforms like, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Chrome Remote Desktop.
In consonance with LinkedIn 2021 Learning Report, it listed the top ten power skills for 2022. Not surprisingly, it included resilience skills and technology/digital fluency skills.
The Co-founder of meQuilibrium, Dr.Andrew Shatte listed resilience as the most important skills in 2022, which required the ability to demonstrate problem solving, emotional control, optimism, and self-efficacy. Resilience can be learned, reinforced and spread through working experience. The 2021 Workplace Learning Report also found that almost 60% of learning leaders seek improving employee skills as their first priority.
Working Parents needs
What came to us in 2022 is the Omicron variant. With the spread of the epidemic, a growing number of school districts in Hong Kong have put off reopening of schools or changed to distance learning. And it has become a contingency situation for working parents.
A research from Mckinsey & Company stated that, compared with non-parent counterparts, working parents are more presumably to have resigned their jobs during the past 2 years for the following reasons.
Overtired from the pressures of working from home and take care of their children
Being torn to returning to the office but not finding consistent childcare
Not happy with their overall work-life balance
Many Working Parents are talented and experienced, HR units should pay more attention to working parents’ needs and provide special work practices to address their demands in order to keep them in the workplace, such as expanded parental leave for new mothers and fathers, improve workplace flexibility etc.
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