What are the digital HR solutions and trends to keep during 2022 and how will the digital HR function evolve? It is important to be aware of the current HR trends so that you know how to leverage them to drive change in your organization and add more value to your business.
Covid-19 made quite an impact on human resources and the way of working in 2021. Both employees and employers have come to appreciate the benefits and drawbacks of remote working and flexible working arrangements. While in 2021, HR reinvented and solidified its new digital role, 2022 will be the year it pushes boundaries.
The shift towards digital HR can help organizations with the optimization process of making the HR function more efficient, effective, and connective by leveraging social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies. Top priorities include analytics, virtual working technology, and upgraded learning platforms. Digital HR is transforming the industry. Among other things, it enables HR to:
- Use data & analytics to measure and define every part of an employee’s lifecycle and future-proof the recruitment experience.
- Improve the employee experience by offering self-service HR tools to manage professional workflow and an excellent user experience when it comes to the digital work environment.
- Be competitive in the war for talent.
From people analytics to data literacy
In the last five years, HR took tremendous strides in the way people analytics helped it manage people. People analytics or HR analytics refers to the way human resource teams leverage data to better meet their strategic goals, whether related to recruitment, hiring, retention, motivation, or development. In 2022, organizations can no longer put off people analytics implementation.
However, more and more, companies are looking for data literacy instead of people analytics expertise. Businesses need a framework to understand the data and effectively implement people analytics in the organization. By learning how to capture and analyze data on both an organizational and individual level, it is possible for companies to use this data in their decision-making process.
Due to shift towards digital HR and digital working, new productivity metrics should be adopted better suited to assess remote work/ hybrid work. These new KPIs would help HR keep up with real-world work patterns and ensure that employees feel acknowledged through relevant KPIs.
The office is everywhere
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the role of the office. Due to mandatory lockdowns and quarantines, flexible working and home working have become assimilated into company culture. Excellent work can happen anywhere. In fact, according to Apollo Technical’s 2021 productivity statistics, remote work could increase productivity up to 77%.
Remote working and flexible working are becoming staples in the HR tool kit. The Conference Board reports that flexible working to engage top talent is important for many international companies. However, EngageRocket’s HR 2022 Outlook notes that 39% of respondents said that they might quit if their company did not support remote work.
The 2021 Gartner Hybrid Work Employee Survey shows that only 57% of employees think their company culture supports flexible work. Moreover, only 66% of employees believe they have the necessary technology to work effectively at home.
Another drawback is the fact that employees’ networks shrink, and companies become more siloed. Due to diminished presence at the office, employees could lose touch with the company culture or their colleagues.
To combat these disadvantages, human resources should help organizations reshape the way they collaborate, cocreate and innovate by:
- Designing a workplace where teams can work together and connect
- Facilitating cross-functional teams
- Developing talent programs that allow for rotation
- Leveraging digital platforms to allow people to work asynchronously
💡TIP: Social media platforms can be used to engage employees and keep them in touch with company culture. Find out here how to build a strong brand on social media.
Go where the talent is
The pandemic has widened the gap between market leaders and laggards in HR and talent acquisition. Due to limited talent availability in the short term, this results in a winner takes all scenario. According to the 2021 MindEdge/HRCI’s survey, employee turnover is higher compared to before the pandemic, which is a major concern for the future. 11% of respondents feel that they may not be able to fill all job openings.
Human resources, therefore, needs to put maximal efforts towards talent acquisition and retention in 2022. Key focus areas could be flexibility, digitization, listening to the voice of employee, and hybrid working.
Thanks to digital advancements, geography or proximity are becoming less of a factor for companies to access more qualified and diverse talent. Via social networks, video calls and job hiring platforms, it is now easier than ever for applicants to connect with prospective employees.
Social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook offer a path for future employees to discover a company and apply for a job. With more than 6.5 million and 3.5 million users in Belgium, Facebook and LinkedIn can offer enormous added value for businesses online. The platforms also provide an additional means of communication for employees and teams.
💡TIP: Find out how you can make the most of your LinkedIn business page and use content curation to attract and engage your followers.
Some digitized HR processes to help recruitment could be a self-service application that allows an applicant to complete their job application 100% online or in an app; automated recruitment to free up time; virtual and remote interviews and trainings; gamification of training and learning whereby the employee gets psychological cues to encourage them to complete the training.
Another lesson learned from the pandemic is that HR can no longer rely solely on external talent. Due to the tight labor market, companies are forced to make better use of the talent they already have. An important trend for 2022 will be talent allocation through talent marketplaces where employees in a company or industry can connect to internal career opportunities, including but not limited to cross-departmental projects, temporary assignments and job openings.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
Diversity is an important driver for growth and employees, particularly millennials and Gen Z, value Diversity & Inclusion as a key determiner of where they choose to work. Prioritizing DE&I will improve employee engagement, drive productivity and attract talent. However, even diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces sometimes fail to retain underrepresented groups. Belonging at work adds to the DEI equation by bringing a shift towards psychological safety and real inclusion.
Employees no longer see work as a labor for compensation exchange. Due to the pandemic, the focus has shifted more to purpose, fulfilment and well-being. The employee value proposition has changed. Employers need to do more to differentiate and create a compelling employer brand. Often, the disconnect between HR policies and/or leadership strategies is emphasized by the shift of hybrid work needs, impulses and aspirations among the workforce.
HR should focus on the following areas in 2022 to foster better employee sentiment:
- Develop a two-way communications strategy and base future communications on their input
- Deploy continuous listening
- Enable frequent check-ins between employees and managers
Moreover, mental health and resilience should no longer stay buzzwords. In 2022, companies must invest in uplifting employee well-being and ensuring they stay resilient and confident in the face of new challenges and opportunities. Resilience is the number one predictor of an employee’s intent to stay with the company. It has seen a drastic decline between 2020 and 2021. According to the data, millennials are the least likely to stay with a company for 12 months.
EngageRocket research shows that employees are more prone to burnout now than in 2020. This is corroborated by the 2021 MindEdge/HRCI’s survey, which showed that 80% of respondents reported an increase in employee burnout in the past year. 62% of respondent companies plan to introduce stress-reducing benefits, while 61% have not offered any training in remote work.
Companies that invest in mental health and resilience will see an uptick in retention, productivity, and talent acquisition. Rethinking perks and investing in a company-wide recognition platform integrated in other work tools could help build connections, positivity and belonging.
Whether by driving better collaboration or facilitating a better career experience, HR will be part of the solution. With a proactive and future-proof policy, companies will continue to flourish. HR professionals should build on their successes of 2021 and take steps to ensure that they have the appropriate skills to navigate the new digital reality successfully if they want to remain relevant and competitive.
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