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HR

6 HR trends reshaping the workplace for the long term

Posted by Neha De

April 15, 2022    |     4-minute read (802 words)

While 2021 was a year in which HR reinvented itself and consolidated its new role, 2022 will be about pushing the boundaries of HR's value-adding role. Here are six trends that will shape the future of HR. 

#1 Employee well-being is the future of work – The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that employee well-being is not just another employee benefit. Instead, it is now an opportunity for employers to support their workers in all aspects of their work and personal lives. 

Since the pandemic, employee well-being has transitioned from simply focusing on the employee to the entire family. For instance, Hewlett Packard’s Spirit Program offers educational resources for working parents on tackling home schooling, health and well-being apps, job sharing for select job positions and an employee resource group for working parents.

That said, making employee well-being a priority can also stem the great resignation. According to an article on Forbes, even though raising salaries is one way to attract and retain workers, research conducted by Paychex and Future Workplace has found well-being benefits to be a key criterion when applying for a new job.

#2 Majority of employees want a hybrid workplace – Hybrid work is the future of work. According to Accenture’s The future of work: A hybrid work model survey, 83% prefer a hybrid work model. In addition, “63% of high-growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” workforce model.”

Research from Harvard Business School also finds that “the pandemic has hastened a rise in remote working for knowledge-based organizations.” 

#3 Upskilling HR is the need of the hour (to lead workforce transformation) – GP Strategies joined hands with Future Workplace to conduct a survey of more than 500 global HR and business leaders to learn how businesses are creating business-relevant and impactful learning experiences, and to gain insight into their strategies for workforce transformation in the wake of COVID-19.

Here are the top three findings from the research:

1. New learning and development team member capabilities are primarily business related, rather than relating to traditional learning and development.
2. The use of technology and personalization are seen as mainstream expectations rather than a bonus.
3. There is a need for upskilling L&D team members and having a plan for innovation of corporate learning.

Jeanne Meister, managing partner at Future Workplace, shared, “Just as the HR function has already created many new job roles such as Director of Remote Work and Employee Well-Being Leader, the learning function must also take stock of what is needed to deliver workforce transformation and create a host of new roles focused on new capabilities such as digital marketing, immersive technologies, and learning design leadership.”

#4 Workers want to work for businesses whose values match their own – According to a workplace study from Blue Beyond Consulting and Future Workplace, “The overwhelming majority of employees believe it's important that their company's core values align with their personal values, yet just above half of workers say they actually do align. In fact, this values alignment is so important that 52% of workers say they would quit their job — and only 1 in 4 would accept one — if company values are not consistent with their personal values.”

#5 Skills-based hiring is on the upswing – Artificial intelligence is changing the face of the labor market, automating a number of jobs and coming up with completely new job roles that require new in-demand skills. Harvard Business Review's 21 HR Jobs of the Future research has identified a number of HR jobs to be created, many of those focused on humans working harmoniously with machines, such as Human Machine Teaming Manager and Algorithm Bias Officer.

As companies sign up for a hiring race for top talent while emerging from the disastrous effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are rethinking a basic requirement in their search for skilled employees: the college degree. For instance, following the COVID-19 pandemic, Infosys has brought together a consortium of partners to “not just to establish employer-employee connects, but to spot talent with the right adjacent skills, rapidly reskill this alternate workforce, and help employers simultaneously hire them so they can integrate the learning with the context of their jobs and be more productive.” 

#6 The role of the CHRO is now more important than ever – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of the chief human resource officer has emerged as a key member of the C-suite. The CHRO is now expected to work with the chief medical officer and the heads of finance, technology, workforce transformation and real estate to ensure a safe return to the workplace. 

Bottom line

This new world of work requires leaders, both HR and business, to demonstrate empathy, transparency, resilience and digital fluency to ensure every employee has a voice in creating the future of work.

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