Looking back to the HR predictions we made last year, we can say for sure that HR trends are in constant disarray. If we view 2021 as the year of learning, employers must acknowledge this year as the year of innovation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 31% of businesses in the United States increased telework through the first nine months of 2020. That means most, if not all, of these managers weren't prepared for this transition.
As we enter 2022 in the remnants of the hiring tsunami and the great resignation phenomenon, HR leaders are navigating their way through finding creative solutions that engage and retain existing employees and new hires. To help strategize on a yearly HR plan, we reached out to our chief scientific officer, Jack Wiley, who shared 8 goals companies should set to improve their workplace this year.
1. Ensure compensation levels are fair and competitive.
The number one reason top performers resign is that they feel overworked and undervalued. Dr. Wiley’s research reveals that 54% percent of the workforce feels overworked and 64% of new hires are struggling to survive. Companies that offer beyond the base pay are more susceptible to attracting talent and engaging performance.
2. Provide every employee with a training and development plan.
Education and career growth have been the most important requirements for the labor force. Following the transition to working from home or adapting to a hybrid workplace, employees have had more time to reflect on their career goals, resulting in them seeking companies that offer growth and development opportunities. Companies that provide training and education to support their talent’s evolution will create a work environment to make them thrive.
3. Create exciting jobs that match employees' skills and interests.
Is the work environment exciting? Something worth asking employees is, “what do you look forward to doing the most when starting your workday?”. This question usually gives a clear idea of how employees perceive their work environment and help managers understand how they can create an exciting work experience. According to the 2021 Microsoft Work Trends Index, only 16% of Gen Z feels engaged about work after onboarding, especially since networking and team dynamics have changed due to the pandemic.
4. Recognize a job well done – always.
Recognizing employees at any opportunity makes a difference in the work environment. Whether it’s in the form of a card, a gift or a simple thank you, creating recognition moments will solidify the part your employees play in their team and make a positive workplace.
5. Give employees the tools and equipment they need – and make sure it works.
Encouraging performance also means providing them with the right equipment to perform. In the WFH environment employees are evolving in, companies need to be more aware of setting up remote work. Making a budget for extra monitors or keeping an office space available for employees can be beneficial.
6. Respect employees by involving them in problem-solving and decision-making.
This new year is the perfect opportunity to develop a plan to create more cohesion within and across teams. Some may feel uninvolved since teams and employees are split among many locations. While mostly unintentional, it can still happen. Not everything needs to be shared among all employees, but sharing more minor details will help your teams feel like they are part of the organization and appreciated.
7. Communicate organizational goals and be transparent about progress.
When companies and managers are open about organizational goals and current progress, it builds trust. Inform employees about how their efforts impacted the company’s success and be upfront on how to improve it. Sharing information companywide promotes recognition amongst each individual and truly makes them feel like they are part of the bigger picture.
8. Give managers the needed tools to manage a remote or hybrid workforce.
Our research has shown that 61% of managers received training, but it only lasted four hours or less. Companies need to provide the proper support to help managers lead during this transitional time. The rules haven’t stopped changing over the past two years, and managers need to provide the right guidance for employees to follow the new remote and hybrid work environment.
2021 has taught us that we can’t predict what will happen at the beginning of the year, but we can prepare with the lessons that we experienced in the past. Following these goals will help improve the workplace and inspire the workforce for the upcoming year and beyond.