• Dr. Ravit Oren

Improving Business Results and Satisfying Talent in 2022

Changes in the global economy and the accelerated development of technology, automation, and globalization due to Covid-19 require organizations to align with new trends in the labor market. ■ These are the 12 prominent trends that will characterize 2022.



Changes in the global economy and the accelerated development in technology, automation, and globalization – before and after the Covid-19 outbreak – have brought us to the threshold of 2022 with a need to identify and align with new trends in the labor market. These trends are evident in a wide spectrum of work processes, from recruiting and retaining talent, through planning work environments, to developing an organizational culture that supports the changing needs of the human capital and the organization as a whole. What are these trends and how can we better prepare for them?

If you want to preserve your talent, keep in mind that salary and favorable conditions won’t make them stay. In 2022, employees expect their organization to acknowledge and respect their personal lives.

1. Organizational Health

In 2022, a healthy work environment will change the rules of the organizational game. Its impact will be evident, first and foremost, in performance and bottom lines reflected in a reduction of costs related to absences, departures, and retirement benefits. According to a U.S. survey, these costs are estimated at $225.8 billion dollars per year(!). And that’s not all: a healthy work environment boosts organizational morale and produces happy, connected, and motivated employees. Surveys from 2020 found that these factors lead to a 21% increase in profitability and a 41% decrease in absences. The bottom line – a healthy work environment conserves existing organizational capital and generates new money and should therefore be an indicator for all organizational processes.

2. Work-Life Balance

The balance between professional life and personal life is considered an essential characteristic of organizational health. If you want to preserve your talent, keep in mind that salary and favorable conditions won’t make them stay. In 2022, employees expect their organization to acknowledge and respect their personal lives.

3. The New Guy

Gen Z – young people born between 1997-2010 are now taking over the labor market. In 2021 their numbers in the U.S. were estimated at 40% of the labor market and growing. This generation is like no other: they are digitally inclined from birth, are accustomed to technological environments and rapid changes, require a great deal of flexibility, view failure as a learning process, and have a pragmatic approach to their professional development. Organizations that will invest time and resources in strategy, technology, learning processes and organizational culture adapted to this new generation will come out on top.

65% of respondents preferred full-time remote work while 31% preferred to work in a hybrid format.

4. Here, There, and Anywhere

Remote work, which began as a constraint of quarantine, has evolved into a work culture that questions the relevance of traditional office work. Accelerated growth in technological work environments along with the entry of Gen Z into the labor market have created new organizational definitions that enable work from anywhere at any time. Despite some negative aspects such as losing a sense of belonging, loneliness, and disturbance in work-life balance, the numbers tend to favor remote working conditions. A FlexJobs survey among 4,000 remote workers during the Covid-19 pandemic found that 65% of respondents preferred full-time remote work while 31% preferred to work in a hybrid format.

5. The Acrobat

Flexibility at work is the key word in 2022. Our varied pursuits along with widespread globalization has bought into question the relevance of the 9 to 5 framework and alternatives are being explored. For instance, a new trend implementing a 4-day work week has begun. A New Zealand company examined workers’ effectiveness for two months following the move to a shorter work week. It found that work-life balance rose by 24%, sense of connectedness surged by 20%, and stress levels fell by 7%.

6. Let There Be Light

If your organization continues to work in physical offices in part or in full, it would do well to ensure entry of natural light to workspaces. A new survey has found that 70% of employees believe that access to natural light improves their performance and 78% claim that it improves their well-being. Respectively, when there is a lack of natural light 47% of employees report feeling tired and 43% report feeling depressed.

7. Balanced Technology

Undoubtedly, communication technologies have led to a revolution in the workplace. However, employees are also experiencing heavier workloads in the face of overflowing inboxes and wall-to-wall Zoom calls. It’s important to consider this and find proportionate solutions for a balanced use of technology.

8. Man’s Search for Meaning

Organizations with a social agenda are preferred by candidates, clients and consumers alike. A new study revealed that 55% of consumers are willing to invest in products or services from organizations with a social-communal agenda, and 78% of job applicants cite social responsibility as a significant reason for joining an organization. Therefore, 2022 will be marked by socially mindful organizations with a connection to community and philanthropic partnerships.

9. On-going Learning

Employees today expect their organizations to continuously evolve as they grow, making on-going learning, training and instruction a top priority of business agendas and a crucial factor in retaining talent.

10. Artificial Intelligence – The Next Generation

The use of digital and virtual assistants will become routine in the workplace. It is estimated that by 2025 nearly one billion users will rely on robot-based artificial intelligence.

11. Soft Skills

With all due respect to technology, its full potential cannot be realized without human capital equipped with a high level of soft skills. Organizations that want to succeed in the competitive market will need to invest time and resources in developing these skills as an integral part of its training and educational programs.

12. Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Equality

People, if it was not clear up till now, I’ll say it again: today, more than ever, diversity and inclusion are important for organizational culture and business results. Gender equality in managerial positions increases performance by 50% and Gross National Product by 35%. No more excuses!


 

Written by Dr. Ravit Oren, an HR expert specializing in innovative Talent Management, reward systems, and performance evaluations. Dr. Oren is a renowned lecturer for organizational leadership at Bar Ilan University and the Israeli Institute of Technology — Technion. Currently, Dr. Oren is the Chief of Research at Keepy.ai, which provides tools and insights to assist managers to better understand their people’s needs and act to create a supportive environment. This article was published on TheMarker.