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Employee Experience: Five 2022 Trends to Enhance People Culture

people culture


A tight labor market amidst evolving beliefs about work is empowering employees. Here’s what HR teams can do.

Improving the employee experience and enhancing your people culture is a resolution “must” for all those working in Human Resources in 2022. A tight labor market amidst evolving beliefs about work is empowering employees. Lines are being drawn, expectations are being raised, and if an employer isn’t on board, then people simply leave for “greener pastures.”

When considering the question “What comes after the Great Resignation?,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist and lead data scientist at Glassdoor, thinks “2022 will be defined by the new normal and skyrocketing employee power within a historically tight labor market.” He goes on to say that successful companies will be the ones who “embrace the opportunities to rethink old ways of hiring, employee engagement, and how business is done.”

Below are five trends True Colors recommends HR teams take seriously in 2022 to best enhance their people culture and improve employee experience at their company.

Five Trends to Enhance People Culture in 2022

1. Top Talent Will Work Remotely & Geo-Neutral Pay Will Be Expected

Talent pools will expand due to remote work becoming the “new normal” for many. Even in a future post-pandemic world, top talent will likely want the option to continue working remotely. But just because someone lives in a city with a lower cost of living than, for instance, where their headquarters is located, doesn’t mean they expect to be paid less.

Enter: Geo-Neutral Pay.

A Protocol article explains how “2021 saw an increase in the trend toward “geo-neutral pay,” with companies from Spotify to Reddit pegging pay to top-tier market rates regardless of an employee’s location. More companies will likely join them in 2022.”

Top talent wants a top talent salary — no matter what their zip code is.

2. Hybrid Workplaces Are Here to Stay…But They Need to Be Fine-Tuned

The hybrid workplace trend will become more prevalent in 2022 — with teams including some employees working remotely and some employees working on-site. To pull this off well, in a way that enhances the people culture and productivity of your team, better physical and digital workspaces are needed than what currently exists at most companies.

“The employee experience is now deeply connected to the digital experience. If technology is hindering my productivity, it’s nearly impossible for me to feel great about my overall experience. - Matt Evans, Senior EX Product Scientist, Qualtrics’ 2022 Employee Experience Trends Report.

3. HR and IT Will Join Forces to Deliver the Best Employee Experience Possible

One of the ways the hybrid workplace will be fine-tuned is by HR and IT teaming up like never before: “These once-siloed departments will increase their focus on job enablement to support new ways of working and build a sizable bridge to attract and retain talent.”

Recruitment, workspaces, and retainment efforts must all be smooth digital experiences. This is critical — not only to attract and retain new talent, but also to engage and retain the existing talent that never left in the first place. It’s wise to remember that when institutional knowledge walks out the door, it can never be neatly replaced by a new hire.

4. Employees Will Bring Their Whole Selves to Work, So Team Building Efforts Will Need to Increase

The need to fight dehumanization at work is apparent with corporate culture's long failing “to recognize its workforce as people first, producers second.”

During the pandemic, the line between personal and professional life has been blurred. We’ve seen a working parent bounce a baby on their knee during a meeting, a colleague’s garage when their Zoom background went in and out of focus, and roommates walk by loudly talking on the phone during a brainstorm session.

In light of these circumstances, employees will be bringing their whole selves to work. There is no longer the energy to compartmentalize and pretend they are just whatever their role is in the office. They are also a partner, a caregiver, an artist, an athlete, and so on. They are fully human.

And to be fully human means to be capable of miscommunication and conflict — the primary causes of ineffective teamwork. We all need a little more empathy and compassion for our fellow colleagues if we are going to thrive as teammates while being our unique selves.

5. Leaders Will Burn Out If Not Supported Better — Especially Women

According to the Qualtrics - 2022 Employee Experience Trends Report, leaders’ intent to stay at their jobs has dropped significantly in the last year — especially senior female leaders. The report explains that this drop is because leadership is suffering from burnout due to all their increased responsibilities in the past few years.

Leadership roles are no longer just about engagement and results, but also about driving diversity initiatives and fostering a sense of belonging in the workplace. Leaders aren’t trained or emotionally prepared for these new responsibilities.

It is imperative that HR provide leadership with diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions that will empower them to do the meaningful work before them.

The Great Resignation Can Lead to Great People Culture

2022 is here. The Great Resignation continues, and a tight labor market will keep companies fighting for top talent. Be aware of the above five trends and take action to enhance your people culture and improve the employee experience at your company.

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