HR Trends To Watch Out For

HR Trends To Watch Out For

HR gears up for 2022 with a renewed focus on learning to ensure employee satisfaction in a post-pandemic world.


The Year 2021, much like 2020, has been unprecedented for all of us since organisations were still navigating through the uncertainty looming at large and trying to cope with the trickle-down effects of the second wave of the pandemic. If 2021 was the year of reinvention of HR, what would 2022 be? With the end of 2021, and with the pandemic seemingly in control minus the burst in the metros, here are some of the HR trends to watch out for in 2022.


Rise of Gig Economy


Although the blending of workforces is not a new trend, it has definitely gained momentum following the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, more and more workers are breaking free of the traditional, full-time, in-office job and making the switch to part-time, remote, and contingent jobs in the market. Even employers are no longer wary of hiring such talent as they do not fear the loss of productivity if people work from home. This is owing to the proven fact by the pandemic that one need not be physically present at work to perform efficiently and effectively. Hence, I expect gig workers to make up a larger share of our workforce in the near future. In fact, ASSOCHAM predicts India’s gig economy to grow to $455 billion by 2024 at a compounded annual growth rate of 17%. 


HR’s role in cyber security


Somewhere in April 2021, one of the most popular social media websites, Facebook, found that the personal data of over 500 million users was posted online in a low-level hacking forum. This included data of about 6 million users from India alone. Cyberattacks are real, and with remote/ hybrid work becoming the ‘new normal’ of working, there is suddenly an increased risk of cyber-related threats faced by organisations today.


HR professionals also handle a lot of sensitive data which comprises of personal details of employees, salary information, performance data, etc. and can cause serious damage when leaked. Hence, HR needs to partner with the IT & Security teams and implement a robust cyber-security framework that can help reduce vulnerabilities in the new normal of working. The year 2022 should see HR promoting a cyber-security culture by:


 Educating people about what cyber-security is and disseminating guidelines around the same


Training people on cyber security protocols and ensuring newbies undergo the same as a part of the on-boarding process 


• Determining data and access controls for employees


Renewed focus on Learning


The COVID-19 pandemic caught us off guard and most of the organisations were unprepared for such a crisis. During the course of time, we saw many roles becoming redundant, many merging, and the demand for certain roles increasing. Hence, in order to stay agile and survive in the VUCA vortex, upskilling has become the need of the hour, and I strongly believe that it shall be the core of the talent strategy of organisations in 2022. We need to create internal marketplaces to address such talent shortages. HR will play a crucial role here by finding ways to effectively utilise people. We will see more and more people being given cross-functional assignments so that they come out of their comfort zone and learn something new.


Digitisation of HR The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work, and it has forced organisations to invest in technology systems to aid remote working for their people. This also presents HR with an opportunity to leverage technology to digitally transform itself. Digitization in HR not only helps maximise employee experience but also helps automate mundane tasks, thereby, allowing HR to use that time to strategize and support the business. Therefore, I see the deployment of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc. in HR processes like talent acquisition, talent management, etc. Likewise, we will also see technology being leveraged by organisations to enhance learning via Learning Management Systems, gamification of training, etc.


Revamping of employee perks and benefits


Countries like the U.S.A. are currently witnessing a phenomenon called ‘The Great Resignation’ where millions of people have voluntarily quit their jobs in response to organisations refusing to provide necessary worker protection and benefits. People are on the look-out for jobs that offer greater flexibility, shorter workdays, remote working etc. Hence, it is a no brainer that organisations need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to employee benefits as what would have motivated people earlier does not hold much relevance in a post-COVID world. Today, people want to feel that they are valued and cared for, and these perks show that employees are being invested in. In fact, it is slowly becoming an important part of an organisation’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP). I believe the following shall transform the employee benefits landscape in 2022:


• Personalised Plans: With the rise of the blended workforce, organisations need to understand that what works for Gen Z may not work for millennials, and hence, a ‘one size fits all’ strategy cannot be the approach anymore. For example, young workers may be more interested in gym memberships than long-term disability benefits 


• Expansion of mental health support: There has been a greater understanding about mental health post the pandemic, and I see organisations providing access to experts that can help address anxiety, mood, or trauma-related disorders. Today, mental well-being is not a ‘good-to-have’ aspect anymore but is rather a ‘musthave’ as organisations cannot expect to succeed with a stressed workforce


 Unique Benefits: Reimbursement of work from home equipment, paid family leave, fitness club memberships, advanced learning programmes, 4-day work week, etc. are some of the unique benefits that organisations shall be leveraging this year


I believe this is truly an exciting time to be working in the HR domain and HR has never played a more significant role than this ever before. 2022 brings in a lot of opportunities for HR to further cement itself as a strategic driver of business.

Rohit Hasteer is the Group CHRO for, Prop and Makaan. com. He has an experience of more than 20 years in the domains of Compensation Benefits, Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, Training & Development. He has worked with companies like CITIBANK, Make My Trip, Aviva Life Insurance and UT WorldWide. He takes keen interest in building Organisation culture and People Development. He is an MBA from IMT, Ghaziabad.


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