I remember how we looked forward with excitement to 2020 – kicking off a new decade of progress and prosperity. That didn’t last long due to the arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdowns, sickness, and schisms. With the release of the vaccine and easing restrictions, we thought 2021 would bring us relief and a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, new strains of COVID blocked much of that from happening.
Now as we look toward 2022, it is hard to know what to expect or to hope for.
Here’s what I know: The normal we knew in 2019 is not returning. A successful future requires a willingness to embrace the lessons learned over the past two years.
How we worked before was not sustainable. Many of us were living to work instead of working to live, missing out on meaningful time with family and neglecting health and wellness. After experiencing unexpected job loss and unexpected life loss, those of us still in traditional employment arrangements came away unwilling to resume or continue the same pace of work.
This realization is one of many factors leading to the current retention crisis. Here are a few emerging workplace trends to watch for in 2022 that can help relieve this pressure and turn the tide:
PPIs > KPIs: As the pandemic continues to loom and hybrid work gains traction, we have to update key performance indicators to match the current environment. What is important and what truly matters? For office-based workers, instead of worrying about monitoring hours on the clock and time in front of the camera, focus on clarifying desired outputs and identifying the behaviors that lead to success. These pandemic performance indicators are more likely to yield both the achievement and accountability you’re looking for over traditional metrics that keep people tethered to an office chair.
Experience > Swag: After lockdowns and quarantines, the feelings of wanderlust are real! People want to get out there and experience a slice of life. Organizations looking to retain their employees and revive their engagement levels are fulfilling this need with unique experiences. Wine tastings, cigar samplings, escape rooms, crafting classes, field trips – even skydiving! For the people who have stayed with your organization through the ups and downs – especially through the pandemic – rewarding them with a swag bag or trophy just isn’t enough. Instead, seek ways to cultivate unique and fun experiences to honor employees for their hard work and service.
Gauntlet > Multi-Round Interviewing: According to a study published by Zippia in August 2021, only 49% of workers report being “very satisfied with their work,” and at least 26% of workers want to leave their current jobs. Resignation rates are the highest in decades – with the largest percentage coming from those in the middle of their careers who are burnt out and seeking to pivot in new directions. Still the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 10 million jobs remain unfilled.
Employers can’t afford to be slow in their hiring decisions. To address this, some companies are moving away from multiple rounds of interviews to a more gauntlet style. In the gauntlet, the candidate moves from one interviewer onto the next in the course of several hours during one day. Should the candidate reach a point where they do not perform well enough to move forward, the interview ends and the candidate is sent home, with thanks and a modest stipend. Should the candidate do well at every stage, the candidate is offered the position and a reasonable sign-on bonus at the end of the gauntlet day. This method requires a process and resource coordination that is as efficient as a fashion week runway show to effectively pull off. But when done effectively, it leads to faster time to fill, higher quality hires, and greater onboarding satisfaction.
As 2022 approaches, these three trends will give you the edge over your competition. Take a chance and try new ways to achieve new, better outcomes!
May 2022 be your best year ever!