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Top priorities for hr leaders in 2022

At the start of the year, Gartner released a report highlighting the top priorities for hr leaders in 2022. It surveyed more than 500 hr leaders across all major industries in 60 countries to assess their preferences and expected challenges this year. The results of the survey found that there are 5 top priorities for hr leaders in 2022:  

Building critical skills and competencies   

59% of hr leaders said that building critical skills and competencies for the organisation is the top priority. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many feeling the pressure to guarantee that their workforce has the skills it needs when it needs them. The stay-at-home policy has led to a shortage in skills and learning, and this gap must be closed.   

According to 40% of hr leaders, they cannot build skill development solutions quickly enough to satisfy the changing talent requirements. Since 2018, the skills needed for finance, sales, and information technology have annually increased by 6.3%.   

To more efficiently manage talent in 2022, hr leaders and managers should focus on developing employee skills through a skills-based management strategy.  

The four fundamental principles to this are:   

  • Share responsibilities across the company, so a complete skill set is applied 
  • Gather dynamic skills data  
  • In talent decisions, use skills, not just roles 
  • Endeavour to incorporate skills into the personnel management process  

 Organisational design and change management   

Organisational design and change management are top priorities for 48% of hr leaders. For example, the report highlights that employee fatigue is a common issue brought on by the many changes to the workplace over the pandemic.  

Since 2019, the average employee can only take half as much change before becoming fatigued.   

According to Gartner, hr leaders’ potential to impact day-to-day change, promote trust, and build cohesiveness in their teams is highly influenced by employees’ positive transformation experiences.  

hr leaders must identify “moments of truth” that the business must get right, monitor the effect of day-to-day and higher-level change, and empower teams to build their own change experiences to create a positive change experience.   

Strengthen the current and future leadership bench   

45% of hr leaders identified current and future leadership bench as a priority for 2022. Mid-level leaders play a vital role in team cohesiveness, crisis management, and organisational trust development. Despite this, only approximately 24% of hr leaders feel their strategies for creating mid-level leaders are effective. It is also reported that empathy is becoming increasingly important in developing the most outstanding mid-level leaders.   

An empathy-driven leader builds trust with employees by putting people above processes, adopting a development mindset, providing transparency, creating a culture of asking rather than demanding, protecting confidentiality, and contextualising employee thinking.   

Therefore, it is necessary to envision what “future leadership” will look like in the future and to enable mid-level leaders to lead in that direction today.  

Future of Work   

The future of work was named as a priority for 2022 by 42% of hr leaders. The Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the future of work, and hr leaders have had to rethink their workforce planning. 49% of hr leaders still lack a specific strategy for the future of work.   

Several new trends and effects have emerged as a result of the pandemic. Critical skills are no longer linked with roles, thanks to the rise of telecommuting, and organisations are prioritising resiliency.  

hr leaders have recognised two further priorities for developing a strategic strategy for the future of work:  

  • They are examining trends, determining how they affect its core business and capabilities, and identifying new opportunities.  
  • It educates businesses and employees on technological, societal, and labour market changes that may significantly impact talent demands.  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion   

35% of hr leaders named Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) a top priority. They are aware that diversity is absent in the executive ranks. 36% of hr executives think they have trouble holding management accountable for DE&I targets.  

It advises that companies should introduce a DE&I programme to increase representation, particularly of people who have been historically or systematically underrepresented.  

It reports that an employee’s trust in leaders suffers because of a lack of diversity in leadership. Employees need to see themselves represented by leaders who look like them. Many employees believe that their company’s leaders are behind in promoting underrepresented employees.  

hr leadership can help to make a DE&I approach more widely adopted, resulting in more consistent responsibility, meaningful behaviour, and outcomes.  

Contact our team today if you would like more information on the top priorities for hr leaders in 2022 and how you can implement them into your business.   

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