Two Strategic Business Imperatives for HR in 2022

January 17, 2022


Written by Jacqueline Kuhn


2021 was a year of change and challenge. There are three types of organizations coming out of 2021: the Thrivers, the Strugglers, and the Unenlightened.

  • The Thrivers: Congratulations! Your organization has recognized that the world of work has materially changed, and you are changing with it. While you may not have it all figured out, you have a plan in place and are executing on that plan. Continue to do so in 2022 with the understanding that your plan must continue to be fluid as there are many more changes in store for the year ahead.
  • The Struggler: Congratulations! Your organization has recognized the need to change and is in the process of executing those plans, but you are not quite there yet. You probably are best positioned to thrive in 2022 as the ways of working are still in flux, and there are many more changes in store. However, if you keep an open mind and continue to be flexible, your organization will end the year successfully.
  • The Unenlightened: Congratulations! Your organization has the greatest opportunity to seize the day in 2022. First, however, you must open your hearts and minds to change. Working as if it is 2019 (or earlier) will prove to be an insurmountable challenge by the end of this year. So, take note and start planning now.

What should HR be doing this year? Two strategic business imperatives need to be performed this year:

First, focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance). Your company ESG score impacts its financial status as much, if not more so, than a credit rating or D&B score. Investors are increasingly looking to ESG scores to decide where to invest. Banks also use this to determine lending viability. There is a portion of the “S” and “G” that HR directly owns and should be prioritizing in 2022.

  • The “S”: Social, which includes Encouraging employees to perform volunteer work and creating working conditions that have high regard for employees’ health and safety;
  • The “G”: Governance, which includes remaining compliant and avoiding conflicts of interest in hiring.

Formal reporting on these measures is necessary. These initiatives are more urgent for a privately held organization than a publicly-traded one. Still, in either case, this is HR’s chance to contribute directly to the financial measures of an organization. Partner with your finance leadership to ensure you have the right programs and metrics in place.

Secondly, prioritize workforce planning. Recruiting employees is difficult, and this is not going to change. The best practice is to have a plan in place for those required jobs, including skills for those jobs and where and when they are needed. This applies to all jobs, not just operational jobs. With the stressed labor market, having the right resources in 2022 and beyond means that contractors will be necessary. Therefore, creating strategic talent plans that include contractors must be a priority for HR. Additionally, having workforce planning functionality, either within or separate from an HCM application, needs to be an HR-owned priority. This will allow HR to support business hiring needs strategically.

If you’re ready to learn more, and partner with an organization that can help, contact HRchitect.

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