With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to reshape the workplace, the “new normal” working model isn’t new anymore. The dynamics have upturned, whether it’s for organizations, leaders, or employees. The working model we see today is changing by the day, and with it, the way we recruit and retain people is also constantly evolving.

Organizations will have to delve deeper into the latest workplace trends to redefine their approach and create a flexible, healthy, and collaborative company culture to stay ahead of the curve.

So, what are the key workplace trends that we can anticipate in 2022? Let’s take a closer look.

  • Acceleration of digital transformation – Organizations will embrace technology-enabled workforce models and platforms for effective engagement & retention. This will provide an opportunity for integrating diverse skills and access to resources even at remote locations.
  • More focus on work-life balance – Hybrid working is here to stay. With an increasing working from anywhere approach, organizations will need to rethink work and personal life boundaries. Workplaces will transform into collaboration hubs where people will come together whenever needed to achieve common objectives.
  • Optimization with hybrid or WFA model – Keeping the needs of employees in terms of the diverse models of work – whether it is hybrid or work from anywhere (WFA) – will be key in building a positive work environment. As virtual interactions will continue to have the edge over physical face-to-face meetings, organizations will have to optimize overhead costs such as travel and infrastructure to make the most of it.
  • Cross-skilling, upskilling, reskilling – To stay relevant with a competitive edge, upskilling and reskilling of the workforce will be a strategic focus area for businesses as demand for new capabilities will rise. Devising workforce development programs to bridge the skill gap and strategizing career paths for employees will be crucial to attracting talent and increasing employee retention.
  • Keeping an open mindset – Let’s face it. The future of work will unfold in new and unexpected ways. Tackling this uncertainty will need a new mindset as we get more intertwined in this technology-powered transformation.
  • Reimagining company culture – Post pandemic, the focus will shift from “me” to “we.” The cultural drivers will be trust in leadership, compassion, empathy, and care. While going virtual has already broken silos for better collaboration, the impact, going forward, will be tangible – enabling people to feel more connected to the company vision and each other.

Hiring in 2022

When it comes to hiring, organizations are actively building the talent pipeline through various means, be it recruiting candidates returning from a sabbatical or tying up with leading institutions that specialize in quick training and deployment of the workforce. At the same time, they are looking at alternatives. We are witnessing a steady rise in the on-demand workforce, with more and more candidates interested in gig work. Over the past few years, traditional businesses have changed their approach to workforce strategy, and the trend is likely to continue in the near future.

Enhancing employee experience with automation

Technology-driven employee engagement initiatives will play a differentiating role in improving the overall employee experience and holistic well-being. Adopting new digital tools for the new reality of the digital workforce will be a business imperative to effectively engage, develop, and retain the right talent pool. From facilitating more individualized learning and development to creating innovative surveys to gauge employee feedback, automation is no longer just a buzzword. The shift to a hybrid and remote workforce model will need more focus on automation. HR leaders must make the best use of the technologies to foster better workplace collaboration in the post-pandemic world.

In summary, the coming year will be anything but ‘business as usual’ for organizations. Automation combined with the new ways of working and possibilities of the WFA model will be the key drivers driving the change. Enabling the ongoing organizational transformation success will require leaders to be empathetic, inclusive, and strategically focused. Building a culture of mutual understanding, flexibility, and the mindset of adaptability will be cornerstones in the future of the workplace. 

The author, Milind Mutalik, is Head of Employee Experience at Accolite Digital.

The article has been originally published in SightsIn Plus. 

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