Last year, businesses were doing their best to thrive amidst a pandemic. This year, leaders have been talking about the wave of the Great Resignation and how we can enhance employee experiences and wellbeing as more people embrace hybrid work.
As concerns surrounding employee engagement and retention arise in a remote setting, this is leading HR to take on more responsibilities as they navigate the corporate, social and digital transformations.
So, rather than dishing out the occasional engagement surveys and “pulse checks”, what can modern HR systems do to improve our work experiences, development opportunities and rewards?
Making work fun and fulfilling,
🎪 How does the post-pandemic HR look like?
Insane amount of Venture Dollars floods into HR Tech [Crunchbase]
HR spending rebounds - With the Great Resignation still very much in the headlines, money is pouring into HR tech like never before. Funding in the sector has more than doubled since mid-July last year, and total venture dollars now stand at nearly $7.5bn.
Since September last year, 5 rounds in HR tech were a quarter-of-a-billion dollars or bigger, such as Munich-based people workflow automation company Personio, which raised a $270m Series E. While in Asia, HR tech platform Darwinbox has more than tripled its valuation to become a unicorn in a new $72m funding round
Unicorns abound - These recent extremely large rounds have led to a boom in the HR tech unicorn population, leading to 6 new unicorns—such as Belgium-based Odoo—being minted in the past 2 years.
Why now? - It’s likely due to the pandemic’s upheaval in the labour force coupled force. While HR tech is not the sexiest of sectors, it can prove interesting to both investors and buyers in a time when employers are struggling to attract and retain talent.
Today, not only are companies are looking globally for talent, but they are also seeking new ways to expand diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as completely changing the way they onboard and train employees in a remote-first era.
💡 Learn more
- Commentary: Why 2022 may see more resignations
- Reworked: 4 trends shaping employee experience in 2022
The big shift from HR tech to work tech [HR Executive]
Making hybrid work, work with AI - While many are adopting hybrid work models, research from a remote tech firm found that 38% of knowledge workers believe remote employees will be at a disadvantage for not working out of a central office location.
However, companies like Fuse are now building AI-based coaching tools that request feedback, read comments, and glean sentiment from employees and teams. They use data to match these individual and team issues against higher performing teams, giving managers and supervisors the requisite tools to do better. AI will make it easier for HR and middle managers to see productivity, learning and performance.
Embracing neurodiversity in DEI - HR leaders are saying that neurodiversity— variations in how the human brain operates, like autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders and dyspraxia —will be accounted for in DEI tracking in 2022.
A growing number of companies, including SAP, HP, and Microsoft, have reformed their HR processes in order to access neurodiverse talent—and are seeing productivity gains, quality improvement, boosts in innovative capabilities, and increased employee engagement as a result.
💡 Learn more
- Getting the feels: Should AI have empathy?
- Gartner: Why we need neurodiverse talent
How innovative tech help companies combat the Great Resignation [Fast Company]
How to keep a pulse on people investments - Emerging HR-tech such as ActivTrak, Visier, and The Org, are changing the game and making measurement of people both possible. Workforce analytics tools are helping companies piece the ROI equation together, such as detecting work patterns, measuring behaviours and benchmarking employees across peers and industries.
Always be learning - Furthermore, a big part of wellness at work is about helping employees learn new skills and find mentors and coaches. One study found that the most effective work activities to improve wellbeing were those that the employee can learn something new.
Companies that take advantage of technologies and that provide skills-based and on-demand coaching programs stand to do well with a new generation of workers that demands greater opportunity and personalisation in how they navigate their careers.
Workplace wellness is now at stake - Depression causes an estimated 200 million lost workdays per year and costs employers between $17 and $44 billion. But for mental health needs to be openly addressed in the workplace, it requires better tools, with preventative care at the core. That said, a rise of mental health tools including those provided by Unmind, Lyra and Calm are making this possible for companies of all sizes.
💡 Learn more
- For startups: 4 beginner mistakes in hiring and talent management
- How to create a happy, digital workforce