There’s no denying that the past two years have accelerated a major shift in how, where and why many of us work — whether that means working from home or quitting our jobs in pursuit of following our dreams. But how are employers adapting and reacting to these changing employee expectations and needs? According to an expert in the field, it looks like more and more companies are responding by finding ways to rethink employee wellness — which could be a major win for everyone involved.
In the latest iteration of her annual roundup of HR trends for Forbes, Jeanne Meister — the Founding Partner of HR advisory and research firm, Future Workplace — highlighted the biggest trends she’s seeing for workplaces in 2022. From rethinking worker benefits to embracing hybrid work for the long-term, it seems that employee well-being is an underlying theme. Of the trends called out in Meister’s 2022 HR roadmap, here are the top three that piqued our interest:
When it comes to benefits, the scope of employee well-being is expanding
Now more than ever, well-being at the workplace is about more than just having great organizational benefits (though, of course, those are foundational). According to Meister, more workplaces are looking for ways to better support their workers’ wellness beyond just offering benefits for physical wellness. Now, more employers are also looking for ways to help employees in the realm of their “emotional, financial, social and career wellness.”
Meister provides the example of Hewlett Packard, which offers benefits like health and well-being apps and resources to help support working parents.
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Hybrid work is no longer a temporary perk
Now that so many businesses have tried out a work-from-home model, it’s hard to go back to the classic in-office status quo — and many employees don’t want to. With this said, hybrid work models (which allow workers the freedom to work from wherever they’re most productive — sometimes remotely, and sometimes on-site) are on the rise.
According to a recent Accenture survey, the majority of workers (83 per cent), prefer a hybrid work model — which suggests that businesses that want to ensure employee satisfaction and productivity will likely work to make this happen in the long term.
Related: 20 work from home mistakes to avoid.
Resilience just might be your superpower — and employers know it
What skills are employers looking for in 2022? While digital and technology skills continue to be critically important, Meister calls out the importance of resilience as a key power skill that employers are looking for, and looking to help their employees develop.
Why is resilience such a key skill? Being resilient means that you’re able to solve problems, stay positive and believe in your own ability to get things done — which are essential in workplaces with rapid changes. The good news? As Meister writes, “Resilience can be learned, reinforced and spread through an organization.”
Other 2022 HR trends that Meister highlights include:
- “The Great Resignation” is spurring better employee benefits
- Employees want their company’s values to align with their own
- Skills-based hiring is growing
- Companies are more committed to supporting lifelong learning to up- and re-skill workers over long careers
- An increased focus on up-skilling HR leaders as much as other roles
- Adapting work practices to address the needs of working parents
- The changing role of the Chief Human Resources Officer