Diversity in the workplace matters. With continued focus on inclusion in an evolving remote or hybrid work environment, customers and employees demand that companies do their part to create diverse and healthier workplaces.
Diversity trend forecasts for 2022 focus mostly on the role of technology in creating an inclusive and collaborative environment for employees. Artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, enabled companies to make informed decisions and build hiring and staff engagement programs based on real data. It also enhanced communication efficiency and made remote teams more in-sync than ever before.
Those who are juggling multiple roles in their professional and personal lives have also found newfound confidence in the post-pandemic, tech-driven workplace. Previously underrepresented sectors like solo parents, senior citizens, and people of color can now operate at a level field as company executives who also now struggle to find balance between their corporate and home lives.
Companies should evaluate diversity efforts regularly. Consistently measuring the impact of initiatives helps make meaningful progress toward a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. Reviewing diversity trends each year helps businesses identify where to focus their efforts. Merging national and global diversity trends with internal data allows companies to craft focused programs, initiatives, and efforts to directly impact their current and future employees.
Diversity in the Workplace: 2021 Diversity Trends to Consider
There are so many diversity trends to watch in 2022. Here are five interesting HR trends in diversity to consider.
1. An evolving remote workforce
The disruption that COVID-19 brought upon the traditional office environment has forced companies to adopt remote and hybrid work settings that will likely remain even as vaccines are rolling out and health threats are waning. In fact, a global survey found that 75% of employees now prefer to work from home two to three times a week. When the pandemic forced people to find suitable working environments outside of the office, many have become more aware of the kind of career they want to have. A whopping 64% of employees now even choose home-based work over a $30,000 pay raise.
Considering workplace diversity trends, companies need to consider their employees’ capacity to sustain a home-based work environment. Can all staff afford to work from home? Will everybody have the same access to work resources in order to perform their jobs well? Will it be possible to adopt a mixed setting, where staff are allowed to work from home on certain days?
Remote work is a great tool for promoting workplace diversity, allowing managers to seek talent beyond geographical limitations. But HR managers will also need to get creative in building company culture and making everybody feel included.
2. Dedicated diversity leadership
Companies all over the nation and the world are working to respond to workplace diversity trends to create a better future. According to a 2021 study on workplace diversity trends, companies that embrace diversity see improvements in their financial performance mostly because the positive work culture inspires people to do their jobs better.
When people feel included and valued, they are more inspired to work. It also helps organizations make more efficient business decisions, with productivity rising by 50%. Workplace diversity is also attractive to high-quality talent, leading to better hires — and when you have a team dedicated to fostering diversity, chances for success are much higher.
In previous years, diversity and inclusion have often been last on the executive’s list of business priorities. But, with renewed focus on these efforts, more and more companies are choosing to invest in and prioritize diversity by hiring dedicated, full-time professionals to lead the charge.
3. Transparency and honest conversations
More companies are publicly disclosing data around internal diversity, equity, and inclusion over the past years. This transparent move is part of intentional action plans to improve. Internal and external transparency about where companies stand with equality efforts in one of diversity trends that also inspires honest conversations.
Even when COVID-19 hit, companies continue to have honest conversations about racism, sexism, and other topics that directly affect employees. These conversations are opportunities for employees and leadership to exhale, share, and empathize with one another — a necessary component for improving workplace inclusion.
4. Opt-In learning opportunities
Increasing the number of opt-in learning opportunities for employees is another workplace diversity trend that will continue to grow in 2022. This trend represents a shift from hosting mandatory training to opt-in training where employees can learn more about diversity topics.
Research studies have shown that mandatory diversity training isn’t always met with openness from all employees. To some, the training feels forced, causing animosity and resistance. Opt-in learning opportunities allow employees to engage at their own pace. Incentives to attend can also help increase employee opt-in rates for these programs.
5. Incorporating AI in the recruitment process
Another pandemic-driven workplace diversity trend that will continue to flourish in 2022 is the increasing role of artificial intelligence in the hiring process. As businesses tighten operations and spending, the ability to efficiently sift through thousands of candidates to find and hire the best people gives companies a competitive advantage.
As HR professionals and recruiters need to create a more personalized recruitment process for choosing candidates, they will need the help of software to efficiently generate shortlists. Automated assessments, stages, and interview processes also help free up manpower to focus on high-return tasks. A solid AI framework that considers workplace diversity is critical to landing the best candidates.
Putting Diversity Trends To Work
There are so many ways to put these HR trends in diversity to work in your workplace. BestCompaniesAZ has many resources for job seekers and employers looking to be or to work for Arizona’s top companies.
BestCompaniesAZ offers a free resource highlighting diversity committed employers in Arizona for job seekers. Employers interested in learning more about workplace diversity trends or employer branding services can contact BestCompaniesAZ here. Explore BestCompaniesAZ to see all of the resources, jobs, articles, and information available.