Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020, a lot has changed in workforces across the globe. Businesses leaders had to adjust to lockdown orders while pivoting their organisations and, in many instances, run on skeletal staffing.

Covid-19 contributed in many ways to the skill and labour shortages currently being experienced by many organisations. Due to ongoing developments, businesses have had to learn to tweak their HR agendas to accommodate these new anomalies.

This article will discuss the top three priorities that HR leaders in every organisation should adopt for 2022.

Workforce Planning to Address the Current Skill Shortages and Lack of Labour

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines workforce planning as the process an organisation uses to analyse its workforce and determine its steps to meet current and future staffing needs. It also involves determining the most efficient and cost-effective methods to recruit and retain talent.

Labour shortage simply implies there are more jobs available than people qualified and ready to work. It is currently the case that businesses globally are experiencing labour shortages and disruption in the supply chain, of which Australia has not been immune.

The U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics has stated that the number of persons leaving their jobs has risen to over 4 million since the last couple of months. This has led to an exponential increment in the number of jobs available. The bureau has also highlighted that this discrepancy will continue to increase in next coming months.

To eliminate the ongoing trend, businesses are advised to adjust certain areas of their workforce models. These include:

  1. Ensuring there is a workforce plan in place to have the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles, to achieve business goals.
  2. Upgrading the recruitment process through efficient hiring practices and comprehensive staff training.
  3. Upgrading the onboarding and training process to retain new hires.
  4. Revamping management practices that deter workers from leaving their jobs.
  5. Improving incentives and working environments to keep workers motivated.
  6. Offering workers opportunities for self and career growth.

Transitioning to Hybrid Working – A Post-Pandemic New Way of Working

Many companies today are adopting hybrid working models for their workforce. These models have proven effective and appear to become ‘the new normal’ well into the future of the post-pandemic way of working. However, emerging data is beginning to back up anecdotal evidence: many workers report that hybrid is emotionally draining. In a recent global study by employee engagement platform Tinypulse, more than 80% of people leaders reported that such a set-up was exhausting for employees. Workers, too, reported hybrid was more emotionally taxing than fully remote arrangements – and, concerningly, even full-time office-based work. 

A hybrid working model can be easy to implement with few fundamental changes. The following tips offer help to organisations thinking of implementing a hybrid workforce:

  1. Ensure your organisation regularly looks at both physical and mental health to overcome work becoming emotionally draining.
  2. Work out the practicalities of running hybrid work patterns and meetings and ensure your organisation has the correct technology in place and is accessible for all workers.
  3. Encourage collaboration, positive connections, and creativity sessions for returning staff by rearranging office spaces to allow for connection and engagement.
  4. Revisit risk assessments and management approaches to technology (cyberattacks have risen since the increased use of cloud services such as Zoom, Cisco WebEx, and Microsoft Teams).
  5. Optimise office processes and allow employees the opportunity to change how they work congruent to their personal commitments and long-term goals.

Implementing a Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Policy – The Pros and Cons.

Since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, many companies have made it mandatory for their employees to get immunised. Large organisations such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google have all implemented this policy to ensure their staff’s safe return to the office.

This raises the question of the importance of implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. Should every organisation adopt the approach? What are the long-term implications? Here are some pros and cons of implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy:


  1. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from variants of the virus currently circulating, including the Omicron and Delta variant.
  2. The policy may help support organisational health and safety requirements by providing all workers with a safe workplace.
  3. It may reduce employee absenteeism and the severity of any illness.
  4. It protects your overall workforce, including business-critical stakeholders and customers.


  1. One of the biggest deterrents to a vaccine mandate is that workers may quit if required to have one. If many employees or critical players refuse the vaccine, what effect will that have on your business operations?
  2. The policy may create conflict in the workplace between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, especially in cases where status needs to be declared.
  3. Most adults don’t like being told what to do. Consideration should be given to what kind of impact a vaccine mandate would take on your company culture.
  4. Office logistics: Can workers remain socially distant from co-workers throughout the day? Are most employees remote? Does work require masks to be always worn when indoors?

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