2022 Employee Experience predictions

Forward-looking EX trends


The new year is almost upon us and here are some predictions and hopes for 2022 from three Employee Experience thought leaders.

Steve Jones, Managing Director, Skills for Business

Steve Jones

With the ever-changing working environment brought upon us by the pandemic it has become obvious that the return to normal is behind us. As we head into 2022 the leadership and management of talent is going to be critical to success.

I have been working with business leaders through the pandemic and the focus has been on keeping and attracting talent. Several things have become apparent to me over this period of working with businesses and their leaders.

Firstly, the new norm for work is home, mobile and hybrid. As employees have become accustomed to different ways of working their eyes have been opened to different opportunities. The commute is no longer desirable to many. Work-life balance is taking the place of long hours and sometimes dedication. People are and have been reflecting on their careers and lives.

What does this mean to businesses and their leaders going into 2022? It means there will be a war to win talent. Those companies that recognise and embrace the changes will be the winners in the talent war. There will be more of a focus on the ‘whole’ person not as previously just the person who showed up to work. Those companies that embrace the whole person, understand their motivations and challenges, and proactively work with employees and involve them will be the winners. Those companies that recognise that it is about trust and output - not time - will also be the winners.

Increased productivity will be achieved by understanding employees needs and experiences, building trust and embracing employees as equals.

Nicholas Wardle, co-author of Monetising the Employee Experience

Nicholas Wardle

I hope 2022 will be the year of senior leaders putting an end to virtue signalling people-related aspects of work such as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Wellbeing and to begin treating these as important strategic imperatives.

Putting up a post about Black History Month or paying for a Wellbeing speaker is window dressing, if done in isolation: it does not mean these are 'done' for a while. Happy, healthy and welcomed employees are much more likely to stay and thrive at an organisation. And these people improve efficiencies by being more productive and will reduce costs in lower sickness and turnover.

Mike Sharples, Chief Experience Officer, Brand Experiences

Mike Sharples

As we can already see, 2022 is set to be another year of uncertainty and potential disruption so I sincerely hope that business leaders start to treat this as business as usual and focus on longer term strategic decisions rather than being in crisis mode.

I really feel that 2022 will be the year that organisations start to wake up to the fact that the old system of extrinsic motivation, carrot and stick if you like, is no longer effective. Leaders need to be aware that employees want more from their work-life and should start to discover and understand their employees’ intrinsic motivations. For me this is an essential shift that will allow businesses to continue to grow whilst supporting hybrid working, allowing employees to bring their whole selves to work, attracting and retaining their top talent, improving employee wellbeing and resilience, and unlocking lost productivity.

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...the old system of extrinsic motivation, carrot and stick if you like, is no longer effective

It is the next stage in the maturity model of employee experience and those that embrace it will see the positive results on their performance quicker than their competitors.