7 ways HR will look different in 2022

Two years in the past, as I used to be wrapping up a year-long Quick Firm sequence on twenty first century HR, I closed the 12 months by writing about how the world of HR would change in 2020. Then got here the worldwide pandemic, renewed conversations on racial fairness and social justice, and an enormous shift towards the digitization of labor that accelerated lots of these predictions.

The previous two years have been a rollercoaster for the sphere of HR. We’ve been tasked with main our organizations via a once-in-a-generation pandemic, designing and modifying (and modifying once more) return-to-workplace plans, creating new “individuals ops in the cloud” distant fashions of working, and extra. 

The duality of this period of transition is profound. HR and other people capabilities have been elevated to a standing we’ve lengthy sought, as we’ve been important to navigating the entire turmoil of the previous 12 months. That’s led to an 87% enhance in demand, in line with Certainly. On the opposite aspect, the emotional toll this centrality is taking has led to excessive ranges of burnout, and skilled executives transitioning out of operator roles. The burden of those duties—plus the stress and uncertainty of their leaders, groups, and staff—is a counterweight to this enhance in standing and demand.


Take heed to HR practitioners’ tales about navigating their position in the pandemic here.

As the sphere of HR and other people operations seems forward to 2022 we achieve this with a clearer give attention to the adjustments we face and our position in driving this continued evolution in the world of labor. We’ve grown extra comfy with the anomaly that permeates the pandemic and perceive the necessity for agile approaches that may adapt to our new continuously evolving world of labor.

The sector of HR is a spectrum with some nonetheless working in legacy environments which might be largely transactional and others with extra progressive and proactive practices. These are a few of the ways HR will start to look different in 2022 for that latter group: 

Hybrid 2.0

When the pandemic swept the globe in March of 2020 the world of labor went distant in a single day, porting their office-based communications and collaboration programs to digital ones. It wasn’t fairly, however we figured it out. 2021 introduced hope of a “return to office” as vaccines rolled out and visions of pre-pandemic places of work appeared to be on the horizon. Then new variants emerged and postponed these plans sending us again into cycles of uncertainty.

The working fashions of distant and hybrid we’ve been reliant on for the previous two years have largely been office-centric frameworks ported to digital. Conferences stay the core means work will get carried out. Our efforts to create fairness and parity for these coming into an workplace and their distant colleagues have been largely inconsistent

As we transfer into 2022, the businesses that efficiently navigate this new work panorama will be far more intentional about re-engineering their HR working programs and constructions to be extra cloud-based. We’ll get higher at transferring away from synchronous work and be extra intentional in re-orienting to asynchronous as a default working mannequin. The “conferences that ought to have been emails” cliché will really result in extra emails. We’ll use instruments like Loom to ship video messages that describe in 5 minutes what normally takes a 30-minute assembly. When we’ve conferences they’ll be thoughtfully structured, with agendas, pre-read supplies despatched in advance, and embody solely those that are mandatory to maneuver that mission ahead. 


Flexibility Guidelines

HR used to comply with a one-size-fits-all method. Not anymore. During the last two years, we’ve carried out numerous listening to our staff to raised perceive how they’re doing, what they want, and extra. This consciousness has refocused the sphere of HR towards worker expertise and is permitting us to co-create packages with staff—not simply for them. 

Working via the pandemic bolstered the truth that different staff have different wants. Some are determined to return to the workplace. Some will by no means return. Some need the facility to decide on when and the place they work. Firms that empower staff with the autonomy to make selections that finest go well with them will have a transparent benefit. 

Fairness, Inclusion, and Entry

The previous decade has seen our method broaden past “range” to incorporate fairness, inclusion, belonging, and entry. Following George Floyd’s homicide, Tech giants dedicated $3.8 billion {dollars} towards racial fairness initiatives. However has this had a significant affect on driving change?

The sector of HR nonetheless has numerous work to do in uprooting the programs of inequity that permeate our firms—from pay fairness to board illustration. Whereas some firms have made antiracist commitments, others appear to have settled again into previous habits.

The shift to distant and hybrid work can be impacting our range, fairness, and inclusion efforts. Eradicating geographic constraints opens the expertise pool and creates extra entry to expertise and that’s having a positive impact on hiring. As extra firms embrace distant constructs, HR groups have to be extra aware and intentional about sustaining equity inside these new distributed groups. 

Expertise Mobility Continues

We’ve spilled loads of ink overlaying the Nice Resignation and have felt the ache of the spiking attrition inside our firms. Beneath the tumult what’s actually taking place is a “nice migration” as trade analyst and author Josh Bersin effectively frames it.

The present job market is white-hot. Recruiter jobs postings are outpacing software program engineers, as firms battle for an edge in this hyper-competitive hiring market. The “battle for expertise” now transcends expertise and is increasing to fields together with retail, the place employers are providing beforehand uncommon perks, like signing bonuses. In accordance with the U.S. Labor Division job openings have topped 10 million for 5 straight months.

Right now, 45% of full-time U.S. staff are working partly or fully remotely. Whereas that quantity could drop as extra firms implement return to office plans in 2022, it will stay a good portion of our workforce. The share of employers providing distant or hybrid work considerably reduces the hiring friction. The convenience of digital interviews and hiring will proceed to gasoline expertise migration in 2022. To offset this, firms should double down on constructing nice locations to work—prioritizing profession progress, flexibility, studying & improvement, and complete rewards packages that entice and retain expertise. 

The Metaverse is Coming

Fb made waves earlier this 12 months once they modified their title to Meta, a nod to their plans to take a position in increasing into the metaverse. Whereas digital actuality isn’t new, the obstacles of entry (principally {hardware}) proceed to decrease, opening up extra use circumstances for HR and other people operations.

As firms who’ve migrated to distant and hybrid battle to fill the void of watercooler moments and dwell conferences, the metaverse will assist bridge that analog-digital divide. Firms like Distant and (*7*) are sending new hires Oculus VR headsets for a variety of makes use of from onboarding, coaching, conferences; to extra informal always-on areas the place staff can join, play video games, and watch dwell occasions collectively. 

Web3 On Our Radar

The metaverse is commonly bundled with the nascent world of web3. Whereas we received’t see widespread implications for HR but, we ought to be paying consideration as this develops. Collectively, web3 contains a mixture of expertise, open requirements, cryptocurrency, blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), Decentralized Finance (DeFi) communities, and a brand new creator financial system. 


You will have discovered about DAOs a number of months in the past when ConstitutionDao, a “monetary flash mob”, was narrowly outbid to buy a replica of the structure. When it comes to HR implications, the shared possession and transparency of DAOs might have broader implications together with narrowing the pay hole

Crypto is already in play for some firms together with Airbnb, Uber, Fb, and others who provide staff cryptocurrencies as an option for wages or bonuses. HR needs to navigate the authorized and tax complexities when providing crypto as wages, together with a mixture of state and federal tips on how wages have to be paid. 

The Nice Reset

The pandemic has upended lots of the long-held industrial period constructs of labor itself. The when, the place, and the way work occurs has developed past these restricted legacy views of 9-5’s in the workplace. Positive, there will all the time be traditionalists who wish to return to a pre-pandemic period of labor that now not exists. They will be at the businesses struggling to draw and retain expertise in 2022 and past. 

The good reset requires HR to look at our practices, shed those that now not serve our firms and staff, and construct anew for a few of the new constructs of labor detailed above. It requires a shift away from prescribed playbooks of HR packages and a willingness to pilot and undertake new practices. It will be centered on employee experience and co-created with our staff. 

The times of HR being a back-office perform are over. Our generational alternative to redefine work itself is straight in entrance of us. Can we meet this second? I consider we are able to. We’ll see how far we’ve come in subsequent 12 months’s submit. 

How do Chief Folks Officers Really feel About HR’s Future?

I requested main Folks executives from the Coca-Cola Firm, the Lego Group, Reddit, and SAP that query on my Redefining HR podcast. You possibly can hearken to their solutions here