Some predictions about work in 2022
I already fed up.
It happens every year around this time. The same articles on the same subjects. They are everywhere. You know of the ones I’m talking about.
It’s the one on “101 Tech Holiday Gifts”. Or the one on “16 CEOs New Year’s Resolutions.” It always looks the same in rotation at the end of each year.
Sorry, here’s another one.
I believe that in 2022, discussions about the future of work will not slow down. So here are my 5 predictions for work in 2022. You’re welcome.
1. Increased emphasis on culture and values
Many companies have mission statements, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows them.
Learning and development teams spend most of their time shaping company policies, not developing the people behind the work. But, that will change in the new year. With a workforce severely disconnected and disengaged because of everything from remote working to poor leadership, companies will feel the pressure to start investing more in strengthening their culture by investing in coaching and mentoring.
In 2021 we saw some surprising things on 1Huddle where the majority of games played had nothing to do with soft skills, safety / compliance or even product training. In fact, the most popular game topic was “Culture and Values” – 61% of all games played on 1Huddle in 2021 were on topics such as company mission, core values, brand standards, the history of the company and the team.
Culture for victory.
2. Leaders will need to become more political
Workers have had a lot to say this year – from COVID to Black Lives Matter to the big resignation. With 46% of the workforce now comprised of Millennials and Gen Z, we have a majority of our workforce who are interested not only in getting paid to work, but also the impact of their work on their community.
Expect this new majority of the workforce to demand more of their leaders, especially more vocal positions on topics that go beyond work. In 2021, we saw it on 1Huddle. The most requested games were about social justice topics. We have seen workers express their interest in more learning and training opportunities in everything from voting rights to diversity issues to inclusive leadership.
It’s time to upgrade your content game people.
3. Demand for training will skyrocket, but most companies will not invest
I’m not trying to be a downer.
But, unfortunately, worker training will continue to be seen as a “good to have” in 2022. This is unfortunate. It is shameful in fact. But too many companies today are spending more time trying to mitigate risk and become more efficient than they are trying to develop their workforce.
You do not agree ? Well, here’s some historical data for you …
● Today, the United States ranks last in terms of dollars invested in federal workforce training compared to 17 other major industrialized countries.
● 80% of workforce training focuses on safety training, not skills development
● 86% of workers perform work without recent training in the past 5 years
The numbers don’t lie.
4. Businesses will continue to invest in technology to automate, not to improve skills
A major negative impact of COVID has been on the function of human resources within companies. At the height of the pandemic, companies were not only cutting their marketing spending, but also the people within their organizations who were responsible for recruiting, training and developing their workers. The move crippled talent operations and was one of the main reasons companies have struggled to attract and retain workers over the past 6-9 months.
Much of the talk around a “labor shortage” has focused on workers’ refusal to return to work. However, if you dig deeper, you’ll see that a lot of the blame lies with businesses and their failure to maintain a strong culture of recruiting and development. It will be difficult to simply restart the engines of recruitment and training – it has already proven difficult. In fact, the longer it takes, the more comfortable businesses will be operating on less. This is already happening. Just look at the November 2021 Jobs Report which historically shows a positive increase in retail hires around the holiday season but missed big last month.
And, don’t even get me started on all the robots that flip burgers …
5. The fight for talent will become real
The workers are in the driver’s seat. Isn’t that where they should be?
The only thing you own as a worker is the trade for your time and your work. I believe that in 2022, workers will continue to wonder not only if they like where they work, but they will wonder who they work for. This new challenge is not something that many companies are ready for and it will translate into a revolving door for brands that haven’t shown they care about workers and will be a major opportunity for brands that take time to listen and invest in their workforce.
Then again. These are just my opinions. Now back to work.
Sam Caucci is the Founder and CEO of 1Huddle