I remember when I first wrote my book, The Employee Experience Advantage, which came out in 2017, almost half a decade ago. At the time it was still a novel concept and idea. Some organisations gravitated towards it but many thought it wasn’t a necessary shift to focus on.
Today, I’m very proud to say that Employee Experience has become the #1 talent trend (and dare I say business trend?) for organisations around the world. We finally realise that we need to move away from creating organisations where we assume people need to work there to creating organisations where people want to work there.
We are now seeing more employee experience job titles, branding and messaging, teams, and initiatives than ever before which is extremely exciting.
Now that 2021 is coming to a close I wanted to share a few things that I’m going to be paying attention to for 2022.
A focus on the whole person
Organisations are now longer just places of work. They are therapists, restaurants, financial advisors, gyms, coaches, and career and life planners. This means we need to move away from looking at our people as just workers to understanding them as human beings.
Flexible work is the future of work
I’ve talked about this for many years but now flexible work is here to stay and I don’t mean virtual work. I absolutely believe that there is still a place for in-person work and relationships. But flexible work means we have more control of when, where, and how we work.
Over the past two years, organisations have had to take a step back to redefine what it means to be an employee, a leader, and what it even means to work. In 2022 we are going to go back to basics to revisit these definitions and concepts and recreate something for the new world of work that we are all a part of.
Employee experience will dominate
There’s lots of talk of the ‘Great Resignation’ but I prefer to look at it as the ‘Great Opportunity’. Meaning, now is the time to take advantage of the change we are seeing to truly put people first. We must focus on culture, technology, and space in order to create great employee experiences. For the companies out there who are willing to adapt, they will see tremendous success and progress.
Getting creative with talent
Every organisation is telling me that they are feeling the talent crunch, meaning it’s getting harder and harder to find, attract, and retain talent. To combat this organisations are looking beyond their own geographic locations, creating alumni networks, and are looking beyond traditional recruiting strategies to bring in talent. It’s time to get creative.
HR moves to Human Transformation
HR professionals are no longer in human resources; they must now think of themselves as being in human transformation. Never before have we needed HR to not think, act, and be like traditional HR. They must think more broadly about the future of work and how they can shape and design it as opposed to adapting to it. HR professionals also need to go on a massive education campaign to let everyone else in the organisation know who they are, what they do, and how they can help. I find that most people outside of HR have no idea what HR actually does.
These are some of the big changes (along with a few others) that I am going to be paying to in 2022. It’s going to be an exciting year filled with growth and transformation and HR leaders are going to be at the centre of that.
Remember, the future of work isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something you help build. Play an active role instead of sitting around by the sidelines.
There’s a famous saying, with great power comes great responsibility but the flip side of that is also true. With great responsibility comes great power and all of you reading this have great responsibility to make change which means you also have the power to make it.
The question is, are you actually going to do something with that power?