Compliance Blog

4 Key Trends That Will Guide HR Strategies in 2022

March 15, 2022 | Maggie Smith

HR Strategies

This article by Traliant VP of Human Resources Maggie Smith was originally published in

From hiring and retention strategies to addressing employee burnout and mental health, it will be one of HR’s most challenging years yet. In this article, Maggie Smith, VP of HR, Traliant, discusses four trends HR leaders should watch for in 2022 to develop their strategies

As the new year gets underway, HR leaders across industries have a unique opportunity to influence workplace culture and help organizations navigate the rocky road ahead. In the ever-changing, post-pandemic workplace, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. HR executives and their teams will be called upon to be more transparent, agile, and creative in improving the work experience of current employees and attracting and retaining top talent.

These four trends are among those shaping HR strategy in 2022.

1. Offering Flexibility and Work-life Balance Will Be Table Stakes

Employees are in the driver’s seat, and flexibility and work-life balance is steering conversations around hiring. According to Jobvite’s 2021 Recruiter Nation Report, 54% of recruiters have seen candidates turn down an interview or a job offer due to a lack of flexibility, and 57% of recruiters believe that not having work-from-home policies makes it harder to attract potential candidates.

In 2022, employers will need to meet employees where they are, and for many, this means working remotely, or in a hybrid model, a combination of remote and in-person work. A lesson from the Great Resignation and Great Reshuffle is that flexibility in where and how employees work and extending vacations and time off will be the standard as long as employees communicate with their managers and deliver results. Bottom line: when it comes to flexible work options, start with ‘Yes.’

2. Benefits, Perks and Initiatives Must Match What Employees Want

Beyond flexible work options, organizations will need to offer meaningful benefits and perks. Among them: family-friendly benefits to support working parents and caregivers, resources for mental and physical health & wellness, savings and financial planning and employee recognition programs. Also, partnering with online learning platforms will help employees develop a wide range of skills and achieve their personal and professional goals.

The key is to stay updated on what benefits, perks, and programs employees value most and continually evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Besides regular check-ins and one-on-one conversations, ongoing surveys, an anonymous online suggestion box and HR-led town halls help ensure organizations are providing meaningful benefits, tools and training for employees to thrive and feel appreciated and recognized. They also help have the right human resources information system (HRIS) technology to streamline processes.

3. Workplace Culture Will Be a Driver of Business Strategy and Results

To build a great house, you need a strong foundation. The same principle applies to creating a great place to work. A strong workplace culture grounded in shared values of trust, respect, inclusion, and ethical behavior can drive positive results in recruitment and retention, management development, training, customer loyalty, productivity and the bottom line.

HR leaders play a pivotal role in developing, communicating and nurturing workplace culture. One of the first questions candidates are asking is, “What is the company culture?” Successful organizations can respond with a clear, honest and compelling answer. In 2022, HR leaders are both companies’ culture champions and lookouts, checking that policies, processes, and practices align with the organization’s core values and support a diverse group of employees, from individuals starting their first jobs to working parents and caretakers.

One aspect of reinforcing company culture is ensuring that compliance training and education programs  — covering code of conduct, preventing discrimination and harassment, diversity, equity and inclusion and other timely workplace topics — are relevant and engaging and reflect the organization’s culture and employees’ diverse experiences. These programs should also be easily accessible, so individuals can learn when best for them.

Our recent survey of DEI leaders also highlights that when it comes to training, one size does not fit all. Among the executive respondents, 72% said it’s vital that DEI training is updated regularly so that employees aren’t taking the same course year after year. About 62% said training should align with their DEI strategy and goals, and 59% said it’s important that training is easy to customize to their brand and covers topics relevant to their employees and organization.

4. HR Has Earned a Seat at the CEO Table and Time to Recharge

One of the takeaways of the pandemic era is that HR leaders have earned a seat at the CEO table. HR leaders have become an essential strategic partner in developing talent strategy and helping companies achieve their business goals in an often stressful environment with evolving and competing expectations.

Effective HR leaders know how to balance many things at once and make tough decisions, including setting limits and prioritizing their own health and wellbeing. Whether it’s a 10-minute walk, 30-minute yoga session before bedtime or other stress management techniques, in 2022, let’s all make the leadership decision to recharge regularly, mentally and physically.

Maggie Smith, VP of Human Resources at TraliantMaggie Smith is the Vice President of Human Resources at Traliant, a provider of online compliance training to help organizations create ethical workplace cultures of respect and inclusion. With more than 20 years of experience in HR, she is always seeking new and better ways to balance business goals with the needs of employees.


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