Several trends impacting businesses will carry over from the past couple of years, but new trends and ways businesses can innovate have emerged too. Certainly, there are several factors business leaders must keep in mind to be successful in 2022, but here are four that are top of mind for my team.
1. Continued competition for talent
In 2021, workers left their jobs at record rates, leaving employers competing for top talent. Several indictors point to this trend continuing in 2022, so employee retention and attracting new talent must be top priorities for business leaders.
To combat the labor shortage, I urge all business leaders to take a close look at the benefits they offer, their company culture, how much they can allocate to compensation and what feedback employees have offered to help them improve. If your compensation and benefits are not competitive enough, you may lose employees to competitors. Then you will have to spend budget and time on rehiring and training new employees.
Additionally, factors driving “The Great Resignation” include reasons not tied to compensation, such as employee burnout and lack of flexibility (see “flexible hours” trend below), especially for working parents. Seeking feedback from employees and doing what you can to boost satisfaction and engagement is as important as reevaluating compensation.
Lastly, having a strong succession plan in place will be especially important in 2022 as the Baby Boomer generation retires and leaves plenty of senior-level roles to fill. Consider which high-performing employees could be promoted and the strategies you will use to hire additional team members externally, if needed. If you’re considering transitioning ownership of your business, explore this article about the financial options, including ESOPs, you have.
2. Economic disruptions
No matter your industry, you have likely felt the impact of economic disruptions on your business. In 2022, certain disruptions will likely continue, including supply chain issues, increasing interest rates and inflation.
To combat supply chain issues, I have seen business owners successfully create new relationships with additional wholesalers to broaden their supply. I also suggest considering domestic suppliers. While the supplies may come at a higher cost, they are often easier to obtain than international goods that must enter through backed-up ports.
If you’re concerned about rising rates in 2022, visit with your banker to obtain a fixed rate for any loans you currently have on a floating rate.
And lastly, as inflation continues to climb, you may need to slowly begin raising the price of your own goods and services to protect your bottom line.
3. Flexible hours and remote work
New workplace trends are here to stay, so you should keep them in mind to stay competitive. According to a survey by McKinsey and Company, nine out of 10 companies are switching to a hybrid work model. Trends such as flexible hours and remote work are in high demand, and it can be a deciding factor for employees considering changing jobs.
Before you allow employees more flexibility to work where and when they choose, create a policy that clearly outlines the guidelines and expectations you have of your team. Creating a standardized policy for your team can avoid confusion over expectations. Your policy should at minimum address the following questions:
- How often are employees able to work remotely?
- Which positions are eligible for flexible hours and remote work?
- What technology will be provided for remote work?
- What are the communication expectations for employees working non-traditional hours or away from the office?
4. Fraud protection
Fraud protection is certainly not a new topic for business owners, but with scams becoming more sophisticated – such as job application scams and ransomware attacks – and targeted businesses making headlines, which comes with serious reputational risk, it must be a priority in 2022. From training employees to investing in better fraud mitigation tools, make fraud prevention a top priority in this year’s strategic plan.
While there are many other factors to consider, be sure to keep these four trends top of mind for a successful 2022. What trends have you observed in your industry?