Organizations have faced incredible challenges over the past 18 months. Among them has been the pace of change around HR and compliance, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, consumer legislation and employee expectations and attitudes. To help organizations prepare for the year ahead, these are some of the priorities to keep top of mind in 2022.
Attracting & Retaining Talent
The impact of “The Great Resignation of 2021” is being felt by many organizations, and the labor shortage will remain a business disruptor in 2022. As a result, CEOs say attracting and recruiting talent is their biggest challenge (57%), followed by retaining talent (51%), according to a joint study by Fortune and Deloitte.
HR departments will be under pressure to lure multi-generational candidates who have different ideas, priorities and expectations for their careers, while also incentivizing current employees to stay for the long term. Additionally, they have an opportunity to tap into candidate pools of marginalized employees to build greater diversity. Training managers on how to recruit, interview and hire job candidates in a fair and legal manner is one of the keys to finding and retaining employees in a tight labor market.
Turning Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Words Into Action
Whether working towards DEI maturity or building a DEI strategy from scratch, HR teams are in a position to change the culture of their organizations for the better. Nearly 90% of organizations say they currently have a formal DEI strategy, and more than half will allocate more budget and resources towards it in 2022.
Providing employees and managers with behavior-based training to raise awareness and manage unconscious bias, prevent microaggressions and develop cultural competency should be part of a comprehensive DEI strategy. And a more inclusive workplace can foster more creativity, increase collaboration and improve efforts to attract and retain top talent. More than 75% of job seekers want to work for a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.
Managing A Remote/Hybrid Workforce
The pandemic created a seismic shift towards a remote/hybrid work model that, for some organizations, may be here to stay — at least in the short term. Despite this shift, a Harvard Business Review study found that 40% of supervisors and managers expressed low self-confidence in their ability to manage workers remotely. Helping managers meet the challenge of effectively engaging a virtual team is critical to increasing productivity and retention. HR training that provides practical actions on how to maintain a respectful remote workplace helps build managerial confidence in handling different remote challenges and fosters a greater sense of belonging among team members.
Preventing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
Addressing and preventing online harassment, discrimination and other misconduct remains a challenge for organizations and management. Over one-third of US workers say they have experienced harassment through email, video conferencing, chat apps or by phone while working remotely — and 70% of workplace harassment goes unreported due to fears of retaliation. Ongoing training is one of the essentials for creating a healthy workplace culture where employees and managers understand what discrimination and harassment entails, feel safe speaking up and are encouraged to report misconduct wherever they see it.
Protecting Data & Consumer Privacy
Phishing, ransomware and other cybersecurity attacks have skyrocketed with more employees working remotely, while stricter data privacy laws put more pressure on organizations to protect consumers’ information. To avoid stiff penalties and reputational damage, organizations should ensure employees are meeting their responsibilities to safeguard consumer information under the California Consumer Privacy Act and UK’s General Data Protection Regulation. Additionally, ongoing phishing awareness training should be part of a comprehensive data privacy and information security program for employees working onsite, at home or on the road.
Reinforcing Code of Conduct
Code of conduct plays an important role in preventing potential crises before they happen — from embarrassing and damaging lawsuits about workplace discrimination and sexual harassment to media reports of security breaches exposing customers’ private information. By ensuring employees, managers and executives understand what is and isn’t acceptable behavior and providing practical guidance when choices are not clear, code of conduct training helps create a collective sense that ‘we’re all in this together.” By also requiring supply chain partners to complete code of conduct training, organizations set clear standards of behavior for third-party business operations to reduce compliance, financial and reputational risks.
Taking a holistic approach to behavior-based compliance training is one of the most effective ways organizations can equip employees and managers to meet the evolving workplace challenges in 2022 and beyond.
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