7 HR Compliance Trends to Help You Retain Employees in 2022

Human resources in 2022 feels like the wild west compared to 2 years ago.

Between the pandemic, a heightened political climate, protests for injustice, and employees resigning in droves, people have changed—and business policies have had to change with them.

For you, this means the way you conduct HR compliance in 2022 will affect how well your business retains talent. This is critical to how productive you can be and ultimately the revenue you’re able to bring in.

In this post, you’ll discover HR compliance trends to look out for in the new year.

1. COVID-19 Safety Measures & Vaccination Mandates

First, something that’s been on everyone’s mind: vaccine mandates.

Widespread federal vaccine mandates were recently shut down by the Supreme Court but that doesn’t mean mandates aren’t here to stay. More than 44% of employers have a vaccination mandate in place for their onsite workers. For example, large companies like Starbucks, McDonald's, and General Electric have instituted their own mandates requiring employees to vaccinate or find new work in an effort to avoid additional shutdowns and revenue losses.

Unless you live in a state that strictly forbids COVID-19 vaccine mandates, this practice is completely legal.

Employers in most states have the right to require vaccinations among employees. However, you are required to provide accommodations for those that cannot vaccinate due to disability, seriously held religious practices, or pregnancy as long as it doesn’t cause undue hardship. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides more details on what you and your employees should know about COVID-19 and the related employment and privacy laws.

Before developing a COVID safety policy, consult with your lawyer about what your legal rights are.

2. Diversity & Inclusivity

In the last two years, the conversation of diversity, equity, and inclusivity has become a high priority among human resource managers and business leaders. What’s fueling this conversation is a greater demand for DEI transparency and policies among Americans.

To maintain a competitive edge, retain clients, and move into wider markets, developing an inclusive work culture will become a requirement. For example, California recently passed a policy stating California-based publicly traded companies must have at least one female director and one member of an under-represented group. Washington passed a similar law requiring more gender-diverse boards.

The companies that do well will be the ones that work to create inclusivity at all levels, not simply to fulfill a quota. And that starts with the right HR policies and company mission.

3. Anti-harassment

Though anti-harassment has been a common footnote or nice-to-have element of the employee handbook, several states have now passed laws requiring it to be in writing. For example, in Connecticut, if you have more than 3 employees, you are required to have a policy in place.

These regulations come as no surprise after a wave of lawsuits regarding inappropriate behavior prompted resignations of prominent governing officials.

While a written policy is not yet required all over the country, it’s best practice to protect your business and your employees. If this is a tough conversation to have with your employees, you’re not alone. An HR consultant can guide you step-by-step through compliance measures and help you establish a culture where all employees feel safe.

4. Hybrid working

In 2020 many companies discovered that remote work was possible and even preferable. Though we’re finally getting to the positive side of the pandemic, we’ll likely be dealing with the effects for years to come. And part of that fallout is that some workers will refuse to return to in-office-only conditions.

For you, this means hybrid working, a blend of remote and on-site, is here to stay. As a small business, you’ll have to learn to manage information and data privacy, as well as productivity and engagement.

Also, because of the reduced barriers between home and work life, you’ll need to be mindful of employee overwork and burnout. Employee burnout leads to lost productivity, reduced revenue and engagement, and high resignation rates.

5. The Great Resignation

Speaking of higher resignation rates, employees are resigning by the millions—and it’s not ending anytime soon. This is one HR trend that’s threatening to hurt the labor market for years to come. Though the pandemic has been a major catalyst, it started several years and is only gaining momentum. An increasing number of workers are giving up the employee life in exchange for retirement, entrepreneurship, or changing interests.

To survive The Great Resignation, helping your employees feel a sense of belonging and security is the name of the game.

Some ways small businesses are thriving include:

  • Incentivizing employees who stay

  • Offering greater work flexibility

  • Raising salaries

  • Offering more comprehensive benefits

  • Addressing employee concerns

  • Constantly marketing to current employees

  • Maintaining an engaged workforce

6. Paid Family Leave

Women have been taking maternity leave for decades. But the rise of the pandemic made it painfully clear everyone is caring for someone. Whether it’s for a sick parent, newborns, adoption, or otherwise, the need for paid leave is only going to increase.

When you help your people take care of their people, you send a strong message that they matter to your organization. And millennials and Gen-Zers want to work with employers who care.

7. Mental Health Days

American stress levels are at an all-time high and the topic of mental health has made the rounds among the world's most decorated athletes. Seeking therapy and being honest about ‘not being okay’ will continue to be a part of the conversation. Supporting employee well-being will be one method of helping you retain happy, healthy, productive employees.

While offering mental health days is a great strategy, don’t stop there. Providing counseling services, discounted gym memberships, or other benefits can go a long way.

Here are some examples:

  • Employee assistance programs

  • Competitive time off

  • Family leave

  • Train managers to recognize signs of emotional distress

  • Rehab programs for addiction

  • Mental health services for depression and anxiety

  • Communicate through policy and culture the importance of mental health

  • Training team members as de-stressors

  • Taking mini-breaks as an organization for team members to stretch, breathe, be off-camera, take a walk, etc.

Conclusion: HR Compliance and Regulations to look Out for In 2022

It’s no small statement that the last two years have been wild. Businesses have struggled to keep up with the changing demands of employees and regulators during the pandemic. But the best have learned to adapt and grow.

The HR policies you implement today, affect your employee’s wellbeing, their productivity, and ultimately your bottom line. You have the power to reduce workplace absenteeism and presenteeism when you create frameworks that work for 2022 employees. And HR TailorMade designs those frameworks for you according to your exact workplace needs. No matter how big or small, we help you hire, train, retain, and manage your staff remotely so you can get back to doing what you do best.

Contact us today for a free consultation.