The year 2020 changed the way the world thought about jobs, workspaces, remote work and hiring. But back then, everyone thought the changes would be temporary. The year 2021, drove home the understanding that many of these changes are here to stay for a long time, if not permanently.
So, what lies in store in 2022? As the growing pains of adjusting to this new normal fade, businesses need to focus more on creating a strong base of employee engagement, and wellbeing, by using data smartly and focusing on creating a robust Employee Experience that can make work a better place for everyone in the long run.
Whether you are a business leader or an HR professional, here are the top 5 things that you should watch out for in 2022 when it comes to the Employee Experience:
1. EX Will Be a Shared Goal for Everyone, Not Just HR
For as long as most of us can remember, it has always been assumed that anything related to employee engagement or wellbeing is the HR department’s problem. But businesses are now starting to realize that a truly effective EX strategy requires the involvement of multiple departments.
Employees today expect their organizations to be attentive, involved, tech-savvy, equitable, nurturing of their growth and ambitions, and to stand for values that they believe in. This requires active involvement from a range of other functions, from Internal Communications to IT, Admin to Corporate Social Responsibility. EX strategy includes safe workplace protocols, flexible office schedules, employee learning opportunities, in addition to traditional HR responsibilities like pay, leave, appraisals, and benefits.
EX ‘thinking’ needs to be woven into the day-to-day operations across the whole company. Planned and executed well, it will drive employer branding, employee productivity, engagement, retention, and customer success. As businesses begin to understand the true potential and benefits of Employee Experience, we expect there to be a significant amount of focus in 2022, on making EX a company-wide consideration, and not just an HR problem.
2. Employee Data is Gold
Employee data is an invaluable resource for those who learn to use it smartly. The foundation of any good EX strategy is a thorough understanding of data and in turn an understanding of each one of your employees.
At Tydy we believe that a data-driven EX strategy is the answer to many challenges faced by companies who have a diverse and distributed workforce. With good, clean data integrated across multiple systems and apps, companies can craft a unique and consistent experience for their people no matter where they are in the world.
With important information about their employees’ personal and professional lives, ranging from basic information to their concerns, ambitions and interests, HR and IT can leverage technology to send this data downstream to map, inform and design every interaction across the entire employee journey.
With EX becoming the #1 priority in 2022, we will see a lot more companies looking for data-driven solutions to help them harness, integrate and channel their data in a safe and secure manner in order to accomplish this goal.
3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Will Get a Boost
Let’s break these down into their most basic definitions:
- Diversity - hiring people that represent different races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, nationalities, socioeconomic statuses, languages, (dis)abilities, ages, or political perspectives.
- Equity - creating and promoting just, impartial and fair procedures and processes, as well as distribution of resources and opportunities to grow.
- Inclusion - ensuring that all employees feel welcome and are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within your organization.
With increasing numbers of millennials and Gen Z in the global workforce, businesses must ensure transparency and strong ethics at their core. Employees expect their employers and workplaces to be fair and equitable with attention to fair pay, safe and nurturing workplaces, and ethical, evolved hiring policies.
DEI is closely linked with increased productivity, and innovation. Integrating DEI across the organization is no longer a perk but a necessity without which you will not be able to attract good talent. Many skilled, talented, dedicated employees are not willing to associate themselves with employers that are not aligned to their personal social values.
Moreover, social media is catalyzing this process by holding businesses to their word. If employees feel that their employers are not attentive to DEI, they can share this opinion across the world, with a click of a button, putting a permanent dent in the company’s reputation and brand. You would not just lose good employees and potential hires but even customers.
According to a recent study, 93% of leaders agree the DEI agenda isa top priority. But only 34% believe it is a strength in their workplace, which means that there’s a lot to be done and fast, which is why we believe that DEI will be an important goal to focus on in 2022.
4. Creating a sense of 'Belonging' Will Become a Priority
An oft-overlooked aspect that makes work a better place, is creating a sense of belonging. This is when a person feels included and accepted in the organization and by its people. It defines how welcome, heard, valued, and appreciated employees feel in their workplace and it is more critical than ever now. The COVID-19 pandemic forced people into isolation in their homes and reduced workspaces to laptop screens, creating a wider disconnect between employees, employers, and peers than ever before. And employees felt this keenly.
Research shows that belonging became 12% more important for employee happiness during COVID-19. Employers will have to make this a priority going ahead because high belonging was linked to a whopping 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. For a 10,000-person company, this would result in annual savings of more than $52M.
Given these compelling numbers, companies need to focus on creating safe spaces for employees to share contextual feedback or grievances (i.e., immediately after an event or interaction), promoting peer networks, and putting in processes to check-in with employees on a regular basis. The year 2022 is likely to see these ideas coming into play across organizations.
5.Skilling and reskilling of employees will become standard practice
As the world spins madly on, businesses must be more flexible and adaptive than ever before. New disruptions are always around the corner and employees need to be ready to adapt to changes quickly and effectively. This is why skilling and reskilling of employees is becoming an increasingly urgent priority for businesses around the world. According to World Economic Forum estimates, 42%of the core skills within roles on average are expected to change by 2022.
And employees are ready to hit the ground running. Research shows that people are embracing opportunities to learn, with 97% saying they want to expand or continue their current time to learn. But they will need support from their organizations in terms of access to information, learning programs, opportunities for upskilling and reskilling and time to invest in themselves and their growth. In the coming year, with technological innovation, adoption and disruption having gone into a higher gear because of the pandemic, skilling and reskilling will become an essential practice for most organizations.
As 2022 draws closer, we believe these will be areas that you need to focus on, whether as a leader or an HR professional, to ensure smooth employee experiences that eventually lead to real, long-term employee happiness.
If you think we’ve missed something or got a prediction wrong, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you think we’ve got some things right and want us to help you with your EX goals for 2022, schedule a demo with us today!