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HR a year in review (2022)
2023 promises to bring some more challenges for HR. To help you prepare for the New Year, we have summarised some of the key challenges and issues HR professionals faced in our HR review of 2022.
The Great Resignation
The “Great Resignation” which may have been seen as a buzzword, but according to a May report from PwC one in five workers reported they are likely to quit and switch to a new employer. The short-term impact saw many companies dealing with shortages and a competitive labour market. In the long term, HR professionals are having to work with C-Suite in companies on improving their culture, wellbeing strategies and working environments to attract employees and retain talent.
There were lots of discussions on “Quiet quitting” with many seeing it as a buzzword or a new phenomenon. But it’s been around for some time. It is when employees work to rule. They carry out the basic duties their job requires intentionally, not going above and beyond taking on any extra responsibility or contributing any unpaid overtime. The Gallup’s ‘State of the global workforce’ reported quiet quitters in the US account for 50% of their workforce. They also found that just 9% of UK workers felt enthused by their work and workplace in 2022. This could suggest that quiet quitting could even be more prominent in the UK. The challenge for organisational leadership and HR and people professionals is how to keep employees who simply work to the rule engaged and enthusiastic about the vision and direction of the company.
Talent and recruitment
Our Big HR Indies Fee Survey in 2022 found that the biggest issue in the coming year is talent and recruitment (34%). This may be due to the knock impact of the “Great Resignation” which has left organisations faced with a skill shortage. It could also be as a result of the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. This caused most people to re-evaluate their work-life balance. As Independent HR and People professionals, we can support our clients to create great working environments and to be employers of choice even in difficult recruitment times.
There is also work flexibility, which our Big HR Indies Fee Survey 2022 reported to be the third biggest issue. LinkedIn News UK reported two months ago that LinkedIn data supports the view that flexibility is at risk. Their data showed that at the start of January 2022, almost 16% of job ads on LinkedIn in the UK were described as remote, falling to just under 12% of roles by September. Employees expected flexibility but the decline in job ads ‘remote’ indicates a disconnect between employers and employees.
But, under new government plans, employees will be able to request flexible working from day one of their employment (currently set at 26 weeks). This was announced in early December 2022, in response to the “Making Flexible Working The Default Consultation”. Their response in summary:
- request for flexible working a day-one right for employees
- a new duty of exploring the available options, before rejecting a flexible working request
- allow employees to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period
- quicker response period, reduced from three months to two months for employers to respond to requests
- the removal of the requirement for employees to outline the effects of the request.
The day-one right to request flexible working will be delivered through secondary legislation.
The government’s response is available here.
Cost of Living Crisis
Research suggests that almost all employers expect their employees to experience financial difficulties in 2023.
With the rise in the cost of living, the primary concern for employees is pay for most, with the majority of employees (80%) saying their pay isn’t keeping up with inflation. This could see a trend in HR professionals working more closely with finance to explore options to support employees’ financial wellbeing.
Author: Mary Asante, Director