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The 7 HR trends for 2022 that all managers need to know

After an eventful 2021, we are ready for another new year. New round, new opportunities! That also brings new developments on the HR front. Where last year we counted on monthly check-ins and remote leadership, we are now looking at 7 whole new HR trends for 2022.

Trend 1: Focus on mental health

According to international figures, about 43% of people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives. Including, therefore, occupational disease number 1: burnout. But that's not the only thing. Many organizations have employees who struggle with mental complaints. Often they do not dare to share this and managers do not know how to start this conversation.

Attention to the mental health of employees is very important. An open conversation about this can prevent absenteeism. And absenteeism has a high price tag for organizations. Therefore, don't necessarily ask about mental health symptoms, but rather what someone needs to do his/her job well.

Trend 2: The cramped labor market

The "war for talent" is not over. So that means there is plenty of choice for people applying for jobs, but it is harder for organizations to attract talent.

Not only that, you need to make sure you keep current talent committed to your organization. If more people are walking away from your organization, you have a leak somewhere that needs to be plugged. Because high turnover doesn't work out so well with the current market. That's why it's good to have an honest and open conversation with your departing employees: why are they leaving? Could you have prevented it? A good offboarding procedure is a reactive approach - you can read more about the proactive approach in one of the following HR trends of 2022.

Trend 3: Hybrid work will stay

We might have all seen this one coming; hybrid working is here to stay. In the past (almost) 2 years, we've switched a lot from working from home, to hybrid and back again. But one thing is clear: a good hybrid working policy is essential for the future of your organization. After all, the fact that we work partly from home also means less connection between colleagues and teams. And online games and meetings are hard to come by after a year and a half.

During hybrid working, there is a certain isolation of teams or individual employees. And it's important to counteract that. Therefore, in 2022, HR will have to be more conscious and involved in reforming the way collaboration and co-creation take place. Think about setting up a good workplace (physical or digital) and digital platforms that allow employees to collaborate anytime, anywhere. And above all, don't forget to ask about your employees' experience of hybrid working.

Trend 4: Sustainable entrepreneurship is a must

It was already mentioned above: in the current labor market you need to retain employees as much as possible. This can be done reactively (investigating why people leave) but also proactively: creating a sustainable work climate in which employees do not want to leave.

According to research by Berenschot, topics such as development and employability are still the top priority of respondents. A sustainable employer ensures that employees can continue to enjoy working for as long as possible, at whatever level. So that also means investing in professional and personal development. For many job applicants, such a work climate is now more of a requirement, rather than an enjoyable side benefit. Therefore, invest in your organization's sustainable work climate in 2022!

Trend 5: The ‘Great Resignation’

Perhaps the term "Great Resignation" looks familiar to you. Especially in countries like the United States, we have been seeing this since the spring of 2021. There, records are constantly being broken of the number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs. Last year, we in the Netherlands saw the eNPS (score given by employees for being a good employer) rise considerably, so it remains to be seen whether we will adopt this trend. But again, if you are well prepared for this and have a healthy work culture, you can prevent a lot of damage here.

Trend 6: Diversity, inclusion and belonging at the workplace

Diversity in the workplace is becoming increasingly important. This includes being able to be yourself at work, but also that the organization has a diverse workforce. Not only in terms of cultural background, but also in terms of age, education level, gender or sexuality. And especially don't forget employees with disabilities.

Yet very many organizations are not yet actively working on this. Because how can you ensure that you create an inclusive work culture? This is often more difficult than simply saying that everyone (regardless of the above aspects) is welcome in your organization. Therefore, we expect more steps to be taken in this regard in 2022.

Trend 7: ‘Continuous listening’ to your staff

'Continuous listening' is a term that we at 2DAYSMOOD have heard regularly. That's why it definitely belongs in the list of HR trends for 2022! A continuous listening strategy involves asking your employees for feedback more often. Many organizations still use the annual employee satisfaction survey. But this takes a lot of time and is often already unrepresentative as soon as the results are known.

Therefore, you need to listen continuously: give employees the opportunity to be involved and give input. By regularly sending out short surveys, little time is taken up and you have insights faster. This way you also anticipate change faster and keep an eye on how your employees are doing. Listening is one of the most important skills you should possess as an executive, team leader or HR manager!

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