The COVID-19 pandemic altered every aspect of life, including rapid digitization of the economic landscape and revolutionizing work life as we knew it. For human resources (HR), it presents an enormous challenge to integrate these changes to create a sustainable and positive work environment.
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As 2022 arrives, HR will be looking to capitalize on the increasingly remote landscape while innovating new strategies to drive motivation and increase employee satisfaction.
Let’s look at some trends that will change Human Resources in 2022:
1. Hybrid And Remote Workers Are Here To Stay
During the pandemic, organizations had no option but to send most employees home to work remotely. However, when the operations are getting back on track, remote working has become a mainstay.
As employees realize the potential and convenience of remote working, it seems like it is here to stay longer than organizations initially thought.
Statistics show that two-thirds of the Australian workforce continues to work from home. Moreover, since employees know that remote work is on the table, most employers will need to allow their workers to split part of their shifts between working from office and home.
This is one element that modern workplaces cannot avoid anymore. HR has to work on facilitating the companies with resources to streamline this model smoothly and safely. They will have to ensure that nothing hinders the business operation even if their staff is working from home and their data remains adequately protected.
HR will have to strengthen its cyber security, set up virtual screening and interview processes, and onboarding process for new employees. It will be a bit challenging, but once the system is set up and everyone adapts to it, this will become effortless.
Even some HR professionals will likely be doing work remotely. So a significant part of business operations will now rely on cloud-based systems and online portals.
2. Welcoming The New Generation On Board
The new generation is finally becoming a part of the workforce now. Every generation brings its own mindsets and ideas. So it’s essential that companies are flexible enough to adapt to deal with them. This is where HR needs to play its role.
Regardless of which industry your organization belongs to, you will be welcoming the new generation on board. So, HR needs to make changes to your business operations as per the preferences of the members of Generation Z. Anything that will help them be more productive and utilize their maximum capabilities. As a result, they will be making up a more significant part of the workforce of most companies.
If you have a few members from the new generations on board, you would have discovered by now that these young workers don’t have the same set priorities and ideas as others. They have very different expectations regarding their careers. For instance, they expect flexible schedules from workplaces even if they’re not entirely working remotely.
The millennial who has been part of the workforce for the past few years also has somewhat similar preferences. They expect to build better relationships with their managers and supervisors. This generation entertains feedback and wishes to work collaboratively on projects.
HR workers must adapt to their preferences and adjust workplace policies to allow young employees more flexibility and easier collaboration. However, HR will also have to remember that people of various generations are onboard. Hence, their policies and business operations need to facilitate all ages adequately. So, you will have to spend a reasonable amount of time setting a middle ground where everyone can be comfortable.
3. AI Assistance Will Play A Greater Role
In the digital age, you can’t avoid upgrading your business processes with new technology. It makes your work easier and streamlines efficiency in the business processes. For example, the latest technology that many HR professionals incorporate in their organizations is AI assistance in the recruitment process.
They can now use artificial intelligence platforms to help them only hire those who will be a good fit. This trend has only started, but by the end of 2022, human resources departments will rely on it significantly with more added features.
Currently, AI is helping HRs to screen and shortlist candidates’ resumes that seem to be suitable for the role. Moreover, some chatbots ask routine questions from the candidates and collect the data on behalf of the HR professionals. This takes off a load of the initial screening process.
Sometimes some bugs make the process inefficient. Hence, an HR professional has to monitor the AI system closely. However, without question, AI will grow more in the coming years, getting more advanced and sophisticated. So, it won’t just be helping out with recruitment and hiring forever.
4. Preparing For Multiple Futures
Companies struggled a lot during the pandemic since they were unprepared for it. However, now employers are getting more conscious about preparing for the future and ensuring their business operations allow for flexibility. However, there is a world full of possibilities, so you can never predict one certain future, so companies are preparing for multiple.
For instance, the hospitality industry was highly affected because of the pandemic. Some hotels only accommodated business trips which were limited during the pandemic. So, should they still stick to the same business model or become more flexible if the business doesn’t recover? It was a tough decision but one that needed timely implementation.
Even though the hotel owners wanted to hold on to the hope that the business would revive after the pandemic, there was another possibility where it might not. Therefore, it prompted the HR and leadership to make some critical decisions. They prepared corresponding strategies that ensure that the company will be capable of responding to either of the situations.
To be precise, you might have to let go or bend some of your previously held beliefs about managing employees and business processes. Most of them will become redundant in the future, so you need to be prepared to replace them with more efficient ones. For this reason, HR professionals need to figure out ways to reinvent the company’s policies and planning. So, that when the time comes, they won’t have to waste time on planning, testing, and getting approvals. You can implement the strategy right away without wasting time.
5. Implement An Impactful Reward System
Previously, employees didn’t think much about why they would want to work at a place or what value an organization is adding to their lives. However, employees have become more critical after the pandemic when joining an organization. Employees expect more from their jobs than just the 9 to 5 grind. Employers no longer see well-being, mental health support, and inclusion as an employee perk. Instead, they see it as a necessity.
Moreover, they are looking for acknowledgment and appreciation in the form of impactful rewards. So if an employer wants to attract a quality workforce that enables productivity, they need to offer compelling rewards to the employees. Of course, it goes without saying that supporting employees, flexibility, and creating purpose are all part of the compensations you offer.
Human resource professionals have a considerable role in taking companies ahead of the game. They are the driving forces of any company. Therefore, you must adapt to the ever-evolving HR trends as an HR professional. However, suppose you’re running a small business and don’t have any idea. In that case, you can get certified in human resources skills to learn effective HR strategies. This certification is also helpful for HR professionals who sharpen the skills and expertise they need to take on future challenges.