Towards the end of 2021 I conducted a short survey of the Heads of HR/P&C in my network to find out what their plans for 2022.
What will be your TOP 3 areas of focus in 2022?
- employee retention and satisfaction - 69%
- ways of working (e.g. collaboration, communication) - 53%
- cultural/business transformation - 43%
(multiple choice; % of how many respondents chose this answer in their top 3)
Follow up questions show that initiatives around culture and people connections will be high priority especially with many companies adopting hybrid/flexible and remote working practices. Scaling companies, be it in service and/or geography, it will be important to ensure the culture keeps up with the growth.
Although engagement and productivity are the core focus of this initiative, developing performance management that makes room for a proper mix of autonomy/accountability and trust will have a direct impact on psychological safety. The latter should positively influence mental health lowering absenteeism and staff attrition.
In terms of challenges, high competition for talent was mentioned most often. It is a big concern for businesses looking to grow as timely placing of the right people in to the right roles is vital. Trying to attract and retain talent with competitive salaries will not be enough and presents a challenge in itself as alignment with the finance team is likely to become increasingly difficult.
Unsurprisingly, the continued impact of COVID-19 presents a host of challenges especially the constant changing of being able to be together and not. This influences teams' ability to connect and build stronger bonds, as well as their mental health.