What Are HR’s Priorities for 2022?

As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of the New Year and a fresh start, it’s safe to say that for people professionals, and businesses alike, priorities are changing - big time.

So, with that being said, what are HR’s priorities for 2022? And how can HR professionals be proactive in preparing for them?

Below, and in no particular order, we discuss.

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HR Priority #1: Strategic Workforce Planning 

As we all know, the future of work is changing. This means that instead of HR teams simply reacting to imminent circumstances or filling out paperwork, documents, and filing admin, HR professionals will now have to start being more proactive in their day-to-day roles for the betterment of the business.

This means undertaking strategic workforce planning and pinpointing the what, who, where, and how that goes into staying ahead of the curve.

What: The Workload

To effectively prioritise workforce planning, organisations will need to re-evaluate their workload to ensure that they’re concentrating on tasks that add genuine value to the company. These tasks include:

  • Submitting high-quality, relevant work
  • Paying attention to current and upcoming HR trends
  • Asking the right questions, and
  • Focusing on what can be done

Who: The Workforce

HR must also play an active role in implementing new employment models as the working world continues to change.

This means having a hand in placing the right talent in the right roles and ensuring everyone has the resources they need to get their jobs done well.

Where & How: The Workplace

Finally, as the landscape continues to change and new modes of working continue to break the typical 9 to 5 working in-office working model, HR will need to routinely consider where and how employees will get their work done and at what costs to the business and its workplace culture.

In short, strategic workforce planning is about HR working with management to help identify needs associated with the company’s objectives and establishing a strategy to ensure the business has the right mix of talent, technologies and efficient work processes to reach these goals.

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HR Priority #2: Effective Change Management 

The last two years have wreaked havoc on just about everyone’s patience and wellbeing due to the high levels of change that have taken place over the course of the pandemic.

Subsequently, it’s no surprise that many employees are tired, fed up and are still having difficulty adapting to changing work environments such as remote and hybrid working models.

HR professionals can help, however, if they focus on waning out feelings of fatigue by reorganising and designing positive workplace policies and processes that promote increased efficiency and flexibility, a priority that 52% of HR leaders expect to impact their organisation in 2022.

In other words, when HR teams focus on effective change management that aligns with the accelerating pace of workplace changes in 2022, their workplace initiatives are more likely to remove obstacles and broaden horizons for employees and businesses alike moving forward.


HR Priority #3: Leading With Empathy 

Perhaps the top priority for HR in 2022 will be working with organisations to ensure that their managers are leading with empathy.

This priority aligns with what seems to be the declining mental health status for people in the UK and all around the world, with the most common issues affecting employee’s mental health and well being including:

  • Being worried about the future (63%)
  • Feeling stressed or anxious (56%), and
  • Feeling altogether bored with their day to day (49%)

While this degree of worry and discomfort is understandable and widespread, more severe mental health issues are being experienced by some, but not everyone wants to talk about it.

In fact, according to a study by Gartner, only 44% of employees say that they trust the leaders in their organisation to navigate a crisis well.

To this end, it’s crucial that HR works with senior management to ensure that employee wellbeing is put above anything else. They can start by:

  • Prioritising people over workplace processes
  • Embracing the growth mindset
  • Asking employees rather than telling them to do something
  • Training leaders to understand and empathise with the employee mindset, and
  • Creating transparency in the business


HR Priority #4: The Renovation of Talent Management 

It’s been said for some time now that organisations’ skills needs are evolving, a revolution that has the power to completely reinvent Human Resources in how it relates to talent management.

Essentially it’s becoming clear to HR and business leaders that shaping talent management around skills rather than current or previous job roles will be among the key HR functions in the new world of work.

One third of HR management is already seeing major challenges when it comes to understanding and closing the current skills gaps that have plagued employees at every level since the beginning of the pandemic, leaving HR and L&D teams at a loss in how to effectively build critical skills and competencies into employee workflows - both from home and in the office.

To this end, people professionals need to adopt a more dynamic approach to upskilling and reskilling their new and current talent, otherwise, they risk negatively impacting employees, the business, and stakeholders as needs arise.

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HR Priority #5: Aligning Leadership With Accountability 

One of the greatest challenges and pressing priorities for HR in 2022 include holding senior leaders accountable for their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Being that the diversity pipeline is lacking in many organisations, HR must take a dual approach to address how leaders make decisions.

This means:

  • Redefining the criteria both HR and C-suite leaders use to make talent management decisions, with a strong focus on eliminating bias (both unconscious and otherwise), and
  • Incorporating objective data into talent and recruitment processes in regards to decision-making (i.e., for internal promotions).

As well as:

  • Creating standard and routine processes to track and monitors leaders’ DEI targets throughout the employee lifecycle.
  • Incentivising individuals to take action and establish peer-to-peer transparency around DEI goals and measures, and
  • Ensuring leaders’ success is directly related to their leading inclusivity and incorporating other DEI measures into performance evaluations and annual reviews.

We hope this blog has given you a glimpse into what priorities HR should be focused on in 2022, and that you can help implement the same priorities into your own company’s business model. 

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