The last couple of years created a tidal wave of major disruptions to the workplace landscape. Some organizations were left in the wake and may still be trying to remain above water while others hopped on their jet skis and rode safely to shore. Others were somewhere in the middle surfing the waves. 🌊
If your company is somewhere in between trying to stay afloat and shredding the barrels, we invite you to join us for a bit of reflection. We’ll take a look back on some key themes from 2021, like turnover and hybrid work, and provide resources that will help you navigate the waters better in 2022. You’ll come away inspired with ideas for your most important HR New Year's Resolutions. Cheers to that!
Key HR themes in 2021
High turnover rates
Turnover rates in 2021 remained at an all-time high. According to a Harvard Business Review study, resignation rates were highest in the healthcare and technology sectors but other industries suffered as well. They were also highest among employees between the ages of 30 to 45.
- Increased workload and burnout within normally high-performing teams
- Developing and maintaining a positive company culture
- Employee engagement, retention, and satisfaction
Your HR New Year's Resolutions:
1. Prevent Employee Burnout: Come up with a plan to prevent employee burnout and empower your workers to maintain a work-life balance. Are you requiring your teams to come back into the office full-time? It might be time to consider a hybrid work strategy instead that provides employees with more flexibility. Companies that support remote work have a 25% lower employee turnover rate than companies that don't.
2. Adopt a People-First Company Culture: Culture can be the make-or-break reason that employees stay at an organization. If the culture goes south, there’s a high chance that your turnover rates will follow. Adopting a people-first company culture that prioritizes your employees as your most important asset can help you weather challenging times and reverse high turnover trends.
3. Improve Employee Engagement: How is your employee engagement looking? If eNPS scores are trending down, consider resolving to act on and collect more employee feedback. You may also consider introducing an employee recognition program to help your teams feel more connected and appreciated.
For an in-depth look at boosting employee engagement within your organization, download our Essential Guide to Employee Engagement.
Labor shortages and a highly competitive job market
Finding talented employees in 2021 was a serious hardship for many organizations. Small businesses were arguably hit the hardest with a 42% record high of job openings that went unfilled. 😱 Larger companies (with larger budgets) had to get creative to attract talent. Some even went as far as offering free food and cash incentives just to get applicants to show up to an interview! Others offered newly hired employees everything from wage increases and retention bonuses to free college tuition, iPhones, and hotel stays.
- Pay and benefits packages
- Company purpose, values, and causes
Your HR New Year's Resolutions:
4. Update Your Compensation, Perks, and Benefits Packages: Are your wages competitive? Have you looked at what the competition is paying lately for similar roles? Chances are there are some updates you could make to the perks and benefits your company offers to be more competitive.
5. Revise Your Company Values: A Rolling Stone article predicts an imminent cultural shift where social impact becomes a standard consideration within businesses. Likewise, there will be an increased demand for organizations and products that support a cause. Top candidates are also doing their research when it comes to finding an employer that aligns with their own personal values. Is there a new set of company core values your organization could adopt that align with your mission and the products your company offers? Is there an important cause you could support?
Inclusion, equity, and diversity
After multiple tragic headlines hit the news in 2020, companies rushed to type up their commitments to address inequities in the workplace on their websites. Unfortunately, many companies have failed to address the root issues and policies still fall flat.
- The hiring and onboarding process
- Creating an inclusive culture
- Employees are unaware of initiatives
Your New Year's HR Resolutions:
6. Review Your Hiring Process: Ensure your hiring process removes bias as much as possible by including multiple screening methods and structured interviews where candidates are all asked the same questions for a single role. Once the hiring process is over, it’s important to have open communication and solicit feedback to continue improving.
7. Create an Inclusive Culture: “DEI” has become a commonplace acronym for addressing inequities in the workplace. However, it could and should be thought of as “IED” where teams begin with fostering an inclusive culture within the company first so that people of different backgrounds feel comfortable and welcome from the start. That sets a strong foundation for equity and diversity to follow.
8. Communicate Initiatives to All Staff: A recent article from Inc. uncovered a disconnect between employees and employers that is stalling inclusion efforts on a large scale. The article referenced a study where almost all employers reported introducing new diversity, equity, and inclusion measures in the past year, yet 1/4th of employees listed that their employer had not introduced any new measures.
Annie Lin, VP of People at Lever stated:
Organizations are making strides toward more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace environments, but without employee knowledge and understanding of these efforts, leaders will not be successful in creating meaningful change.
Many organizations have transitioned and are still adapting to a remote-first work environment. If your company was an in-person-first work environment pre-pandemic, there may still be some room for improvement.
- Disconnected teams and employees
- Emerging work silos
- Maintaining a positive culture through periods of growth
Your HR New Year's Resolutions:
9. Help Employees Feel More Connected at Work: A common theme we saw in 2021 from HR professionals was that, due to remote work, employees were feeling disconnected. One way to help remote employees feel more connected is to make time for fun. And we’re not talking about virtual happy hours. We’re talking thoughtful and meaningful team-building activities.
A recognition program can also be a highly effective remedy for disconnected teams. Sam C., Bonusly user, and Senior Product Engineer at an enterprise company recently said,
In a remote workforce, Bonusly allows coworkers to give positive reinforcement. When we were all going into the office, there was more conversation around what went well, or dialogue like, ‘thank you for taking notes!’. It motivates people to facilitate that conversation without being in person.
See how our recognition and rewards program works today!
10. Break Down Silos: It can be more difficult to collaborate with different teams in a remote working environment. If you’re not careful, this can create silos where staff only work on their own teams and even withhold useful information from others. However, breaking down silos and fostering collaboration among teams can help staff be more productive and happier. A few ways to get started include communicating organizational goals, setting an example, and rewarding collaboration.
11. Ensure Your Culture is Built to Scale: Company growth can be a major challenge in a remote environment. It’s even more difficult if your culture doesn’t grow with the company. There are a few easy things you can do to ensure that your culture is built to scale. You may consider introducing a mentorship program, investing more in professional development, and spotlighting when your company values come to life within your organization.
2021 was a year that brought its own unique challenges. We hope that taking a close look at major themes has helped you think through ideas for improving your company in the new year. 2022 could be another year of sink or swim, but with intentional reflection and planning, it will be smooth sailing (or in this case, surfing).
Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction.
- Bonusly (err, Unknown)
Bonusly’s recognition and rewards program could be the refresh that your company culture needs in the new year. Request a demo today or check out this resource here 🙂