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5 Year-End HR Tasks to Survive the Great Resignation in 2022

For employers who want to recruit, retain and expand in 2022, here are five year-end actions to help prepare for the bumpy road.
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5 year-end hr tasks to survive the great resignation in 2022

You're probably sick of hearing about the “Great Resignation," but listen up! Not only is it not going away, but it is gaining momentum. Consider these statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • After a record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September, the number of quits decreased to a mere 4.2 million in October.
  • As of the end of October, there were 11 million job openings in the U.S.
  • More than 300,000 women left the workforce in September.

These are jaw-dropping statistics. For employers who want to recruit, retain and expand in 2022, the challenges are daunting. Yet, here are five actions you should take now to help prepare for the bumpy road that will be 2022:

1) Review paid salaries. If you typically award year-end salary increases, now is the time to determine whether you'll award them and the amounts necessary to maintain both external competitiveness and internal equity.

Sometimes, the challenge is that external competitiveness and internal equity are at odds. For example, a variety of compensation sources across geographic locations, as well as Affinity HR's discussions with clients and colleagues, indicate that entry-level pay has increased 15%-20% in many locations, and you may have needed to hire at those increased rates. That means some of your long-serving employees may require larger salary increases.

Across the board, year-end increases don't work well when compensation for certain groups is this volatile. Now is the time to look at other pay increase models, such as equity increases, bonus payments versus base salary increases, and special incentive programs.

As reported by Business Insider, 54% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. While advancement opportunities, good supervision, and work-life balance are important to many workers, so is salary. Make sure your compensation is and remains competitive.

2) Review bonus and incentive plans too. Now is the time to determine whether you'll pay 2021 bonuses and incentives. The wild economic fluctuations of the last two years make planning difficult, but more important than ever.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin to set bonus and incentive goals and measures for 2022:

  • What are your objectives? Do your incentives complement the organization's business strategy?
  • Do individual goals support business strategy? Do you need to establish new goals or revise existing goals as you develop new products, enter new markets and more?
  • Are your performance measures appropriate? Have you included non-financial metrics, such as customer satisfaction, resource utilization, people and project management, where appropriate?
  • Do employees understand the plans and what they must do to be successful?

3) Get ready for more—and more—legislative changes. State legislatures and municipalities have enacted all types of legislation that impacts employee compensation. The list below is just a sampling of changes scheduled for 2022: 

  • Illinois HB-1207. Prohibits employers from seeking an applicant's salary history but allows employers to provide compensation information about the position applied for.
  • California AB-701. Requires warehouse distribution center employers to provide written descriptions of quotas at the time of hire.
  • District of Columbia B-285. Amends the Universal Paid Leave Act to increase the amount of paid leave to 6 weeks of medical leave and 2 weeks of parental leave per year.
  • Several bills in North Carolina. Several bills in different areas of North Carolina prohibit discrimination in employment based on protected class. The definition of protected class is amended to include gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and natural hairstyle.

This legislation is particularly important if you do business in multiple locations. And don't forget, 26 states also have minimum wage increases scheduled for 2022.

4) Do a deep dive into employee retention. You've most likely had some employees leave in 2021. And you've probably collected some basic exit interview information. Have you looked closely at the information you've collected to determine if there are patterns of reasons for leaving? 

Recently, a large manufacturing firm that had been experiencing high turnover discovered that most of the employees who left had worked in two workgroups. Further analysis revealed that the supervisors in these workgroups were new and essentially untrained. These supervisors are now receiving additional training and are working closely with their managers and more experienced peers to help reduce turnover in their areas.

5) Plan your year-end compensation communications now. We hope 2021 has been a successful year for your business and you have good news to communicate to employees. Regardless of what the news is, there are some things that are critical to communicate:

  • Legislative changes and how they will impact employee paychecks.
  • Plans for year-end base salary increases and incentive and bonus plan payouts.
  • Planned changes in 2022 to base salaries, incentive and bonus plans, and related compensation policies and procedures.

Here's to hoping your organization doesn't just survive but thrives in 2022!

Susan Palé is vice president for compensation at Affinity HR Group Inc. Affinity HR is the endorsed HR partner of Big “I" Hires, the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia, Big I New York, Big I New Jersey and Big I Connecticut.

Need help with compensation planning or HR challenges? Reach out to Affinity HR Group at 877-660-6400 or 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Recruiting, Hiring & Training