The workplace scenario has seen a paradigm shift in the way we work since early 2020. The swift change in the work approach and the emergence of digital technologies have had a significant impact on the future of work. HR leaders were at the forefront of addressing various internal and external transformative challenges, such as innovative workforce models and ensuring employees' physical and mental well-being. In 2022, HR professionals will undoubtedly have to ride the waves of transformation that have rippled for the last two years.
Incorporating emerging technologies and making data-driven decisions is no longer restricted only to driving business. HR-related technologies like People Analytics & Digital HR will boost business productivity and employee engagement in diverse work settings. To achieve this goal, recognising the changes in industry trends is critical in order to remain relevant in today's ever-changing business and work environment.
Following are the eight key trends that will reshape people analytics and Digital HR in 2022 and beyond:
HR as a product
HR has always had a service project-based mindset. A project has a clear timeline, set outcomes, limited resources and the aim is to run as smoothly as possible. A product mindset on the other hand calls for HR solutions to be continuously evolving, having sharp end customer focus, which delivers increasing value and is tailored for an individual’s likes, needs and wants. HR professionals will need to better understand their company’s demographic, their changing habits, and preferences. The days of one size fits all process, policy or service is over.
HR tech and AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven processes are quickly gaining traction in the digital HR landscape. Conversational chatbots, facial expression analysis, candidate sourcing, assessment, and onboarding are among the tools leveraged by AI-powered solutions to assist HR professionals in automating their sourcing, recruitment and employee engagement processes. The fallout of using tech and AI is that to the average HR professional technology is often a black box. With limited understanding of tech, the HR professional is reduced to an ‘order taker’ from the tech overlord. HR professionals need to become more tech savvy to be able to understand the decision algorithms being used and be certain that AI and algorithms are delivering their intended goal.
Hybrid work model as the future workplace
COVID-19 has compelled companies to embrace a hybrid work model in which employees work both remotely and on-site. A hybrid work environment appears to be the way of the future. This HR trend is expected to continue in the coming year. According to a recent NASSCOM survey, 70% of organisations in the country are exploring the hybrid operating model for returning to the office. Thus, making it certain that the future of work is hybrid.
Traditional skill building was done through career development programs where employees were identified as high potential (hipo), developed, and given the necessary exposure for taking up a future role. This kind of career development programs are now mostly outdated. Employees are now less likely to dedicate their entire careers to one employer. To adjust to this reality, organisations need to invest in employees’ career experiences. The goal is for the organisation to expand its capabilities while enriching the employee’s career with new learning opportunities. There can be different experiences: lateral, vertical, rotational, and boomerang - someone leaving the organisation for a couple of years, only to come back with diverse experience, maybe from a different industry vertical. Each of these experiences help enrich the employee, offer them new learning opportunities, and result in additional capabilities for the organisation. 2022 and beyond will see career experiences being an important HR trend.
Preparing for multiple futures
The future of work is VUCA. The last two years have shown that the world we live in has changed and it has become too unpredictable to only be prepared for one possible future.
Large number of tech workers have realised that they need not stay in expensive, large, overcrowded cities anymore. They are increasingly demanding flexibility around when, where, and how they work. Companies are trying to evaluate whether it makes more sense to be remote or physical, they have learnt to become flexible, agile, and resilient. HR has also reinvented itself in the last two years. Long held beliefs and holy cow principles of managing employees have been challenged and found to be lacking. HR needs to understand the realities of their organisation, their people, and also the fast-changing world, and be ready for multiple future scenarios.
Cybersecurity in HR
With the remote work model, businesses have faced new cybersecurity challenges. One of the primary cyber threats is phishing. As per 'Phishing Insights 2021' by Sophos, 83% of IT teams in Indian organisations stated that the amount of phishing emails targeting employees has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result, one of the key digital HR trends in 2022 will undoubtedly be creating a secure environment and implementing the best cybersecurity practices. HR professionals will collaborate with IT experts to educate employees about the growing threats and give users role-based access controls & limited access to confidential data.
People analytics for data-driven decisions
People analytics is one of the most vital HR trends for the future, and it is here to stay. A significant number of HR professionals are now implementing HR analytics tools to manage the humongous amounts of HR data. According to a recent Insight222 survey, 90% of companies surveyed believe data and analytics are an integral part of their HR strategy. People analytics provides data-driven insights on workforce and talent analytics to improve business performance and make strategic business decisions. Businesses are facing waves of disruption, and people analytics can help optimise business processes by providing easier, faster, and more powerful insight into their data.
Implementing all-in-one digital HR tools to manage various HR processes
Digital HR has seen rapid adoption over the last two years. Human resource automation is a reality that has permeated nearly every aspect of workforce management. Advanced HR technology solutions will without a doubt continue to alter workplace dynamics in 2022, significantly. According to the latest Fortune Business Insights report, the global HR technology market is predicted to grow to USD 35.68 billion in 2028. Digital HR tools offer advantages such as providing a single digital platform for managing employee data, enhancing employee productivity and engagement, meeting compliance requirements, and much more.
Hence, now is the best time for HR professionals to prepare and embrace emerging future HR trends.