The past two years have been extremely disruptive for many small and medium-sized businesses. As you plan for 2022, take a strategic approach to your human resource planning. While your competitors direct all of their efforts towards overcoming supply chain disruptions and other sales-related issues, you can really set your business apart by putting in the work to update and improve your strategic HR management plan.
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With talent shortages threatening to plague many industries, there has never been a better time to ensure that your human resources strategies and workforce planning are effective. If you are looking for ways to stay competitive, increase employee engagement, and improve employee retention in 2022, we can help!
These five human resource management strategies can help your business retain existing talent, attract new employees, and ensure that your business stays competitive into 2022 and beyond.
1. Focus on Retaining Effective Talent
As mentioned, labour shortages are predicted to spike throughout 2022. One of the many unfortunate side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that staff shortages are now crippling business across Australia and the rest of the world.
As The Guardian points out in their January 12, 2022 article titled Job Vacancies Surge in Australia, the data points to serious staffing issues across the entire country.
While it is difficult to point to a single cause for this trend, one thing is for sure: retaining effective talent needs to be a primary focus of any effective human resources strategy in 2022. While pay increases can improve your appeal as an employer, there are also other ways you can develop your HR strategy to increase your chances of growing employee satisfaction and improving employee retention.
Greater work flexibility, additional paid leave, increased benefits, realistic opportunities for career progression, and even incentives, like bonuses, can all be added to your existing staff retention efforts. Remember, retaining your best employees is an arguably more important strategic objective than attracting new talent!
2. Forecast Your Human Resources Requirements for 2022 and Beyond
As an employer, you should update and forecast your HR requirements regularly. An important component of any effective human resources strategy involves anticipating how many new employees you will need to hire throughout the year.
Consider what roles you will need to fill in the future. An accurate workforce management forecast will also allow you to balance your staffing needs against what you expect your payroll capabilities to be. Hiring new talent can be difficult, especially with the current labour shortages; however, by accurately forecasting your future requirements, you can monitor the labour market well ahead of time.
Making sure that you have resources lined up to attract new talent when it becomes available is critical for 2022. One of the most important parts of strategic human resource management is to analyze your current employees and their skills to search for potential holes. When the talent required to fill those holes becomes available, you will be ready. Simply by forecasting, rather than waiting until the last second, your business will be in a much better position to hire who you need.
3. Consider Retraining and Upskilling Your Current Employees
While hiring new employees can help your business stay competitive, it is also possible to fulfil some of your needs simply by retraining and upskilling your current employees. Just like your business itself, the people you employ will not do well if they are left to stagnate. You might be surprised to learn how willing your employees are to take on new challenges and responsibilities. However, you must have an appropriate and effective training system in place.
Motivation is also important! Your employees will be far more willing to learn new skills and fulfil more complex roles if they receive a reward. While financial incentives certainly help, a clear path towards career progression can also help inspire your employees to learn new skills and roles. Even symbolic promotions and new titles can help motivate your employees.
The training itself should also be somewhat exciting. Third-party workshops and online training courses can be effective ways to help your employees learn the new skills your business needs.
4. Focus on Improving Mental Health and Wellness Initiatives
If anything, the pandemic has stressed the importance of taking care of our mental health. No employer wants their staff to feel overworked and overstressed. From a human standpoint, nobody wants to know others are suffering, but it can also be extremely damaging from a business perspective if the employees you have working for you feel that their job is damaging their mental health.
High turnover rates and significantly reduced productivity are just some of the unwanted side-effects resulting from a stressed and exhausted workforce. Your HR management strategy needs to address mental health issues in the workplace.
Finding ways to help your employees feel less stressed and promoting efforts to prevent burnout will help. Mental health workshops, more flexibility for time off when needed, and even creating a more enjoyable work environment can all help. Get creative and understand that human resources management involves caring for the mental health of your employees!
Another component of this human resources strategy can be ensuring that your managers lead with empathy. Ensure that your human capital management team is fully aware that your employees are one of your most valuable resources. Simple changes in attitude and behaviour make a significant difference to how your employees feel and perform. For example, encouraging your managers to ask their subordinates to complete tasks, rather than ordering them to do so, can make an employee feel more valued.
Simply by feeling valued in the workplace, many employees feel better going to work. Remember, your employees should not be defined exclusively by their roles and skills. They are real people with real emotions.
5. Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Efforts into Your HR Strategies
If you want to ensure that your business will stay relevant and competitive in 2022 and beyond, you need to consider diversity. Gender and racial diversity are more important than ever before, which is why your human resources strategy needs to include a diversity initiative.
Identify and mitigate potential biases your organization may have in its hiring practices. Not only will this help you bring fresh ideas into the workplace, but it could also even be the difference that helps your business attract the new talent required to make the next big step forward.