The transformation of the workforce that was taking place accelerated. The concept of Work from Home was always spoken about, but now it is a reality. Companies moved to virtual hiring practices such as video interviews, giving digital assignments, and also inducting them through various online modes. The processes of keeping a check on attendance, leave and working hours are now managed digitally. Training and Development turned into e-learning sessions where managers provide constant engagement.
But there was also strains on businesses and shifting worker priorities. Workloads increased, but there was a huge labour shortage. Soon after the second wave was over, companies were inclined to hire and revamp the workforce. Talent acquisition was on a rise and this time the way human capital management processes functioned had transformed. The pandemic pushed businesses to become adaptable and agile.
The trends which will continue and grow during 2022 are:
Remote working and geographical expansion in hiring
Quarantines, lockdowns, and self-imposed isolation have brought tens of millions of people around the world to work from home, accelerating experiments in the workplace that struggled to gain traction prior to the arrival of COVID-19. As employers seek out local, fully remote, and hybrid workplace models, organisations are now looking for new ways to increase employee visibility and better understand the needs of a distributed workforce. To facilitate connectivity without physical proximity, personal data provides insights into engagement and performance ups and downs, helping managers pull the appropriate levers to support high-performance remote or hybrid teams. Built on mutual trust, this new dynamic helps improve employee engagement and performance. Adaptability towards remote working has increased across sectors that were not previously comfortable with remote working.
Company’s purpose will drive workplace culture
As employers seek ways to encourage inclusion in new work models, that connection becomes a benchmark for employee culture. In a bond that promotes engagement, employers need to put their people first and think about the overall purpose of uniting their workforce. Workforce flexibility transcends perceived boundaries, and employers are taking human-centred initiatives to create a workplace where everyone can thrive. Diversity, equity and inclusion strategies have evolved further to make real measurable advances.
Data will be at the forefront
Employees remain remote and hybrid, increasing operational considerations and compliance requirements and adding to the already complex regulatory landscape. Executives rely on more real-time data to proactively engage in compliance and guide decision making to move forward. Quality data is important in giving a company the confidence it needs to act. Employers use up-to-date personal information to better manage their return to work, for example, vaccination tracking and testing.
Innovation will promote growth
As business models evolve in the midst of global change, companies look to technologies that increase efficiency and expand capabilities by reducing responsibility and reorganising efforts for strategic growth initiatives. This digitization benefits both employers and employees as they seek more flexibility and control in their experience.
With roles evolving, a surge in skills-based hiring will drive innovation further. Employees are being retrained into their desired focus area, they continue to prioritize their skills and seize the opportunity to harness their unique strengths. To improve performance, employers need to focus on these individual strengths and provide employees with the opportunity to develop new skills or embark on new career paths with more growth opportunities. In addition, employers are using helpful technologies such as machine learning to identify employees with the right skills in their own location, such as a pool of former applicants who have previously applied for other positions.
Employees have grown during this pandemic. Now, more than ever, they are focused on learning skills and self-development. Reskilling and upskilling were at the forefront during COVID-19. The concept of remote working has boosted productivity as it provides them with flexibility. The pandemic helped businesses shift their focus from organisational growth to self-growth as well.