The top 10 trends for HR and learning in 2022

By Lars Hyland
2022 blog image

As we enter the festive season, it’s a time for us to reflect on the tumultuous changes we’ve all endured over the past 12 months and to also look forward to the year ahead.

One thing is for sure, change and uncertainty will likely prevail, so we’ll need to stay resilient, flexible and adaptable. But here is my take on what we can expect to be grappling with as HR and learning professionals.

  1. The Great Contemplation will lead to talent war - there has already been a major movement and shake up in some of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic which has led to what many call the Great Resignation. However, there are many more still in reflection mode, particularly knowledge workers, who are gearing up for change next year… so hold onto your hats the great game of musical job change is set to get more significant than ever.
     

  2. Hybrid working is here to stay - we all need to be more outcomes-focused rather than tracking inputs. A surveillance culture will be rejected at scale (see No 1) and instead a focus on building trust and autonomy will be favored by skilled talent, with the flexibility to work any time from anywhere.
     

  3. Rushed pandemic procurements are not scalable and lead to buyer’s remorse - New systems are needed by many organizations that were not prepared for the effects of the pandemic. Many will be looking for better solutions that meet the long-term needs of the hybrid working environment.
     

  4. HR functional silos have to break - HR teams need to work together better, and remove the friction/noise created by unaligned and conflicting ‘asks’ on people’s time. Streamline the experience so it is personalized to the learning, engagement and performance management needs of the individual, the team, the department.
     

  5. Intentional learning strategy addresses the skills chasm - there are five key steps that should sit at the heart of all learning experience design - make sure yours include these:

    1. Set small clear goals

    2. Remove distractions

    3. Actively seek feedback

    4. Deliberately practice new skills in real contexts

    5. Reflect regularly and iterate where there are areas for improvement
       

  6. Collaborative community-based learning drives engagement and goal-oriented action - encouraging people to create, curate and share on topics of common interest and value to themselves and the organization delivers real solutions to real problems while catalyzing effective learning.
     

  7. Better use of the RIGHT data - it’s worth saying again: measure the desired outputs, not inputs. That means getting better at data handling and metric design.
     

  8. Coaching culture is management culture - the switch to continuous performance management practices has a profound effect on the effectiveness of the organization as a whole, as long as managers switch their perceptions and practices towards supporting their teams rather than simply directing them. Assisting that transition should be a key priority of HR functions.
     

  9. Flexibility and adaptability breeds sustainability - teams need to be more jazz than classical in their behaviours.
     

  10. All predictions are off - as I said at the start, uncertainty and rapid change is only going to accelerate in its impact across all industry sectors. It means we need to pay special attention to nurturing resilience and maintaining wellbeing for all our people.

It’s tough out there, so be well, stay strong, and we’ll see you again in 2022.