Benefits Administration, Benefits Technology, Employee Engagement, Voluntary Benefits

Top HR and Benefits Trends for 2022

January 27, 2022 | Winston

2020 shaped the course of history forever, and while 2021 restored some sense of normalcy, there were also many “new normals” introduced. This new work age also brings new ways for human resources (HR) and benefits teams to pivot their strategies to support company endeavors. Today, we’re giving you a list of the 2022 top HR and benefits trends so you can prepare for the year ahead.

1. Attracting and Retaining Talent

In November 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that a record 4.53 million workers quit their jobs. This is in part due to the “Great Resignation,” a post-pandemic phenomenon where employees across the country are leaving their positions in search of flexibility, more financial freedom, and overall better professional lives. Unfortunately, while this movement empowers workers, it is causing significant rifts for companies in nearly every industry. 

Companies combat the “Great Resignation” by offering employees a more competitive benefits package. Specifically, they offer specialized voluntary benefits to attract new talent and retain current employees. Winston’s Vice President of Business Development, Katie Soehngen, states, “We don’t believe onsite enrollment will increase to say 2016 levels; in 2021 we did have more requests than expected. However, we expect requests for onsite enrollment will slightly increase with employees craving a more personal touch, especially when making big changes.”

2. Hybrid Work

The notion of hybrid work was introduced in 2021; however, by 2022, it’s become clear that it’s preferable by employees. Hybrid work allows employees to work from anywhere while still enjoying the benefits of a brick-and-mortar place of business. With hybrid work models in place, HR leaders are now trying to determine what the management of hybrid workers should look like.

According to a recent article by Forbes, “In addition, employers need to communicate how their approach to management is evolving as work from anywhere expands. This means clearly defining how they will create a fair and equitable workplace for all employees regardless of location, communicate how leaders will manage employees they never physically see, and how teams will achieve work flexibility while meeting their goals.”

3. Addressing Employee Social Media Behavior

While social media has proved to be an excellent tool during the pandemic and beyond, it also has its drawbacks, namely becoming a hotbed of HR policy violations. This year, inappropriate social media behavior is a trending topic as HR professionals attempt to educate employees on not compromising themselves or the companies they work for with damaging social media interactions. 

According to LifeBrand, a social media brand protection agency, this is a growing issue in the industry, and HR teams should consider implementing software like LifeBrand’s to monitor social media interactions. 

LifeBrand Account Executive Chris Laveglia states, “As Human Resource Managers attempt to navigate the ways in which their employees communicate, in and out of the office, their education and compliance tools have to rapidly pivot and account for growing social media platforms and trends, as well as widespread social media connectivity between employees.”

4. Upskilling and Re-Skilling

The workforce has undergone significant shifts in the past two years, making it easy for younger workers as a multi-generational workforce. However, older employees faced challenges. As a result, it became clear that upskilling and re-skilling workers are critical. 

As we head into 2022, many companies are taking steps towards filling the skills gap and investing in upskilling and re-skilling. For HR professionals, their task is to decide which skills can be beneficial to the company and the best learning platform for employees to acquire these skills.

5. Automation

In July 2021, there were approximately 10.9 million open jobs, but only 8.4 million unemployed workers to fill them, according to an article by Workday. This, coupled with the stressors of the previously mentioned “Great Resignation,” has incited more businesses to rely on automation to fill open positions. 

In the HR industry, it’s been found that enlisting the help of a benefits administration partner can help alleviate some of the everyday burdens of HR employees by automating certain tasks. For instance, Winston’s proprietary benefits administration SaaS-based technology, HRally®, can help streamline productivity in your HR department and provide support with billing, compliance, enrollment, and more.

6. Increased Emphasis on Legal Insurance

COVID-19 raised financial and legal issues that will emphasize the desire for legal insurance for employees in the future. From Healthcare claims to estate planning to home selling and buying, many personal challenges caused stress and frustration. According to LegalEASE, 70% of employees will need a lawyer in the next 12 months, and 67% utilize work hours to manage a legal issue. Employees can feel lost and alone facing legal problems, so you will want to consider making employees’ lives easier by including this offering.

As your company ventures into the new year, remember to find ways to incorporate these trends into your HR strategy and advance your company as a whole. 2022 will bring a lot more change, but your business can stay current by continuing to evolve with the ever-changing times. Interested in learning more about how your company can transform in 2022? Our team at Winston can equip your HR team with HRally®, create tailor-made benefits packages, and much more. Contact us today!

Disclaimer:  This content is strictly informational and should not be used as specific advice on insurance products, legal, accounting, and/or tax related matters. Insureds should always contact the appropriate licensed professional for their insurance, legal, accounting, or tax needs.