The workplace has changed faster than anyone could have predicted. These rapid changes created—and in some cases exposed—several workplace challenges, which have made it challenging for many HR professionals to keep up and respond appropriately.
This article highlights the top HR challenges employers continue to face in 2022 and strategies to help mitigate them.
Attraction and Retention
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tightening labor market has made it more difficult for HR professionals to recruit and hire new workers. At the same time, attrition has been increasing for most employers as workers seek new opportunities and reconsider how work fits into their lives.
Many HR professionals are addressing their retention issues by ensuring their employees are happy and fulfilled in their current roles. Some common strategies HR professionals are implementing to attract and retain workers include:
- Investing in career development opportunities and internal mobility for employees
- Offering a flexible workplace
- Providing competitive compensation and benefits
- Creating a strong company culture
- Focusing on employees’ mental health and well-being
It’s important to ensure your company provides attractive offerings to prospective and current employees in order to avoid falling behind the competition.
Employee Mental Health and Well-being
Employee mental health and well-being are potentially some of the biggest HR challenges employers currently face. Employees have identified various reasons for their mental health and well-being decline, including job demand and feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress and disconnection.
HR professionals who prioritize employee mental health and well-being can stave off drops in productivity and support workers, which can improve employee retention. Many HR professionals are prioritizing their employees’ well-being by doing the following:
- Helping employees find work-life balance
- Providing employees with manager support when struggling with mental health and well-being
- Giving employees information and resources for mental health and well-being
- Building a culture of supporting mental health and well-being
- Encouraging employees to be proactive and positive
HR professionals should shift to a more proactive and sustainable approach in 2022, remaining vigilant and listening to employees to help them feel safe in the workplace.
Cybercriminals are quickly becoming more innovative and targeting businesses of all sizes, even using vendors to gain unauthorized access to employers’ computer systems. In response, employers need to ensure any vendors they work with have adequate cybersecurity programs and protocols to further protect themselves.
As it only takes a few individuals without suitable training to put an entire organization at risk, HR can provide education on how to properly handle data and create strong passwords to protect employees and the company as a whole.
Remote and Hybrid Work
Many employers responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving their workforce to remote environments, and many employees continue to work remotely in some capacity.
Adapting policies and processes to support remote and hybrid work is critical for a successful transition to this new standard. HR can provide employees with technology such as digital communication, project management tools and cloud-based platforms, so employees can remain productive and connect with others regardless of location.
Diversity and Inclusion
Calls for diverse and inclusive workplaces are now becoming more common in many organizations as a result of major social changes. A 2019 McKinsey study suggests that employers who implement diversity and inclusion programs tend to benefit from increased innovation, improved business outcomes and enhanced visibility in the marketplace.
Some HR professionals address challenges surrounding diversity and inclusion in the workplace with the following strategies:
- Adjusting search and screen processes for job candidates
- Providing diversity and inclusion training for managers
- Creating mentorship programs to increase diversity and inclusion
- Establishing diversity and inclusion teams
Organizations that have not yet prioritized the diversification of their workplace will likely find themselves behind.
In light of the changing COVID-19-related regulations, ongoing litigation and court rulings, compliance has been especially challenging. Although the U.S. Supreme Court kept the highly publicized federal COVID-19 emergency vaccination and testing standard, HR still has to navigate workplace safety measures related to COVID-19 as well as vaccination requirements and requests for exemption.
While federal paid leave related to COVID-19 has now expired, many states and localities have passed regulations for paid sick leave, family leave and vaccination leave. HR may need to align current leave policies with these new laws.
While these difficulties will likely persist for the foreseeable future, being aware of the most pressing HR challenges can help guide your clients as they implement impactful strategies to address and respond to them.
Contact us to learn more about navigating these challenges.