The top workplace trends to watch for in 2022 announced by Qualtrics
Qualtrics, the leading Experience Management (XM) platform, yesterday released the third annual Employee Experience Trends Report for 2022. The study examined nearly 14,000 full-time employees across 27 countries to understand how employee experience has evolved nearly two years into the pandemic and what employers should prioritize in 2022 to create better experiences for their people.
- Expect an ongoing employee exodus, especially among individual contributors and female leaders.
- Hybrid work is here to stay, and employees have high expectations for in-office and remote work experiences.
- There’s a perception gap between leaders and employees on how efforts are going toward building greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) within companies.
- Benefits like mental health apps or a week off won’t address long-term employee well-being. Creating opportunities for employees to build trust and transparent communication with one another will be key.
The Great Resignation will persist
New Qualtrics research shows The Great Resignation will continue in 2022. Overall, fewer employees are likely to stay in their jobs in 2022, with 65 percent of workers saying they intend to stay in 2022 compared to 70 percent of workers in 2021. Among all employee groups, individual contributors are the least likely to stay at their companies, with only 62 percent planning to stay in their jobs over the next few years.
Middle managers saw the most significant decrease in intent to stay at their jobs in 2022 with 69 percent intending to stay at their company over the next few years, trending down from 83 percent in 2021. Interestingly, this trend was more pronounced for female middle managers, who are three times more likely to leave within a year than in 2021.
“Leaders are expected to do more than ever before,” says Benjamin Granger, Ph.D., Qualtrics head of employee experience advisory services.
“Beyond their day-to-day responsibilities, managers also need to support their employees’ mental health, be culture champions and make progress on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. This work is all critical toward creating amazing places to work, yet it’s simultaneously resulting in burnout.
“Now is the time for organizations to invest in nurturing their leaders and equipping them to care for themselves, so that they can care for others.”
Employees expect better in-office and remote work experiences
Hybrid work is here to stay. More than one in three (35 percent) workers say they’re more likely to search for a new job if they are required to return to the office full-time. However, employees are underwhelmed by their current technology and office experiences. In fact, only one in three (30 percent) employees said their experience with their company’s technology exceeds their expectations and only one in four (23 percent) feel their experience working at their office exceeds their expectations.
“There’s clearly a disconnect between the experiences employees expect and what employers are offering in hybrid work environments,” said Granger.
“The value of offices has evolved from simply being places for people to work from to creating opportunities for collaboration and socialization. Understanding what people need to be effective and efficient in their roles is essential for curating workspaces that will encourage employees to bring their best selves to work.”
Employees want to see real action toward DEIB
Many organizations made public commitments to improve corporate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and employees expect real progress.
Oualtrics research shows that 70 percent of employees say their organizations have made sufficient progress towards greater DEIB and 67 percent believe senior leaders’ actions show commitment to improving DEIB.
Interestingly, the biggest response differences to these questions were not by ethnicity or gender, but by level. Four in five (80 percent) senior leaders say their actions show they are genuinely committed to greater DEIB, while only three in five (58 percent) individual contributors say the same.
Prioritize long-term employee well-being
With the rise of hybrid and remote work, the lines between work and life continue to blur. Nearly one in three (29 percent) employees won’t always take a sick day, even if they aren’t feeling well enough to work, and among those employees, two in three (61 percent) cite workload as the reason why. And while employees aren’t working, one in five (20 percent) workers often worry about work problems during their personal time.
To better understand employees’ well-being, Qualtrics asked employees about their self-confidence at work, the relationships they have with their colleagues and how energized they feel in the workplace.
The trends among these three measures indicate the mixed impact the pandemic has had on working life. Employees have felt more energized, increasing by five percentage points year over year, which is supported by the fact that half (50 percent) of employees feel their physical and mental well-being has actually improved while working remotely.
However, the level of trusting relationships employees have with their colleagues has dropped by three percentage points year over year, indicating that fostering strong human connections should continue to be a priority for organizations. In fact, open and honest communication was the top driver of well-being in the study.