HR Pros: What’s the biggest challenge you expect to face in 2022?

Chances are it won’t be one you expect, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
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· 4 min read

As we calmly and confidently jump-start 2022 like a grown adult who knows exactly how to safely use jumper cables without wandering around a deserted Target parking lot googling a YouTube video about it, we are also contemplating the road ahead and wondering what potholes, washed-out bridges, and epic traffic jams might await us around the bend. To guide us on this journey into the unknown, we asked a handful of HR leaders what challenges they’re anticipating in 2022. Here’s what they said.

Carla Yudhishthu

Carla Yudhishthu, Chief People Officer at Mineral

HR used to be part art and part science. The operational components (managing an office, benefits, employee safety, etc.) used to be mostly science. We had a framework, we put it into practice, and it was largely self-sustaining. The art of HR was largely focused on recruiting, engaging, and retaining employees. Today, all of it is art and hardly any of it’s science. In fact, managing an office environment used to be something I thought about on rare occasions and now it’s top of mind. That’s on top of dealing with things like ensuring employees feel connected to a bigger purpose at work and figuring out how to turn the “Great Resignation” into the “Great Reengagement” for our company. The task in front of HR is monumental, and I believe we’ll see the same challenges from 2021 heightened in 2022.

Annette Reavis

Annette Reavis, Chief People Officer at Envoy

I expect to face two major challenges next year. One, hiring the right people as quickly as we can. Two, reintroducing the people team and explaining why our team’s core value—“In service with a point of view”—is so important.

As a team, we’re here to serve our company, but we’ll do it proactively and with a point of view. We’ll show up with recommendations of what we think is best and play a role in the decision-making. Restructuring the way the people team operates and interacts will require a cultural shift and will involve education, preparation, and communication across the company. It’s a huge change-management project that I’m thrilled to take on.

Alex Buder Shapiro

Alex Buder Shapiro, Chief People Officer at Flatiron Health

With all of the unpredictability of the past two years, I could feel myself holding my breath this past fall, as we kicked off a large-scale HR software implementation with July 1, 2022, as our go-live date. The project is long overdue; we need to make a significant investment in automation and integration, unlocking a more self-service and streamlined approach to the employee experience.

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To deliver on these goals, the people team will have to build the plane while we are flying it. We will have to balance doing our normal jobs with finding the time to re-architect all of our processes in the new system. And there will absolutely be new and unanticipated distractions that challenge our focus. But as a leader, I will need to evangelize the commitment we’ve made to this project. The end state will give everyone so much time back, but it will take creativity, empathy, and persistent prioritization to get us all there.

Dominique Taylor

Dominique Taylor, Chief People Officer at Axios

I expect it will be figuring out how to build an inclusive remote work environment, and more importantly, how to maintain equity in a hybrid work environment. When a work environment is fully remote or mainly in the office, equity is easier to manage. But when it’s hybrid, you have to be a lot more diligent and operationalize a lot more processes.

Bernard Coleman

Bernard Coleman, Chief Diversity Officer at Gusto

Engagement and employee well-being. How do you keep everyone engaged, fulfilled, and happy? We are operating in such a dynamically changing and challenging environment that people are seeking and expecting more from companies and greater fulfillment from their roles. The pandemic, this new way of working will require lots of pivots and adaptability to stay ahead of the curve.

That’s why Gusto is hiring a head of remote experience. This person will ensure “Gusties” feel like “Gusties,” no matter how often they come into one of our home bases. This job is about connection—ensuring our remote workers have equitable experiences and feel connected to our mission and our community.

Do you work in HR or have information about your HR department we should know? Contact John Del Signore via the encrypted messaging app Telegram (@John_Del_Signore) or simply email [email protected].

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.