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Employers who want to keep their best workers and attract new talent must pay attention to this year’s workforce trends, or they may find themselves unprepared for the next wave of changes.

“We’ve been living through the greatest workplace disruption in generations, and the level of volatility will not slow down in 2022,” says the Harvard Business Review. Although each industry experiences its own set of trends, these are the top trends that will affect a wide range of businesses.  

Automating Workforce Management

In a time of remote and hybrid work models, the relationship between manager and team member has never been more important. Digital workforce management tools that automate scheduling, attendance, and payroll replace many tedious, repetitive tasks traditionally performed by managers.

The workforce automation trend will continue with sophisticated technology supporting greater connectivity and transparency. Managers who leverage automation will spend less time on administrative duties and have more time for strategizing, managing team tasks, and supporting the career development of team members.

Hybrid Work as the Norm

As companies begin making post-pandemic plans, many realize they must offer a hybrid or remote work option for those whose job allows. Analysis by the Gartner Group shows employees working remote or hybrid and those working in the office perform at the same level.

According to a 2021 Gallup poll, 91 percent of U.S. workers who worked some of their hours remotely during the pandemic would like to continue after the pandemic. Overall, 54 percent would be interested in working under a hybrid model to split their time between home and office.

Working in the Cloud

Workforce management systems and other digital workforce tools depend on shared access provided by cloud-based technology. Managers and team members need to access tools and documents from any location and various devices, including mobile phones and tablets. Cloud-based collaboration tools will be among the hottest commodities for digital support for remote and hybrid work models.

Attention to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)

Studies show that women and people of color who work remotely risk a greater chance of being overlooked for raises and promotions. The downside of working remotely is that some managers may measure a team member’s productivity by their visibility in the office. Without close attention to DE&I issues, inequality in the workplace may increase, and valuable team members may look for different employment or join the Great Resignation and leave the workforce entirely.

Creative Ways to Retain Talent

Due to the recent pandemic-related workforce reduction, recruiting, hiring, and keeping talented team members will be a top concern for organizations. Many will try creative enticements related to where, when, and how people work. Besides offering a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home, some consider offering benefits like a 4-day work week with no loss of pay. 

With more remote workers, fewer companies will be using trendy perks like free snacks and on-site fitness centers to entice team members to stick around the office and work. Instead of workplace amenities, potential employees will be looking for meaningful benefits like paid parental leave and paid time off for medical appointments.

Investing in Employee Well-Being

The global pandemic has affected everyone’s mental health to one degree or another. In 2022, more companies will look at measures related to their employees’ mental, physical and financial health when making performance and retention predictions.

Thanks to the increased automation of workforce management, managers should have more time to prioritize mental health in the workplace. 

Companies with a culture of caring that includes access to mental health resources such as counselors and therapists, along with support for work-life balance will find it easier to attract and retain the best team members.

The Future of Work has changed for all of us – from hybrid work settings, to how work gets done around the globe and across our nation.  

Stay tuned for future blogs in our Future of Work Series discussing the role of Artificial Intelligence.

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