5 newsworthy HR trends - August

5 HR Trends Revealed in August 2022

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This month, the talent shortage remains the key driver to hiring challenges. HR professionals are turning towards people exploring reasons for attrition and seeking strategies to keep those currently employed satisfied. 

Wellness and promoting internal mobility over external hires is becoming more important and seeking new ways to recognise employees are just some of the top trending issues this August for HR professionals.  

Keep reading to understand the top five HR and recruitment trends for August 2022.  

Trend 1 Quiet Quitting

#1 Quiet Quitting: What is it and what can you do about it? 

The idea of quiet quitting burst onto the scene when a TikTok video explained a new phenomenon where employees are not outright quitting, but they’re not going above and beyond in the day-to-day. It’s a by-product of burnout but allows employees to continue fulfilling their duties at a minimum while looking for other jobs. 

The current talent shortage market means many people who are currently employed are seeing open roles in their organisation remaining unfilled for quite some time. This means many are having to ‘pick up the slack’. Yet quiet quitting is proving the perfect antidote for that ‘hustle culture’ giving employees peace of mind they can opt-out of working late or answering emails outside of hours. 

3 ways to identify a quiet quitter: 1. Changes in behaviour 2. Company-wide employee experience 3. Trends in attrition and retention

Understandably however, in a talent shortage market, this mentality can be a concern for organisations. So how can you identify a quiet quitter and what should you do? Smart Company has some answers. 

  1. Look for changes in behaviour: With hybrid and remote work it can be much harder to connect with your team, but a good leader will now be able to identify if things seem off. 
  2. Consider employee experience: When there is a candidate-driven market, it pays to know what your employees think about your company and culture. Regular Pulse surveys can help identify what areas are working well and where there is room for improvement. 
  3. Look at overall employee movement: If you suspect that one of your team are quiet quitting, look at recent trends across your organisation. Have there been multiple recent resignations? 

There are many reasons why an employee may quiet quit so what can leaders do to support staff and reduce the actuality of quitting from arising? 

Firstly, assess if this change is long-term or temporary. Only long-term changes in work ethic are cause for action. Then, have an open conversation with the employee. Try and find out what their needs are. 

  • Is their workload too much? 
  • Do they need more flexibility? 
  • Are they looking for learning and development opportunities that they don’t have in their current role? 
  • Or do they need support creating boundaries between work and life? 

Try and understand what it is that they would be looking for in future employment because the definition of a quiet quitter is someone who is looking for a new position. 

trend 2 - Chief Wellness Officers

#2 Chief Wellness Officers: Supporting Employee Wellness and Engagement During a Turbulent Time 

With employee experience and engagement being at the top of organisations’ lists for some time, wellbeing was bound to become a recurring theme, especially in light of the pandemic. 

A recent article by HR Executive explores the growing trend of hiring a Wellness Officer or dedicating a team to wellness within organisations. Primarily, this person or team of people focus on employees’ wellbeing: how they are doing, what they need, and what tools and programs would help. 

As R U OK? Day draws closer, issues like creating a work environment where people feel cared for is key. Additionally, with the rising number of Generation Y and Z dominating the workforce, requirements for what makes a ‘good employer’ are changing. Sustainability efforts, work/life balance and flexibility are all important to most workers today. 

A Wellness Officer can be responsible for CSR policy or implementing a return to office strategy that keeps employees front of mind. In many workplaces, this type of role has, in the past, been fulfilled by HR or more recently, a People and Culture role. 

Xref’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy reflects one of our core company values ‘a big heart’. Our people all work from home, which results in a low carbon footprint, but more importantly, gives our people flexibility and work/life balance. We are outputs focused.

Trend 3 - Employee Mobility

#3 Employee Mobility: Reducing the Impacts of the Talent Shortage

As Nadine O’Regan points out in this article published by HR Leader, “No longer is it enough to simply recruit, a TA team’s focus now needs to be building an internal mobility culture.” The role of an in-house Talent Acquisition (TA) Specialist is changing from a position of recruitment to one of a Talent Coach. 

As talent remains scarce, TAs must work with senior members of the business to understand critical issues impacting the business and how talent can support those issues, challenges and growth goals. 

The article offers some tips to create a culture of mobility within your organisation including:

  1. Building capacity over time - consider the skill set and growth potential of your current employees. Many businesses want their talent to tick 10 out of 10 job description requirements when hiring. However, with an internal mobility focus stretch assignments can help current employees live up to the business needs. 
  1. Succession planning - Many businesses plan for what to do if C-Suite employees move on from the business or cannot fulfil their duties in some way. However, have you considered applying this to junior and mid-level people? While many employees stay on average three-five years in a role, what can you do to grow and promote them so they stay in your business? 

At Xref, we look to fulfil open roles internally first. Our internal mobility culture has meant that many of our people have progressed their careers, taking multiple roles in their time with us. This creates a strong retention culture within our organisation.  

Trend 4 - Power Skills

#4 Power Skills: Where Soft Skills Meet a Hybrid Workforce

‘Power skills’ is a fairly new term taking HR and recruitment by storm. But what are power skills? This recent article by Employee Cycle explains. 

We can all agree that ‘hard skills’ refer to technical competencies and ‘soft skills’ are more relationship-focused. With remote and hybrid working environments, employees are expected to work in “a state of constant change and adjustment”. 

Skills such as; communication, innovation, creativity, collaboration, adaptability, listening and time management are becoming increasingly valued by HR professionals and recruiters. 

But, calling them soft skills undermines the importance of these attributes, which has led to many not putting enough focus or importance on these areas previously. As such, there are gaps between job expectations and the skillset talent can bring to a role.

The article encourages recruiters to strongly consider adding power skills to the job descriptions for their next available roles. Power skills “are key to be successful within your company, no matter which level of position.” 

This means that no matter what level of talent you are hiring from entry-level to C-suite, power skills in the remote environment can help your organisation run smoothly. 

Consider also transferable skills. These have previously fallen into the same category as soft skills, not being strong or important for employers. The impression of these skills is that they can be learned over time by anyone, as opposed to hard skills that tend to require formal training. 

Additionally, for many, ‘transferable skills’ indicate that these are skills that have not been applied for a specific job so they cause doubt over the candidate’s ability to complete a certain task. However, the opposite should be more readily viewed that a candidate who applied certain skills to a task, can do so again to a similar one.  

In the current talent shortage market, it is hard to find the perfect candidate. So while you might not find the right candidate with the right skill set, consider what skill sets can help a multitude of tasks. It can also help to build your talent pool around skills that you currently need or forecast to need in future. That way you can hire quickly as the needs of your organisation shifts. 

Trend 5 - Innovative Recognition

#5 Innovative Recognition: How to Recognise Remote or Hybrid Employees

It’s common knowledge that happy employees who feel valued and supported deliver better results. There’s also lots of content out there about employee recognition schemes but in a hybrid work environment some ideas that were previously popular may no longer be as effective. 

4 innovative recognition ideas - 1. Milestones with benefits 2. Early Long service leave 3. Birthday days off 4. In-office perks

Work Points Play have recently released some recognition ideas that might just refresh your employee recognition program.

  1. Milestones with benefits: When an employee reaches any milestone, it can help them to feel valued by recognising this with a benefit. At the end of week 1, an employee might earn a free coffee. At the end of a three or six-month probation that same employee may be given access to the company benefits program.
  1. Early long service leave: Have a look at the average tenure of your people and consider how you can incentivise them to stay to increase retention. Consider offering rewards for loyalty earlier than the 10-year mark. At five years for example, a loyal employee could receive a financial incentive. At six-seven years, you can pro-rata long service leave by offering an extra day off that is not part of their accrued leave allowance to give them a taste of what is to come at the 10-year milestone. 
  1. Birthday days off: Some people love their birthdays, while others don’t. By offering your people the opportunity to have the day off means they can celebrate however they want. At Xref, we give our people one extra day in addition to their annual leave allowance to celebrate their birthday. But the best part is, our people can choose when that day is! We don’t keep it strictly to a person’s birth date. 
  1. In-office perks: With the new hybrid and remote ways of working it can feel like organisations don’t see all their employees regularly. In-office perks help to mitigate that. You might want to implement wellbeing perks like long lunches including a walk when an employee comes into the office, or monthly head and shoulder relaxation massages. In-office perks can also include face-to-face time with a mentor or free coffee from a local cafe as these initiatives help to build deeper in-person connections. 

If you’re already taking advantage of recognition ideas like these great! But if not, hopefully they provided some food for thought. It pays to remember that as many organisations have shifted to hybrid or remote ways of working, employee recognition schemes need to shift as well. 

Final Thoughts

This month, people are at the forefront of every trending topic. This is likely evidence of the large impact that the talent shortage is having on organisations globally. HR professionals are seeking ways to keep current employees happy to reduce the risk of departure. As the pandemic has changed how we work (largely remote or hybrid), so too are the trends shifting to support employees to thrive in these environments. 

Interestingly, this is a shift from many of last month’s topics that focused largely on tech and increasing the efficiency of admin processes. Overall though, the goal was to save time to continue that focus on people. To understand the HR and recruitment trends covered in last month’s blog, see 5 trending HR topics for July 2022. 

You may also be interested in:

  1. How Creative Recruitment overcomes the Talent Shortage
  2. How to Bring Your Employer Brand to Life
  3. Build Your Employee Experience Strategy for Remote Work
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