The COVID-19 pandemic has not only transformed the workplace, but also impacted HR management.
In the past two years, employers have had to create new HR policies and procedures to stay compliant with legislation enacted to meet the challenges of the pandemic. Doing so allowed everyone to adapt our work lives to the new normal.
While Canada has not yet experienced the Great Resignation Wave that is currently sweeping the US, we are facing a labour shortage. According to a recent BDC survey, 55% of Canadian small and medium sized businesses said they are finding it difficult to hire new staff. Staff retention was also a challenge for 26% of the employers surveyed.
There are several factors contributing to the current labour shortage. The lockdowns and job losses created by the pandemic led many workers, especially those in the hospitality and personal care sectors, to switch careers and shift industries. The pandemic also pushed many into early retirement, and reduced immigration and, thus, the addition of skilled immigrants into Canada’s workforce.
The need for greater employee wellness and mental health support highlighted by the pandemic has been bolstered by recent legislation. British Columbia amended its Employment Standards Act to provide workers with five days of paid sick leave (in addition to three unpaid days) as of January 1, 2022. Certain employees in Ontario will soon enjoy the right to disconnect from work after contracted hours under the recently passed Bill 27, Working for Workers Act 2021.
This emphasis on employee wellness and mental health, and the need for a work-life balance will continue in the new year. Here are 5 HR trends we expect to see in 2022.
Increase in employee perks and benefits
With a shortage of skilled workers and retaining existing ones emerging as major challenges this year, offering greater perks and benefits to attract and keep talent will be a key strategy for employers in 2022. Surveys have revealed higher wages and more benefits as the two reasons employees were looking to change jobs.
The 2022 Hays Canada Salary Guide, too, reports that 62% of employees said they would switch jobs if not given opportunities for professional growth, while 65% were seriously considering changing jobs. Meanwhile, 40% of employers said they were already losing skilled staff to competitors offering higher pay.
In the new year, employers should review and revise their employee retention strategies. It is important that you offer competitive pay and benefits, such as paid sick leave, healthcare programs, and perks, such as flexible work, workplace wellness programs, staff discounts, etc.
Offering opportunities for professional development will not only help you hold on to talent, but also save your bottom line. Through internal training and upskilling, you can groom an existing employee to take on bigger roles within your company.
Hybrid or flexible work arrangements
The option to work from home was listed as a “most desired benefit” by employees in the 2021 Hays Salary Guide. While remote work may not be suited to all industries and roles, a hybrid working arrangement, which combines remote and in-office working, is likely to benefit both employers and employees.
Not only does it help employees save time and money that is spent commuting, but a hybrid workplace also promotes a better work-life balance, thus improving productivity. Employers benefit from reduced overhead costs, can hire from a broader talent pool, and better support employees with caregiving responsibilities.
With 65% of employees considering a job change, flexible or hybrid work option will be more common in 2022, and a major perk to draw qualified applicants.
Diversity and inclusion
There are many benefits to encouraging diversity in the workplace. A diverse team, composed of employees from different cultures, nationalities and with varied life experiences, brings in fresh perspectives and ideas into the workplace. This prevents creative stagnation, leading to greater productivity and innovation.
The BDC report on adapting to the current labour shortage says making optimal use of Canadian diversity could add 2 million workers to the workforce. Ontario recently took a step in this direction with Bill 27, Working for Workers Act 2021. Among other measures, the new legislation makes it easier for internationally trained professionals to be able to work in the province.
Integrating diverse staff will help employers widen their talent pool in the new year.
Video job interviews are here to stay. Holding job interviews using video conferencing software is a practice that started with the pandemic lockdowns in 2020.
With hybrid/remote work becoming more common, virtual interviewing is expected to continue into the new year. Besides making it easier for recruiters and interviewers to fill remote roles, it also saves a business time and resources spent on in-person interviewing. For businesses hiring remote staff in other provinces, it may be the only way to interview applicants.
The pandemic has changed the way small businesses operate. Be it switching to remote or hybrid offices or from brick-and-mortar stores to online ones. HR management, too, must keep up to support these transformation efforts.
Automating administrative tasks through cloud-based HR management software increases efficiency and frees up employee time to take on tasks of greater value.
An online staff management software makes day-to-day HR management quick and easy. This is especially useful in a hybrid or remote workplace where teams may be spread out geographically.
Peninsula offers an award-winning smart HR management software, BrightHR, that helps our clients:
- Log and track staff attendance remotely
- Create, update, and share staff schedules in seconds
- Access unlimited cloud-based storage and store and share HR documents securely
- Track, approve or decline staff absences with a click
- Simplify payroll reporting with the BrightHR payroll navigator tool
- Access all these features and more through the BrightHR mobile app
Do you need help preparing your workplace for 2022?
In 2021, our HR and health and safety experts guided over 5,000 Canadian small businesses through the workplace challenges created by the pandemic. Let us help you make your business a success in 2022.
Our experts can help you with company policies as well as with any other HR, health and safety or employee management issues that may arise. To learn more about how our services can help your business, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.