- 1 Dealing with the consequences of the great resignation
- 2 Maintaining a corporate culture in telework
- 3 Continue to stand out in a competitive job market
- 4 Manage employee discomfort
- 5 Implement hybrid working mode
- 6 Rethinking the workspace for a possible return to the office
- 7 The four day week
- 8 To finish…
Once again, the year ahead will not be easy for human resources specialists in Canada. Labor shortages in many sectors are not set to ease and the return to pre-pandemic normalcy is not yet clear. Resignations are linked in the meantime because employees are more demanding and managers are at their wit’s end in managing teams. This situation creates new challenges for human resources managers that add to the existing ones.
In this article, we will try to explain the new challenges that await HR in 2022 and what to plan for in terms of actions and programs to retain your talents. Here are a few that seem relevant to us this year.
Dealing with the consequences of the great resignation
We were talking about it a few days ago, the phenomenon of the great resignation also affects Canada, since more than half of workers want to leave their jobs this year. This demonstrates a real malaise in the job market.
There are many reasons for this: salary deemed too low, lack of flexibility on the part of the employer, mismatch between the values of the employee and those of the employer, to name but a few.
Thus, employers should think about promoting from within and “rewarding” their most loyal employees in order to retain them.
Maintaining a corporate culture in telework
If it hasn’t already been done, it becomes urgent to strengthen your corporate culture in the current context. The fact that your colleagues work at home is already not easy for team cohesion. If in addition you do nothing to reinforce your values and the identity of your company, many of your employees will leave at the first opportunity that presents itself to them.
Employers will have to find ways to convey their company’s values in all work contexts, a kind of balance that would make the employee who is working from home feel just as close to his employer as the one who works in the office.
Added to this, we must remember the importance given to respecting the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Basically, a working climate of trust and transparency must prevail if employers want to retain their talent.
Continue to stand out in a competitive job market
Given the current market situation and the declining unemployment rate in Canada, all good talent retention strategies are welcome. It is no longer enough to shout loud and clear that you are a working family or that you have the best team in town, these affirmations must be accompanied by concrete actions and measures.
To do this, simply ask the question: what do employees want today? Flexibility, understanding, advancement, career goals, empathy, fine-tuning… From there, work on your early responses.
Why not offer more flexibility in working hours? Give your teams the freedom to start the day when they want and when it suits them. This working method has already proven itself before the pandemic. It is all the more effective in a work environment like today’s.
Manage employee discomfort
The latest survey of Canada’s labor force in January 2022 paints a rather alarming picture. Indeed, a record proportion of employees were absent from work due to illness or disability. Last month, 10% of employees were absent for part or all of the survey reference week.
The reasons are multiple: contamination by the Omicron variant, mental health problems, chronic fatigue or family reasons.
Faced with this increase in absences, employers are asked to have complete confidence in their employees and to be cooperative with regard to possible absences.
Implement hybrid working mode
We are not teaching you anything by telling you that telework exploded during the pandemic. Now that it’s about living with the pandemic and adapting, more and more employers will ask their employees to come back to work in the office.
What you need to know is that a quarter of Canadians see themselves working from home in the long term. Another part envisions shared work time between home and the office. This is called the hybrid working mode.
Even if many employers seem to want to play the game of flexibility, in reality, we are still waiting to see clear time-sharing policies at work. As a result, human resources managers are called upon to establish clear measures in order to satisfy all employees and not harm anyone. At the same time, this policy must be fair to all employee profiles and must remain as an argument for retaining and attracting manpower.
Surveys of your employees and specific questionnaires can tell you about the level of satisfaction with different ways of working. You will need to know if your teams are ready to return to the office. If so, how often? Thus, you organize the workspace accordingly.
Rethinking the workspace for a possible return to the office
Returning to the office is a big challenge for human resources managers. Workspaces were never designed for sanitary conditions as we know them today. As a result, a reorganization of the space is necessary to be able to welcome the employees again in complete safety.
If it has not already been done, it will be necessary to think of an organized, clear and transparent return to the office plan. This plan must be known to all employees so that they can organize themselves accordingly. Even in this troubled time, we all need to be able to project ourselves a minimum.
The four day week
Some see it as a real utopia, others have adopted it as a real weekly work rhythm, the four-day working week still divides the world of HR. Two schools compete on this ground: one that believes in the merits of this method by praising the efficiency of employees during their working hours because they are more rested and have more time for themselves. Another who is still reluctant and who believes that four days of work is not enough to reach business productivity thresholds.
Be that as it may, the four-day week is starting to be adopted by many companies around the world, including in Quebec. To try it is to adopt it according to the first reactions of employees and employers who have tried it.
Even if your company is not yet ready to embark on such an adventure, you could seriously evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of this rhythm of work in your sector of activity.
Of course, these challenges are not the only ones. Human resources managers will have to continue their usual tasks, to which will be added the management of the return to normal. It will therefore be necessary to arm yourself with patience, resilience and courage in order to limit possible damage such as the departure of employees or the dissatisfaction of the administration.