Employee mental health and resilience will propel growth – says The HR 2022 Outlook report by work-tech startup EngageRocket

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world for good. The implications of this have been felt in 2021 and will likely remain as we go into 2022. After the initial positive stance and “best foot forward” period during 2020, we have observed a significant dip in employee’s resilience levels, mental health, and confidence in employers in 2021. Our research found that there is a 17% decline in employees who are confident in their organisation’s future between 2020 and 2021. Burnout also increased by 9% in 2021. 

The onus is now on HR to stem the tide and formulate forward-looking policies that place the employees squarely at the centre. With this in mind, EngageRocket published the ‘HR 2022 Outlook’ report, featuring POVs by HR leaders in APAC. This report covers seven key trends that will affect business operations and employee experience in 2022.

Highlights from the report include: 

  1. ‘New work’ will manifest in new and unexpected ways
    In a New Work paradigm, a person views their work as more than gainful employment. In addition to the transactional exchange of labour for compensation, there is a focus on purpose, fulfilment, and wellbeing. Unfortunately, most organisations are yet to fully acknowledge and appreciate the import of this approach. 
  1. The talent war is quickly becoming a zero-sum game
    There are a handful of companies – large and small – that are widely known as top employers in a region, and companies not investing in the talent war are getting left behind. This results in a sort of “winner takes all” zero-sum game due to limited talent availability in the short term.
  1. Employee mental health and resilience will propel growth
    In 2022, mental health and resilience will no longer be buzzwords only. Companies will be forced to invest real money in uplifting employee wellbeing and ensuring that they stay resilient and confident in the face of new challenges and opportunities. This is an especially important area of concern for HR as resilience is the no.1 predictor of an employee’s intent to stay but has seen the most drastic decline between 2020 and 2021. 
  1. HR will become decentralised, spurring new management skills
    The typically centralised HR function must give way to a “hyper-local model” where HR can outsource the last-mile connectivity with each and every employee via the managers. This can apply to different elements of the HR function – from strategy and policy-making to events and engagement.
  1. Diversity & inclusion will be a major competitive differentiator
    According to McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity in leadership were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than their bottom-quartile counterparts. Unfortunately, many organisations are yet to fully invest in diversity & inclusion (D&I) as a key cultural as well as operational tenet.
  1. People analytics will fuel buy-in for HR policies and change
    In 2022, organisations can no longer put off people analytics implementation. While there are moves in the right direction, there is more work to be done. Analytics, virtual working technology, and upgraded learning platforms are among the top priorities for HR. However, HR’s confidence in their ability to use data and analytics has actually declined by 3 percentage points since 2019.
  1. New productivity KPIs will be needed to assess employee performance
    In 2022, HR and business leaders need to consider productivity measures better suited to New Work and remote/hybrid working. Collaboration, communication, positive work-life behaviour, and coaching mindset might be better indicators of performance. 

To get more in-depth details on the upcoming HR trends in 2022 and what organisations can do to respond, read the full report here.

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