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Top 10 work trends

Remote work and diversity in top 10 work trends

The two top work trends are Employee engagement and organizational commitment of remote workers and Ensuring Inclusive Environments and Cultures. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) has for the ninth year published a report on top 10 work trends.  Several of trends result from the distress of the global pandemic and critical social issues that came to the forefront in 2020 but are still valid. Diversity and inclusion show up in at least two of the top 10 trends.

Please find below a summary of the report:

1. Employee engagement and organizational commitment of remote workers

With the growing demands of employees having remote or hybrid working models, organizations need to know what evidence-based methods drive engagement and commitment of employees who are not in the office.

Compared to the top 10 Work Trends 2021, this year’s employee well-being trends became more nuanced and fine-grained or ‘advanced’. Whereas for 2021, respondents recognized that remote or flex work was going to be important, 2022 respondents have a better idea of what exactly about remote or flex work is important, which raises new questions and challenges.

2. Inclusive Environments and Cultures

It is important organizations understand viewpoints from all employees, not just those who are in the majority. Executives need to play an active role in ensuring their programs, processes, and overall culture encourages diverse thoughts and ideas. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can no longer be a taskforce or team that rolls out training and events, DEI needs to be incorporated into the overall business strategy

This DEI-related trend became more generic for 2022. While trends in 2021 focused on measuring ‘progress’ on DEI, this year appears to take diversity more for granted and omnipresent instead of using measures or statistics to check whether DEI targets are being met.

3. Managing the transition into post-pandemic work

Remote, in-office, or hybrid, many organizations are still figuring out what will serve their workforce and customers/clients best This trend also appeared in last year’s top 10. However, we gained a lot of information, and experiences increasingly widened the scope.

While previously, organizations were getting acquainted with different ways of working and remote work, many employees have experienced how it feels to be working from home and may have sought ways to cope with challenges, of which they were not yet aware of.

4. Talent attraction and retention in a candidate-driven market

As the fight for talent becomes more and more difficult, how can organizations re-think their selection processes, onboarding, long-term employee development to ensure the right people are brought in and are fulfilled in their role.

In 2021, there was a trend focusing on inclusive practices that appeared to be essential for potential employees. This year, the ‘inclusive’ approach is widened, in the sense that it is not only about inclusion in itself but about individual matches between the values of employees and potential employers.

5. Caring for Employee Well-being

This trend on employee well-being highlights what workers are facing and ways organizations can identify the right resources to supply their teams.

Previously, employee well-being has been playing an important role in Top Work Trends. However, this trend focuses explicitly on the role of the employer in taking care of employees’ well-being.

6. The Great Resignation

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers have quit their jobs at a record pace due to feeling unprotected, undervalued, and unfairly compensated by organizations. Although the pandemic hits worldwide, the effects on careers and employment may differ across the world. Do workers quit their jobs at an increased rate? Where? And why?

With regard to the top 10 Work Trends 2021, The Great Resignation was not part of the agenda as such, this seems to be a ‘new’ trend or movement. Potentially a movement out of ‘inferior’ jobs? Maybe this is caused or triggered by an increased awareness or skepticism of employees about working environment characteristics?

7. Stress and Burnout

With high workloads and minimal time off, workers are stressed to the point that they can no longer properly fulfill their job roles and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Compared to the top 10 Work Trends 2021, this year’s employees’ well-being trend Stress and Burnout focuses on high-level functioning of employees which entangles different aspects, but is seen as a whole nowadays.

8. Creating Effective Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Interventns

Things like implicit bias training and diversity workshops can be ineffective. Similarly, diffuse initiatives and activities may overshoot or miss the target of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). What kinds of interventions create real change and are feasible for organizations to implement?

Compared to the top 10 Work Trends 2021, this year’s trend, DEI focuses on generic practices as opposed to more specific and diffuse initiatives. Next to DEI interventions that need to be taken to address and minimize bias and increase diversity, associated overarching culture is also part of this year’s trends (#2).

9. Employer’s Role in Employees’ Mental Health

Employees’ mental health has been an issue for a long time and has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Organizations play a crucial role in safeguarding employees’ mental health. What can/will organizations do about the employee mental health crisis, if anything at all?

Compared to the top 10 Work Trends 2021, the theme of employee well-being remains crucial but became more nuanced like this trend for 2022. This mental health trend for 2022 is much more focused on employer responsibility toward employees’ overall mental health

10 Enabling Organizational Culture in a Changing Workplace Environment

While workers are working in-person, remote, hybrid, and internationally away from the office space, companies may struggle to maintain their unique organizational identity and  ‘feeling’ or sense of the organization as a whole.

Compared to the top 10 Work Trends 2021, the focus on organizational culture and the tension or even paradox with the changing nature of work became much more applied and contemporary; ‘how to deal with this today?’ instead of strategic and future-focused.

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