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HR Lessons from 2021

As we move into 2022, it is important to look back and reflect on the lessons of the past year to implement improvements for the future. In 2021, the continuation of the pandemic along with the Great Resignation brought about many lessons to be learned in HR.

  1. Purpose beyond profits. While many employees left during the Great Resignation, there were employees who stayed. Those who stayed saw the value in their company, and the company proved they valued their employees.
  2. Talent attraction and retention. The Great Resignation left many employers with jobs to fill. Employers found themselves bolstering voluntary benefits and offering more flexible schedules to attract applicants and help fill the employment gaps. Employees sought jobs that promoted financial security as well as a safe work environment.
  3. Recognition of internal talent. Employees were more likely to remain with their employers if they saw their hard work recognized and rewarded. Upward mobility and team shout-outs helped re-energize employees.
  4. Collaborative and encouraging environment. Working with others, either in-person or virtually, left employees feeling socially stimulated and connected with their company and coworkers. A pleasant work environment with an inclusive culture led to higher worker satisfaction.
  5. Professional development. Mental stimulation is important in the workplace. Employees who were given the opportunity to grow and learn felt more dedication to the company. Workers who felt their growth plateau were more likely to leave their positions in search of employers who would invest in their future.
  6. Mental health focus. The pandemic highlighted the need for more mental health support in the workplace. Employers offered voluntary benefits to help employees in need of supplemental services. Some employers offered no-charge teletherapy programs for the team.
  7. Employee Support. Caregivers were hit particularly hard in the pandemic. Companies that financially assisted caregiver employees stood out. Employers offered subsidized memberships to caregiver services or offered allowances to support other caregiving duties.

The HR trends highlighted in 2021 continue to inform the workplace practices of 2022.  Employees can expect to see more voluntary benefits and flexible schedules being offered by employers to offset the Great Resignation. Attraction and retention will continue to be a major focus this year.