2021 has been a whirlwind year for everyone, especially HR professionals! With the COVID 19 pandemic still fresh in our minds and the effects of hybrid working being felt by all, it's important for HR professionals to stay ahead of the latest HR trends and developments to improve employee experiences in the workplace.
In our HR predictions for 2021, we paid attention to HR trends such as hybrid working, analytics and virtual recruitment alongside a growing cultural focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Now we're not here to toot our own horns, but we got the top HR trends for 2021 pretty spot on.
Over the coming year, we anticipate that HR will continue their progress in placing diversity and inclusion at the forefront of business priorities, and see some exciting developments in HR strategy, functionality and the role of HR in an organisation.
Trend #1: Increased focus on Wellbeing
We all know that wellbeing isn't simply a trend; but as 'wellness', self-care and wellbeing have been highlighted across social media and popular culture over the past year, 'wellbeing' is no longer just a buzzword for HR in 2022.
In the coming year, employees and HR leaders will need to actively focus on the health of their workforce, with a particular focus on mental health and input an employee wellbeing strategy into practice to show staff teams that their employers care. A primary HR trend for 2022 is ensuring employee wellbeing in all aspects of employee lifecycle including in the workplace and company culture more widely.
Managing, monitoring and ensuring employee wellbeing and health should be at the core of HR practise and purpose. Employee mental health has become more difficult to track as the world has adapted to hybrid, virtual and remote work as we often communicate solely through screens.
Line managers and HR teams may not pick up on the usual signs that an individual may be struggling with their mental health during work-from-home, so its important to provide a comprehensive wellbeing program and guidance to support employees wherever they are.
Wellbeing programmes in an organisation must cover all aspects of health for their employees including physical health and mental health. A good employee wellbeing program should include company-wide health and wellbeing initiatives to improve work-life balance and promote healthy habits from gym memberships to counselling services.
Introducing friendly workplace competitions which promote healthy habits and employee wellbeing can be a great way to introduce wellbeing policies to staff teams and make employees aware of the wellbeing programmes available to them.
Why not start a step-count challenge between staff teams or organise a charity race which employees can take part in? Offering holistic wellbeing challenges and schemes can also improve employee engagement and team bonding through non work-related hobbies.
Monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing creates a positive company culture and promotes employee engagement, workforce morale and productivity.
Happy employees = Happy businesses!
Trend #2: Increased HR Integration with Business Processes
As companies adapt and change to continuously changing business landscapes, HR will integrate with business processes to inform logistical decisions with the people data, insights and analytics that only Human Resources can provide.
A significant HR trend for 2022 will be the increased integration of HR processes into business operations, as employers and HR teams will work more closely to see how internal policies can bolster employee motivation and reduce bottom line costs.
HR leaders and employers have long since recognised the value in people analytics and employee data. Identifying the skills and talents available in work teams allows management to maximise the value of their employees through learning and development, performance analysis and feedback.
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) can compile a range of employee data to provide a wealth of resources for employers to inform business strategies and forecasts and enable managers to see where their workforce could be strengthened.
Using a combined HR software solution makes the process of integrating HR data into business processes easier as all of your information is at hand to run HR analytics audits. We have spoken before on the importance of having a single-solution for all of your HR applications and processes.
Once all of your data is centrally accessible through your end-to-end HR system, finding the accurate information to inform business strategies becomes a much smoother process.
Trend #3: Data-driven HR Decisions and Strategies
We predict that an increased focus on data-driven HR decisions will become HR trend for 2022. Reporting and analytics are a large part of HR's ability to evaluate workforce trends, so having HR software which provides effective automated reports is an invaluable asset to HR departments.
Tracking metrics such as productivity, performance management and time off amongst other aspects of people analytics provides insights into employee wellbeing and overall workforce morale. Accurate data from automated HR software systems is crucial in ensuring that HR strategies positively impact the workforce and provide the changes that employees actually want to see!
HR tech can produce automated reports to inform analytics, so that business managers can track key biometrics in their organisation and prioritise areas for improvement.
Some advanced HR systems can even use reporting to future-proof a business, for example, XCD's Reporting and Analytics platform has the capability to forecast talent acquisition requirements using predictive HR analytics from existing data sets.
Using a HRIS and HR software to inform decisions and strategies leads to improved employee engagement and employee wellbeing as HR teams can target specific areas for improvement.
Trend #4: Continued focus on Diversity and Inclusion
A very important HR trend for 2021 was for HR leaders and employers to challenge and target inequalities in the workplace and adopt new methods to make the workplace and employment equal for all of their employees.
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare many inequalities in organisations, particularly through remote work and hybrid work as socio-economic issues were brought to light for many employees. For example, some employees did not have the same capabilities to work-from-home as their coworkers.
A pivotal HR trend for 2022 is to continue the work which many organisations started over the last year in making diversity and inclusion a priority in all aspects of a business or organisation.
HR managers should provide comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategies, inclusive of social support and skills development as a core element of employee handbooks and company manifestos to show and implement progressive policies as a HR priority.
This is particularly important in the onboarding process as HR departments can implement a positive and progressive company culture from day one. Delivering diversity and inclusion policies and training to new employees throughout the onboarding process will provide fundamental support for all employees and ensure the workplace is a safe and professional space for all.
XCD's employee relationship management software gives you the opportunity to foster a sense of belonging for all staff members from the moment of application, right the way through their employee lifecycle.
Human Resources teams can use HR software platforms to track Employee Relationships to ensure that their diversity and inclusion policies are felt in practice, not just on paper.
Trend #5: Proactive HR over Reactive HR
Coined by The HR Trend Institute's Director, Tom Haak, the phrase "transformation over adaptation" has been floating around discussions over HR Trends in 2022.
Over the course of the pandemic, amid redundancies and furloughs, HR teams have spent more time reacting to day-to-day business processes rather than having the opportunity to be proactive in their HR practise.
As we (hopefully) emerge into post-pandemic life in 2022, HR will have more time to focus on strategic aspects of Human Resources, such as people analytics and veer away from dreaded admin! A HR trend for 2022 is that HR is shifting and becoming a proactive role.
Previously, HR processes often involve reporting on events which have already taken place and analysing outcomes retrospectively. Now, thanks to HR platforms, Human Resources teams can look to future-proofing their workforces by using performance reviews and employee relationships tools to offer micro-learning and development opportunities to their staff.
Focusing on the development of your company's greatest assets (your employees) only strengthens the organisation, providing staff with the opportunity to grow with the company.
Not least this, HR software provides employers and management teams the capabilities to perform in-house scenario planning and change management to prepare for eventualities that may impact business operations and employee wellbeing.
Proactive HR processes have the potential to redefine how HR professionals work and businesses operate, so may very well be one of the most significant HR trends of 2022.
Trend #6: Self-Service HR technology is a Must-Have
As the role of HR shifts into more strategy focused decision-making over administrative assistance in organisations, self-service has become a necessity to manage employee data.
A key HR trend for 2022 is the increase in self-serve HR tech, as HR teams, particularly HR leaders, will not have time to tend to day-to-day administrative processes of HR and payroll as the role of Human Resources changes.
HR software is an invaluable tool to free up time for HR teams as HRIS software platforms can automate administrative processes and provides employees with the capability of being in control of their own data.
Enabling and empowering employees to input their own data not only reduces HR and payroll workloads significantly but increases transparency in operational processes like payroll and performance-related progression. Effective self-service HR software will be an easy-to-use, all-in-one platform which is easily accessible for all employees both remotely and in the office.
XCD offer a feature-rich, self-service HR software which combines HR and payroll solutions. XCD's cloud-based platform enables employees to input their information, including personal details, timesheets and employee feedback and more, wherever and whenever from a dedicated mobile app.
Enabling employees to input their own personal data and permissions has the additional benefit of ensuring organisational compliance with GDPR guidelines.
Self-service HR software benefits everyone in a business: employees appreciate being in control of their data and HR professionals aren't constantly chasing invoices and forms!
Trend #7: People over the Organisation
Most of the HR trends we have discussed so far have stressed the importance of centralising employee experience and employee wellbeing and health as pivotal aspects of business operations.
In 2021 we saw the 'Great Resignation' across many industries as employees placed wellbeing over their jobs and opted for new opportunities. For businesses and HR teams alike, this needs to be a wake-up call.
HR departments across all organisations need to evolve and place health, wellbeing and employee satisfaction at the heart of their business strategies. In 2022, a HR trend which isn't going anywhere is placing people ahead of the organisation.
Show your employees that their health and personal wellbeing is a HR priority by offering flexible working patterns that strike the right balance of work-life for each individual. HR teams can support employee health holistically through guidance and support a range of issues from mental health issues to financial wellbeing.
A well defined health and wellbeing strategy can have the secondary benefit of improving employee retention and decreasing turnover rates in an organisation due to improved employee satisfaction.
Focusing on performance management for your employees is another means in which HR professionals can place their people at the heart of the organisation.
Developing existing talent in a business is a no-brainer for Human Resources teams, as performance management increases employee value within an organisation will enable their people to grow throughout their employee lifecycle.
Each employee experience will differ as each individual will have specific needs to progress effectively. Track multiple unique performance management plans with ease using XCD's performance management software solution.
Whether you're a small business or an enterprise-level corporation, keeping ahead of HR trends for the coming year is crucial to future-proof your business, improve employee experience and wellbeing.
Talk to one of our friendly support team and see how easy onboarding our cloud-based HR and payroll software solution can be! Book a demo of XCD's single-solution payroll and HR platform.