The last year has put an increased pressure on HR leaders with such a tight talent market to attract, retain and ensure they provide a culture that both drives performance and also caters to the preferences of their teams. The continued COVID pandemic has prepared HR leaders to expect anything and be prepared to adapt as needed. Today’s HR leaders have become extremely dynamic, adaptable and agile to pivot at any given notice. So what are the human resource priorities for 2022?
Everything from improving the unique employee value proposition (EVP) to employee strategy roadmaps, rethinking benefits, upskilling teams, attracting top talent, navigating hybrid work models, to equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, are all pressing matters for today’s human resource leaders.
We reached out to HR experts and human resource leaders in their respective organizations to get a better understanding of some of the top priorities for HR leaders in 2022.
Clare Sullivan, Vice President of Human Resource at Decisive Group
For 2022, I’ll be focusing on maximizing our employee value proposition. COVID pressed fast-forward on the move to a distributed workforce, jumping us 5+ years ahead of what would have been a more gradual evolution. Employees are no longer tied to a particular geographic area in their hunt for an employer; even international boarders are dissolving as we begin competing for talent with organizations outside of Canada. Organizations are going to need to get very clear on defining their culture and living their commitment to their employees through purposeful actions. For us, that will be a continued focus on fun, meaningful opportunities for personal and professional development, and elevating the employee experience by further cultivating excellent leaders. When our employees feel truly cared for they demonstrate their commitment to our organization and to our customers in meaningful ways.
Mischa Kaplan, Director, People and Culture at Cystic Fibrosis Canada
My primary concern for 2022 is staying ahead of the significant changes happening right now in the labour market. It’s clear that, across Canada, employees have an increasingly strong advantage in negotiating the terms of their employment, whether that’s related to compensation, non-monetary benefits, work location, or a number of other important factors. Overall, I feel like this is a good thing from a social and economic perspective, but it does make it very challenging for organizations to find, hire, and retain the people they need. For many HR departments, learning how to effectively respond to this increasing employee “bargaining power” will likely prove instrumental for at least the next twelve months or so.
Natalia Yukhnevich, Human Resources Generalist at Giatec Scientific
In 2022, developing an effective talent strategy will be my main priority. In the current environment and extremely tight labour market, we need to ensure we are constantly evolving our practices to attract the best talent and build successful strategies to retain and keep our workforce engaged. The effective talent strategy cannot be achieved without continuously evolving corporate practices, building a successful employer brand, enhancing employee experience, increasing talent density by investing in talent development, and most importantly evolving and modernizing the corporate culture to ensure it is aligned with our business values, goals and global labour market trends. These practices and programs will empower current employees and attract new talent. My fundamental belief is that the successful talent strategy generates a higher return on investment by creating a happier and more engaged workforce.
The top talent wants to work for the top companies and upscaling our internal programs is the best way to ensure we are the employer of choice. After all, it’s people who drive business success.
Sara Seymour, HR Business Partner at Colonnade BridgePort
Our focus for 2022 is to continue to develop, implement and roll out our Employee Value Strategy roadmap to better our overall employee experience for current and future employees. We believe in the importance of setting expectations with our employees for what they can expect from us as an employer and what we expect from them as an employee. Many of the programs that we will be working on this year for our EVS will continue to better our employee-employer transparency as well as drive our corporate strategy of having a performance driven culture. We want to be able to provide clarity to our employees from the outset on what a career at Colonnade BridgePort can look like, from internal career paths to learning and development. We will continue to focus on our people and culture to increase our employee engagement while we work towards company growth and adapt to whatever may come our way in 2022.
Kathryn Hancock, Director of Human Resources at Welch LLP
It is near impossible to choose a top priority, especially in a climate that is demanding so much of employers. However, all roads lead to the ability to find ways to recruit and retain good employees. Navigating the new hybrid workplace while keeping staff engaged; continuing to make progress on EDI initiatives; and caring about the mental wellness of our people will all be competing priorities for 2022. This is a challenging and extremely rewarding time to be an HR Professional.
Brenna Swann, Senior Director of Human Resources at ORBCOMM
At ORBCOMM, we are dedicated to ensuring a workplace that promotes inclusivity, supports equity, and celebrates diversity. Our HR priority for 2022 is to continue building a highly engaged workforce, and DEI initiatives will continue to be top of mind to support that. We are committed to ensuring all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to ORBCOMM’s success and are valued for their skills, experience and unique backgrounds and perspectives. We are excited about all that we have planned to support our DEI efforts in 2022!
Natalie Hartley, Vice President, Human Resources at Caivan Communities
The past two years have brought many lessons, but perhaps the most important one is our inability to predict the future. The pandemic has tested the ability for organizations to be agile in responding to unanticipated disruption. It was clear that skill development fuels business transformations and organizational flexibility.
In order to build resilience among the workforce, our focus is targeted and strategic development of our employees. Our goal is to expand their capabilities while enriching the employee’s career with new learning and growth opportunities. In 2022, our focus will include strengthening and expanding employee skills through a combination of training, individual development programs, leadership coaching and mentoring, new hire onboarding, book clubs and ongoing competency advancement.