8 Company Culture Trends to Know in 2022
Trends you should get behind to keep and attract employees this year
by Nikhil Bendre - February 24th, 2022
If we’ve learned anything from these past couple of years, it’s that everything around us is sure to change, sometimes more quickly than we’d be comfortable with. This sentiment extends directly into the workplace. In order to remain competitive, employers need to be able to adapt to evolving trends in company culture, as this area is only moving higher and higher on candidates’ lists of priority. In today’s professional world, if someone’s not happy at their current place of employment, they’ll leave - it’s really that simple. Therefore, let’s take note of some company culture trends to look out for this year so that you can keep up with other businesses within your sphere!
The upper level decision-makers of companies simply cannot get away with the gatekeeping of important information anymore. If decisions are being made that can affect others in the organization, it’s not only expected, but demanded that that information be shared with full transparency. The second employees feel as though they’re being taken advantage of or lied to, they will absolutely leave, as they should! Make sure to keep the communication channels as open as possible between levels of your organization’s hierarchy so that your team feels trusted, valued, and in-the-loop.
Amplification of Employee Voices
This point is sort of an extension of transparency. Letting your employees know what’s going on and being honest with them is the bare minimum. The next step is to actually listen to what your team has to say about what’s going on. The people within your company are truly your core. Nothing happens without them. That’s why it’s imperative that their thoughts, feelings, and feedback is not only heard, but acted upon. Again, keep communication channels open and encourage your team to speak up about anything they may want to address without fear of negative repercussions.
It’s no secret that professional opportunities are often unfairly distributed. Things like DEI initiatives and lessons are absolutely necessary, but at the end of the day, those don’t translate into monetized opportunities for marginalized people. It’s time to, literally, put your money where your mouth is. If you boast about your support for DEI, that needs to be reflected in your hiring and compensation practices.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve learned that life is short and time is an extremely precious thing. We’ve realized that work simply cannot take priority over our personal lives. In order to stay competitive and attract new talent, employers need to push for an acceptance and encouragement of having a healthy work-life balance. Start by examining your PTO policies. See if there’s any room for flexibility there, or offer monthly mental health days. It’s time for all of us to accept that we can’t just wake up to work. We need to wake up for ourselves with work just being a part of our day.
The last thing new hires want to encounter at their new jobs is workplace toxicity. Having a good relationship with your manager and your team can and will make or break the new hire experience, ultimately deciding if they stick around or leave. That being said, we have to live in reality and realize that people have varying personality types and working styles, some of which get along better than others. However, across the board, there needs to be a foundation of respect within your company, regardless of differences in professional opinions. When we have positive, healthy, and uplifting relationships with our teammates, it makes us want to go out of our way for them and the organization, both due to the mutual respect and the fact that we just like working with the people around us. Without that respect, professional relationships can become strained very quickly, and trust, that shows in the work you do. Listen to your employees and emphasize building bonds to create a workspace that people are excited to be in!
Balancing a Remote/Hybrid Team
We’ve reached the practically indisputable conclusion that we can be just as productive, if not more, from our own homes. That’s why remote work isn’t going anywhere. Instead of trying and failing to bring your employees back into the office, focus that energy on a new strategy about how to effectively manage hybrid or completely virtual teams. What job-seekers are prioritizing right now is flexibility, which ties into our previous point about work-life balance. Identify the benefits of remote work, such as the lack of distance constraints, increased comfort, and safety from COVID, and capitalize on them! The key this year, as it has been for the past couple of years, is adaptability.
Prioritization of Mental Health
We are finally reaching a point where mental health is being seriously considered in the professional world and implemented into things such as benefits packages. This is a fantastic and necessary first step. However, it’s time to prioritize mental health in your day-to-day at work as well. We’ve all directly experienced how overwhelming life can get these past couple of years. Do what you can to reassure your team that their mental well-being comes first. Be understanding of their needs. Offer help when you can. In more dire situations, reprioritize work objectives if possible so that you can truly put your employee first. This effort will definitely be noticed and very appreciated.
Focus on Employee Development
The big thing used to be company loyalty. Now, it’s individual growth potential. Younger people in the job market tend to have no plans of sticking with one company for the next 35 years of their lives. Their primary interests are opportunities for positions and skills growth as well as pay increases. This is another culture trend where adaptability needs to be implemented. You need to make sure your new hires are given clear paths for career development as soon as they join your organization. Or else, why stay at all? Give your team something to look forward to - if there’s no reason to stay, they won’t.
Making sure you can achieve all eight of these elements is vital to setting your business up for success in 2022. We called them “trends,” but that’s not quite the right word. True trends come and go. These are things that should always be prioritized in every organization, in 2022 and beyond. Remember to stay fluid and adaptable, and center your workplace practices around your people, because after all, they’re really the most important thing!
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