But before building, it is best to reinforce the base by integrating the initiatives developed during the pandemic throughout the organization. The major HR issues in 2022 will be part of the ongoing transformation and a reflection of the future of work.
Unsurprisingly, the return of employees to the office will force HR leaders to prioritize the transition to hybrid work, and the scarcity of labor will force them to look for solutions to counteract the shortage and prepare for the work revolution.
Workstream #1 – Making the Transition to Hybrid Work Successful
The pandemic forced companies to adopt a 100% work from home policy overnight. As they welcome their employees back to the office or prepare to do so, many will do so in hybrid mode. Employers will have to adapt to these new expectations: employees who have enjoyed more flexibility and a better work-life balance, won`t want to give it up.
“82% of employers recognize that the new realities of work will require a hybrid work model for many roles.1”
Willis Towers Watson, 2021
The mandate to manage the transition from telecommuting to hybrid work will fall on the laps of HR professionals. In addition to finding an arrangement that will work for both employees and employers, they will have to implement and manage a complex way of working.2 According to Gartner, the biggest challenges will be preserving the corporate culture and delivering the hybrid employee experience.3 To leave no stone unturned, be sure to communicate with employees, coach hybrid work, reinvent office life, foster collaboration, and embrace experience and skill-based management.4
Remember, solutions are available to make hybrid work easier and help you:
- Get up and running quickly: 100% online and remote
- Centralize employee data
- Promote skills development
- Simplify training for new hires, even remotely
- Train employees: face-to-face, virtual or both
- Create a culture of continuous feedback
- Integrate HR into the workflow
- Simplify employee access to HR processes from a mobile application
Success will depend on your ability to integrate hybrid work into your business model and engage employees throughout the transition. Their participation will indicate what is and isn`t interesting to them and help you build a model that will facilitate their buy-in.
Workstream #2 – Addressing the Labour Shortage
Despite the economic recovery, Canadian businesses are still struggling. Labour shortages are holding back growth and making it more difficult to recruit and retain employees. This situation is likely to continue as the population ages. Whatever solutions are considered to address the shortage, employee experience will need to be part of the solution. For example, it may be difficult for a company to attract and retain immigrants without knowing if what they are offering is what they are looking for.
“A positive employee experience is key to engagement (88%), well-being (86%), productivity (86%), and attraction and retention (84%). 1 ”
Willis Towers Watson, 2021
Although employee experience is high on the corporate agenda, few companies have integrated it into their overall HR strategy and are reaping the real benefits. More than a buzzword, it’s a mindset shift that requires the involvement of the entire organization.
Companies that commit to a sustainable transformation of the employee experience will be better able to attract, recruit, engage and retain talent. HR leaders tasked with designing the employee experience will need to consider employees` new expectations at every stage of their journey. Remember, the best way to ensure this is to involve them in the co-creation process.
Project #3 – Thinking About the Future of Work
Work has changed. The pandemic has accelerated its transformation and experts agree that labor scarcity and automation will help revolutionize it. Mandatory telecommuting has forced employees to learn and adapt quickly to new technologies and ways of working. Since the transformation is already underway, why not continue it and prepare employees now for the future of work.
“49% of HR leaders do not have a strategy for the future of work and 40% are not able to build the required skills development solutions fast enough to meet their evolving skill needs.3”
Now is the time for HR leaders to think about the future of work and build a picture of the organization’s future. This should include factors such as: the company’s automation potential, the impact of automation on jobs, future workforce needs, the impact of a lack of employees, and bridging the gap between employees’ current skills and those that will be required. 5.
An exercise that will serve to prepare employees for the future of work. But also to design a strategy that includes ways to acquire knowledge, skills and experience required for employees’ new roles more quickly, including integrating learning, experimentation and on-the-job practice, training and talent development programs.5
As the way we work, the employee experience, and the future of work continue to evolve, engaging employees is key to building a sustainable future where they feel good, develop their full potential and work better.
- 2021 Employee Experience Survey, Willis Towers Watson, July 1, 2021.
- 10HR trends for the next normal of work, Forbes, January, 2021.
- Top 5 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2022, Gartner, 2021.
- Guide d’accompagnement pour une transition vers le travail hybride, juillet 2021.
- Future-ready workforce series, University of Waterloo, November 2021.