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Watch on demand: HR trends for 2022 and beyond

Panelists on Tuesday’s (7 December) HR Lunchtime Debate discussed the trends they expect to dominate HR’s agenda in 2022.

Despite no ‘HR crystal ball’ existing as yet, certain topics have come to the fore in past months that look set to direct the profession's activities well into 2022.

An increasing focus on health and wellbeing, a continuing effort towards better diversity and inclusion efforts, and strategic approaches to hybrid and remote working have become mainstays in HR conversation. 

Past webinars:

How to build a successful employee experience programme

What talent wants post-pandemic

For Jon Maddison, managing director EMEA at rewards platform provider Achievers, managing employee engagement will continue to be a top priority.

“Employee engagement is a critical challenge for every business at the moment," he said.

“Clearly, it’s become a much bigger challenge for organisations during the pandemic.”

Businesses are much more aware now of how much it costs to have disengaged staff, he added.

“There’s a huge financial price tag associated with employee engagement

“People jump, perhaps, to think about employee productivity, but there are other things like mistakes […] disengaged employees make 60% more mistakes, which obviously have a material cost for the business,” he said.

Amina Folarin, chief people and inclusion officer at Inside Ideas Group, said that she hoped to drive employee resilience.

“A focus this year is how we build resilience for our people. We still haven’t quite nailed it.

“Because we’ve been in this pandemic for 18 months, our surge capacity is depleted. 

“That’s essentially how we deal with short-term crises, so we’re seeing, increasingly, people just can’t cope. And that’s with things that two years ago wouldn’t have been problematic.”

Jo Pick, people director at logistics company Wincanton, said the past year had seen huge shifts in consumer habits that will fundamentally shape the future.

“The move to doing a lot more online shopping, taking people out of shops, has had a huge effect on the supply chain of organisations,” she said.

“So our biggest challenge for the coming year, and maybe even further than that, is resourcing: getting the right people in the right place, at the right level of capability. It’s kind of back to HR basics, really.”

Robert Bolton, global head of people and change at KPMG’s Centre of Excellence, agreed with Pick, saying that the changes, including the ‘double disruption’ of Brexit and technology forecast by the World Economic Forum, will certainly continue.

“I don’t want to sound cataclysmic – but it’s not going to be double disruption. It’s going to be triple, quadruple, dare I say quintuple disruption. 

“We have rising disengagement, in the US, the ‘Great Resignation’ has been spoken about, but a lot of our developed economies are not addressing rising and significant inequality.

A multitude of rising pressures, including ESG and sustainability will also play major part in the change, he added.

“To summarise, the whole world of work is shifting significantly, and I think for HR the biggest challenge is: how do you predict what your workforce needs to be? Because it isn’t the one that you’ve got.”


Learn more about 2022 HR trends in the on demand recording here.