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Are You Ready for 2022? HR Tips to Help Your Business Thrive This Year

January 19, 2022

It’s 2022 and if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. This year is already bringing more pandemic-related challenges for many and nobody can predict what else may come.

It’s no secret that the business environment shifted dramatically throughout 2020 and 2021, and the HR landscape has been no exception. With a mass shift to remote work, unprecedented numbers of furloughs and closures, rapidly changing regulatory issues and, of course, The Great Resignation, small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) have had their plates full, to say the least.

But if it’s one thing that we have learned about SMBs through it all, it’s that they are resilient and will bounce back from whatever the world throws at them with a little tenacity, some innovation and a whole lot of hustle. And TriNet will be there to help them succeed.

To get you started on the right foot in 2022, here is a list of HR areas we think will impact businesses this year, and HR tips on how you can prepare your organization to face any obstacles you may encounter as we work together to (hopefully) move into a happier and healthier new year.

Vaccination Policies

As we transition into the new year, the world still faces a global health crisis. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published information for employers and employees titled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” The information outlines how COVID-19 vaccination policies interact with legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). It also includes issues related to medical pre-screening questions and employer accommodations for those unable to receive the vaccination. Vaccine requirements and recommendations will continue to evolve during 2022 and employers should closely monitor this topic.

The Great Resignation

One of the more unexpected changes to come out of the pandemic is what is being called The Great Resignation. As businesses pivoted their operations in order to survive COVID-19, many individual workers also re-assessed their career paths, leading to employees quitting their jobs in droves to pursue new endeavors, sometimes changing not just companies but starting new career paths, leaving the job market permanently or even going after their own entrepreneurial dreams.

The ripple effects of the employee shortage will continue to be felt for years to come. TriNet has previously shared concrete tips employers can implement to help them retain their talent in the face of The Great Resignation. These will help businesses brace themselves as they create their success strategy for 2022.

Remote Work v. In-Office v. Hybrid Model

There is no doubt about it—remote work is here to stay. While remote work was hastily implemented for most companies out of necessity when the pandemic hit, the inherent benefits of allowing employees to work from home were quickly realized. These benefits range from decreased overhead for businesses as they can now cut costs in office space, utilities and work stations; to helping employees achieve a more balanced work/life integration; to more efficient and effective work methods as employees were allowed greater flexibility to work in conjunction with their personal schedules and without the distractions of an office building; to even environmental improvements as fewer commuters on the road led to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions.

While a permanent, across-the-board remote work policy may not be the best fit for every company or every employee, businesses would be wise to adopt flexible options, where possible, in allowing employees to mix-and-match where they work, as long as the job gets done. This can go a long way to attracting and retaining the best workers in 2022.

Wellness at Work

Naturally, a premium was placed on health and safety as the pandemic escalated in 2020 and stuck around through 2021. It soon became clear for many that leading with humanity isn’t just the right thing to do in times of crisis—it is a vital part of taking care of the people who take care of your business, which can have a direct impact on your company’s bottom line.

We have written about ways you, as an employer, can support employee well-being as you return to the workplace. However, in 2022, taking care of your employees’ wellness will continue to go beyond just helping them stay COVID-free to also including enabling them to care for themselves and their families physically, mentally and emotionally. This includes offering a comprehensive benefits package that comprises an employee assistance program, a competitive paid time off program in order for employees to step away from their workloads, help planning for retirement, and additional perks to help your employees make their wellness a priority.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are no longer “nice to have” efforts for a company but a crucial part of an organization’s strategy if you want your business to maintain a competitive edge through 2022 and beyond. In fact, DEI is so vital to a company’s success that it was a major topic of discussion from many of the expert speakers at TriNet PeopleForce last September.

The benefits of DEI in the workplace are vast and include enhanced creativity, innovative ideas and ability to penetrate a wider variety of markets. Business leaders can learn the components of implementing an effective DEI program in our TriNet RISE series on DEI for business success.

But DEI isn’t just a good idea for business success, it will also be increasingly important for compliance with various laws and regulations. For instance, California now requires the boards of directors for California-based publicly held companies to have at least one female director, depending on the size of the board, and one member of “under-represented groups.” These under-represented groups are defined as people who identify as “Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.” Washington also passed the Women on Corporate Boards Act, effective June 2021, which requires more “gender-diverse” boards by January 2022.

As many businesses look to implement DEI initiatives in 2022, we may see more states follow California and Washington’s lead by establishing similar laws.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on TriNet.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

By Jacqueline Breslin

Jacqueline Breslin is a director of human capital services for TriNet.

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