HR Megatrends 2022
Nobody could have predicted a global pandemic, but many of the associated workforce challenges organizations have been grappling with over the past few years — skills and labor shortages, business continuity challenges, climate change, and more — have been looming on the horizon for decades. Smart organizations have learned that they must pay close attention to emerging trends so they can be as agile as possible to maintain business continuity during times of uncertainty or dramatic shifts in workforce indicators.
That’s why each year UKG brings together an international team of researchers, social scientists, and business leaders to identify the most significant trends impacting the global workforce. Our goal? To gather valuable resources and insights that provide a glimpse into the future to help you prepare for what’s coming next.
#1 – The Growing Influence of Gray-Collar Workers
Workforce conversations have traditionally centered around either white- or blue-collar workers, overlooking many crucial — and growing — subsets of the workforce. “Gray-collar workers” exhibit a unique combination of physical and technical skills (ex: healthcare, field engineers, warehouse automation), making their skills difficult to fully automate with high projected job growth.
Gray-collar employers are among those struggling most to attract and retain their people due to pandemic-related burnout, demand for remote and hybrid options, and an aging workforce — in addition to the general labor and talent shortage. Organizations will need to focus on understanding and investing in this specific workforce segment to remain competitive. We have some suggestions.
65% of top 20 fastest-growing roles are gray-collar opportunities
#2 – The New Ethics of Leadership
We’ve entered a new era of social activism. Employees and customers alike expect organizations to embrace hot-button issues such as social justice, ethical AI, employee wellbeing, and climate change. Employees’ standards are high, especially amid a historic talent shortage. Being an “employer of choice” has never been more challenging, or important.
Valuing the relationships and voices of employees, trusting them in the new virtual and remote world of work, putting people before profits, and overcommunicating through challenging times are several pillars where leaders must commit — or else suffer the potential consequences.
The use of employee surveillance technology grew 100% from 2020-2021.
#3 – The Rapidly Changing Compliance Landscape
The speed with which new workforce legislation rolls out has been steadily increasing since 2008 — a trend that was further amplified during the pandemic. With increased OSHA activity, vaccine mandates, and heightened lawsuits, the compliance landscape looks like it will only continue to become more volatile.
To stay agile, HR and business leaders will need to completely rethink their approach to compliance. What’s more, we suggest leaders seriously begin investigating their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) metrics — these are currently voluntary, but don’t be surprised if you see them becoming mandatory, standardized, and audited within the next decade.
Employer fines and penalties increased 92% from 2018-2020.
Be prepared for the megatrends on the horizon. Read more insights from our UKG thought leadership team.