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12 Jul 2022

Six important work-related culture trends you can’t afford to ignore

From the Great Resignation to DE&I and focusing on wellbeing, there’s a lot of change going on in the workplace

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With emerging trends such as the Great Resignation, hybrid and remote working and a heightened focus on wellness and mental health, how you lead and communicate may be feeling and looking quite different to how it was just a couple of year ago.

It has become clear that culture — and how you build culture — will be the differentiator. But what that means and where to focus remains unclear for so many.

Working alongside academic partners, below are the six most important work-related culture trends that BI Worldwide has identified for 2022:

1. The Great Resignation/Re-evaluation

A total of 51% of employees who quit cited culture as the primary reason for leaving their role and 42% said culture was worse in 2021. With the changing demographics of the workforce and employees’ expectations of their work experience shifting, it seems employees are starting to push back on toxic work cultures widely prevalent before the Covid-19 pandemic.

2. Expanding the complete employee experience

With employee loyalty decreasing, expanding the value promise and how it’s delivered is key. What does it mean to work here? Create something unique and engage the senses, much like we’d expect from leading commerce brands. Review and evaluate each touchpoint with employees – are you maximising this experience and delivering cohesion?

3. Engaging employees in a hybrid environment

Purpose and belonging are THE currency for culture. Whether your employees are in the office, at home, or a blend of both, they need to feel they’re contributing to meaningful work. Focus on communication and collaboration. Where hybrid working is an option, seeking employee input is crucial in the implementation to ensure your strategies are customised for them.   

4. Make diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) a mainstream initiative

DE&I should not be a programme. It needs to be a mainstream focus. This year needs to be about moving away from statements and basic training to action. Real progress on DEI is expected, and needed, if we’re to get purpose and belonging right. So, how do we take strategies and make changes? Leaders, for example, should seek opinions from diverse viewpoints, ensuring everyone can provide feedback and listening to all the feedback received.

5. Focusing on wellness and wellbeing

We’ve heard the numerous statistics on work-related stress and burnout. There’s emerging research that signals a significant connection between work and health-related concerns such as depression, hypertension or heart disease. Addressing work/life balance won’t solve the problem on its own. Employers need to also be looking at other factors affecting burnout and work-related stress, role clarity, career progression, volume of change, mental stimulation and toxic behaviours.

6. Using research and predictive analysis to identify shifts in business

Deep research and understanding how work is experienced will drive decisions, not just at an organisational level, but also decentralised to the individual. Employees will be able to take ownership and understand how they can become better. Experience metrics will become multi-dimensional, looking at a blend of behaviours, attitudes, and qualitative inputs to understand and then operationalise into strategies that help to nudge individual action.

To listen to the full discussion on culture strategies for 2022, check out a recording of our webinar featuring Dr. Brad Shuck, professor of human resources and organisational development, University of Louisville, co-founder, OrgVitals; and Amy Stern, managing director, research and Strategy, BI Worldwide.

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