As we enter 2022, changes in how we work, where we work, who we work with, why we work, and the technologies we use are in continual flux. Many of these changes started prior to the pandemic, were accelerated by it, and have become permanent fixtures of the workplace. Let’s focus on great retention strategies vs. the great resignation we are hearing about.

#1 The Future Of Work Is Employee Well-being

Employee well-being is no longer an employee benefit. Rather, well-being now is an employer’s opportunity to support employees in all aspects of their personal and work lives. Employee well-being has expanded beyond physical well-being to include emotional, financial, social, and career wellness.

#2 Employee Well-being Benefits Can Stem The Great Resignation

While raising wages is one way to attract and retain employees, research conducted by Paychex and Future Workplace among 603 full-time workers found 62% of employees identified well-being benefits as key a key factor in deciding whether to apply for a new job. This was especially true for Gen Z, where 67% strongly agreed or agreed that well-being benefits will be a priority for them in evaluating new job offers. The employee well-being benefits most in-demand include financial well-being and emotional/mental health well-being. Financial education and training are growing in importance for workers across generations.

#3 Hybrid Work Is What The Majority Of Workers Want

Hybrid work is here to stay. Accenture’s survey finds that 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model and that 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted a “productivity anywhere” workforce model. For both employees and employers, work from anywhere is about owning results, regardless of where or when work happens. In addition, employers need to communicate how their approach to management is evolving as work from anywhere expands. This means clearly defining how they will create a fair and equitable workplace for all employees regardless of location, communicating how leaders will manage employees they never physically see, and how teams will achieve work flexibility while meeting their goals.

#4 Employees Seek Companies Whose Values Match Their Own

Future Workplace and Blue Beyond Consulting’s research, Closing the Employee Expectations Gap, conducted among a sample of 753 business leaders, HR leaders and knowledge workers, uncovered eight out of ten employees who say it is important for their company’s values to align with their own. These findings are especially important as 75% of workers say they expect their employer, and business in general, to be a force for good in society. This percentage reaches 80% for those under 45 years old.

#5 Skills Based Hiring Is on the Rise

Artificial intelligence is transforming the labor market, automating certain jobs, and creating entirely new jobs requiring new in-demand skills. Our 21 HR Jobs of the Future research identified a range of new HR jobs to be created between now and 2030, many focused on humans working seamlessly with machines, such as Algorithm Bias Officer and Human Machine Teaming Manager. Being able to demonstrate one’s competency in these new skills has become the currency for talent mobility, as degrees have shown to be a bad proxy for possessing in-demand skills. In fact, Glassdoor reports that 15 companies ranging from Google to Hilton Hotels and Apple, are offering well-paying jobs to those possessing in-demand skills, but lacking a degree. More companies are piloting skills-based hiring, or the practice of setting specific skills and competency requirements for a job rather than only looking at a candidate’s credentials.

#6 Longevity Leads To Multiple Careers

Stanford Center on Longevity predicts half of today’s 5-year-olds can expect to live to the age of 100 and over the course of 100-year lives, they can expect to work 60 years or more. While this does not mean working in the same job for 60 years, it does pose an important question for leaders: How can they increase a company’s commitment to lifelong learning be used to up-skill and re-skill current workers over what may be a 60-year career? Amazon Career Choice and mthree, Wiley’s Talent Development Solution for Employers, is showing what’s possible by creating a customized program teaching in-demand computer skills to hourly workers. Participants are typically Amazon warehouse and delivery workers, and they have the opportunity to learn digital skills that can change their career trajectory from warehouse worker to IT professional.

#7 Up-Skilling Is Critical To Lead Workforce Transformation

In, The Evolving Role Of Learning In Workforce Transformation, Future Workplace, in partnership with GP Strategies, surveyed 549 global HR and Business leaders to uncover how learning is expanding across enterprises and what the implications are for new capabilities needed among learning & development teams. A key finding emerging in our conversations with CHROs and CLOs is this: Often, HR focuses on training and up-skilling key business roles and forgets about up-skilling their own team members. The HR and Learning teams have become the cobbler’s children, forgotten and left to their own devices to up-skill themselves. This needs to change.
This research identified building a culture of lifelong learning and up-skilling learning and development team members are the top two priorities for 2025.
Our sample of 549 HR and Business leaders identified driving innovation into the fabric of the learning function as a key theme when looking to 2025.

#8 Power Skills Include Human Skills & Digital

Working in 2021 taught us we need to develop resilience to adapt to rapid-fire changes in how and where we work. It also taught us we need to become proficient at seamlessly working across multiple technology platforms including, Zoom, WebEx, Slack, Stream Yard, and Microsoft Teams, not to mention a range of new virtual reality platforms like Strivr, Immerse, and BodySwaps. It is not surprising that the LinkedIn 2021 Learning Report listing of the top ten power skills include a mix of resilience and technology/digital fluency skills.

#9 Working Parents Expect a New Employer Value Proposition

With the spread of the Omicron variant, a growing number of school districts in the United States have postponed reopening of schools or switched to remote instruction. This has exacerbated what has already become a crisis situation for working parents. Working parents are now demanding a new deal from their employers. McKinsey research finds working parents are more likely to have left their jobs during the past 2 years than their non-parent counterparts. Reasons include exhaustion from the pressures of working from home and juggling childcare responsibilities, struggles with returning to the office but not finding consistent childcare and reevaluating their overall work-life balance.
Leaders should pay special attention to the unique needs of working parents and consider creating special work practices to address their needs such as; subsidized childcare, and expanded parental leave for new mothers and fathers.

#10 The CHRO Role Has Been Elevated And Changed Forever

In the early days of Covid-19, organizations thought they were dealing with a health care issue, then a real estate issue. Soon it became clear this was a complex business and people issue and the CHRO was pivotal to its response. The list of issues facing CHROs ranges from leading with empathy to understanding what is important to various segments of workers, proposing flexible work options, creating healthy workplace environments to support employee well-being, and developing a fair and equitable workplace for all employees (regardless of where they work). The CHRO has emerged as a key member of the C-suite, working with heads of Technology, Finance, Real Estate, Workforce Transformation, and the Chief Medical Officer to ensure a safe return to the office

Excerpts taken from Forbes article by Jeanne Meister, dated January 5, 2022