2022 has seen some significant developments in the talent industry, which has led to HR leaders and decision-makers revisiting their plans.
Three fundamental areas captured the focus of organizations in 2022 in terms of HR trends. The first is a greater emphasis on wellness. The physical and mental well-being of employees, managers, and leaders is essential for uninterrupted service delivery, effective project management, and thoughtful decision-making. The implementation of wellness programs reduced healthcare costs for 72% of employers, according to a career discovery platform.
The second focus area was the emergence of HR technologies. Organizations are leveraging the potential of these tools in the virtual-dominated era to experiment in various fields. According to a leading global media publication, investments in HR tech have increased by 57% since last year. These experiments are in the areas of:
Employee communication, benefits, and self-service supporting the hybrid work model
Recruitment to provide seamless candidate experiences and create a global pool of talent
Learning and development to ensure growth, capability building, and upskilling of the workforce in a hybrid work environment
Employee engagement to facilitate virtual interactions and continue providing a bilateral conversation and listening culture
The third focus area in 2022 is a sharper focus on HR business partnerships. HR is no longer just a general function, it has acquired strategic importance over the years, and the latter half of this year made that evident. Crucial HR agenda items like talent retention were brought to the table, and the partnership between HR and the business to maintain performance standards by retaining key talent was actively discussed.
We will likely experience some influential events in 2023. The shift that has already made a profound impact is the hybrid work model. It is here to stay, and businesses have realized that the workforce will resist returning to the pre-pandemic ways of working. The role of HR becomes vital here to enable smooth change management. In an environment where digital communication is prime, informing employees of the benefits, formulating policies conducive to partial back-to-work, and helping confident adoption of those policies for consistent customer-centric performance are priorities for HR professionals as change agents.
2023 will also witness the continuation of initiatives designed for employee engagement and retention. We cannot stress the importance of key talent in business continuity enough, and HR will have to devise creative strategies to engage and retain employees even during the recession. The strategy will include factors beyond compensation, such as enabling meaningful contributions to the ecosystem, aligning with the broader organizational purpose, and providing a flexible, motivating work environment.
The following determinant of HR functions in 2023 is strengthened diversity, inclusion, and equity (DE&I) initiatives. We are already observing the growing awareness of DE&I globally and across industries. It is now a clear priority for CXOs and is drawing considerable attention and investment. Creating an environment where everyone feels valued, is fairly treated, and receives equal opportunities will be an essential HR initiative.
The last factor that will drive evolution in learning and development is the role of managers as coaches. Managers will be tasked with preparing their teams for the next significant disruption and dynamic market demand. Many service-based companies are actively recruiting fresh graduates through campus hiring programs, and managers will be responsible for honing their raw talent and utilizing their untapped potential.
The role of HR will evolve into one where it acts in partnership with the core business. The focus of HR will be to develop innovative yet relevant policies that enhance collaboration and enable sustainable growth.