In 2021, many people expected the world to return to “normal", including employees going back to the office. In fact, work in 2021 was more volatile than anyone could have predicted, with new COVID-19 variants, major divisions around vaccination, a massive war for talent and quit rates reaching an all-time high.
Volatility will continue to increase in 2022 amid continuing changes around hybrid work, annual compensation and societal issues — and these five trends that will shape the workplace.
Watch now: 11 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond
No. 1: Fairness and equity will be the defining issues for organizations.
Debates that have fairness at the core have become flashpoints in society. According to our analysis of S&P 500 earnings calls, the frequency with which CEOs talk about issues of equity, fairness and inclusion has increased by 658% since 2018. Questions include:
- Who has access to flexible work, even within the same organization?
- Should organizations adjust compensation for employees who move to locations with a lower cost of living?
- As new employees command a compensation premium, is it fair to pay them significantly more than their established peers?
- With companies offering new, targeted investments for specific segments of their workforce (e.g. additional financial resources to support employees with children), what should other employees receive in-kind?
In 2022, executives need to address how they are managing fairness and equity across the increasingly varied employee experience. In fact, this is the No. 1 priority for HR executives this year.