HR Leaders, Grab Your Life Preservers

/ Christine Andrukonis

A global pandemic, personal isolation, political polarization, social unrest, wildfires, floods, tech changes, blurred lines between work and home.

For two years, that list of challenges has seemed to grow and morph and compound. Each new challenge has felt like another giant wave heading right toward us.

That feeling of trying to stay afloat in turbulent waters is a common theme for many over the last couple of years. Ask any Human Resources executive. Trained as they are to handle the most unpredictable situations, even the most well-resourced HR teams are in need of more life preservers:

  • HR executives have led their workforces through the pandemic crisis, while maintaining employee health and well-being, helping teams adapt to remote work, figuring out a hybrid approach, and having no certainty about the future. Oh, and deal with their own health and family safety.
  • HR is faced with retaining and attracting talent during a “great resignation” that is impacting most industries across generational lines.
  • HR leaders are working with their technology partners to integrate new tech into workplace cultures overnight, while continuing to support/enable CIO-led digital transformation efforts.
  • As organizations are evolving and repositioning their business strategies for the future, HR leaders are adjusting organization structures and operating models, and building new teams and capabilities their companies have never had before.

2022 is looming

HR leaders have been under extraordinary pressure over the last two years, and business expectations of HR continue increasing. As HR Leadership Teams plan for 2022, now’s the time to take a brief moment to re-assess what your business needs from HR and plan accordingly. You must reflect honestly and unashamedly, on your own and as a team:

  • How is our business changing, and what new expectations have emerged for HR?
  • What’s working and what isn’t with our current HR strategy and operating model?
  • What must we do differently as an HR Leadership Team to position our teams for success?
  • What do we need from the business to make it happen in 2022 and beyond?


The answers will take you a long way in shaping a 2022 vision, priorities and roadmap to:

  • Acknowledge how much the landscape has changed and the reality of changing with it.
  • Focus on the most critical business imperatives. These might include building new org structures/capabilities, creating the capacity to manage rapid change, strengthening your organizational design muscle, refreshing your employer value proposition, enabling digital transformation, creating a new normal for the workplace, and approaching new work practices with creativity and flexibility.
  • Position your own HR team with the right people, processes and tools to be successful, while keeping your HR practitioners engaged and growing.

I once heard a very wise executive say that change is the crucible in which great leaders are born. I say, 2020-21 was the crucible in which great HR teams were born. What has served HR teams well for the past 10 to 20 years will likely not serve us well for the next 5 to 10. Let’s seize this moment to reflect and reinvent our HR teams for future success.

To learn more about shaping your 2022+ HR LT strategy & change plan, contact us here.