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Becky Norman


Managing Editor

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HRZone’s 10 most popular reads 2022

Which issues mattered most to your HR peers in 2022?

We knew 2022 would be another tough year for the people profession. But the extent to which turmoil ensued was not foreseen in our HR predictions for the year.

Industrial Action. The cost-of-living crisis. Chronic burn out. Quiet quitting. Morale plunges. Tightening HR budgets.

These are just a few of the HR issues burdening the minds of people professionals in 2022. So what captured the attention of your HR peers through all of the calamity? Employee wellbeing is a theme running through several of our most popular reads (unsurprisingly, given the year we’ve had). For the first time ever, financial wellbeing got onto our top 10 – a pillar of wellbeing that was largely ignored before the cost-of-living crisis.

An increased focus on human skills is also apparent, with insights on listening, inclusive working and cultural intelligence making the list.

Finally, I am personally very pleased to see issues hindering women at work moving out of the ‘taboo topics’ box in 2022, with commentary on women’s health issues getting traction among our readership.

Explore the full list and catch up on the articles you originally missed…

1. Why inclusive working, not hybrid working, should become the new norm

Over the past few years, HR professionals have been inundated with proposed (sometimes unsubstantiated) best practices for hybrid working in a living-with-Covid era. Diane Lightfoot, CEO of Business Disability Forum, urged us to ditch the hybrid obsession and consider a broader, more inclusive approach – and it’s no wonder our HRZone readership lapped it up.

2. What does a great HR Business Partner look like?

This article from Deborah Wilkes, Managing Director of Enable HR, does what it says on the tin. And the HR Business Partners among us seized the opportunity to benchmark their own approach against what Deborah sets out to be a truly strategic take on the role. Have you got what it takes to be a great HR business partner? Read the article to find out!

3. 15 questions you need to ask to assess employee wellbeing and happiness

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer of Employment Hero, reminded us that our employee wellbeing surveys are only as good as the questions we ask. In this article, Alex set out the 15 must-ask questions to include in regular check-ins with employees for an accurate assessment of wellbeing and happiness levels.

4. HR reinvention in 2022: How to evolve in an era of ongoing complexity

Kicking off the year, we invited Perry Timms, Chief Energy Officer of People and Transformational HR Ltd, to unleash his playbook for HR reinvention. From increased automation and agility to stronger partnerships and new skills, Perry outlined the ways in which HR needs to evolve. Reinvention cannot happen overnight or indeed in a year, but hopefully the profession headed in the right direction in 2022!

5. How to support employees amid the Russia-Ukraine war

The impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been felt globally. Early on in the conflict Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, urged HRZone readers to be proactive in supporting affected employees. With no sign of the invasion ending anytime soon, the guidance Kate shares here is still relevant today.

6. Seven types of listening essentials for your HR skillset

Good listening may seem like HR 101, but this article outlining the seven different listening types caught the attention of our HR community in 2022. The importance of lending an ear in these chaotic times cannot be overstated, highlights Erin Eatough, Manager of Behavioural Science at BetterUp.

7. It’s time to address menstruation in the workplace – period.

Half of the workforce has a period, so why aren’t we talking about it? This question was posed by Francesca Steyn, Director of Fertility Services at Peppy, on International Women’s Day. The fact this article made it into our most-read list is indicative of the need for HR to better address women’s health issues at work. 

8. Financial wellbeing in 2022: Employers must step up to support the huge cost of living

At the start of 2022 Gethin Nadin, Award-winning Psychologist and Chief Innovation Officer at Benefex, alerted us to the impending cost-of-living crisis. Financial wellbeing has been chronically overlooked by employers (indeed it has never been a topic making our most-read list). But with the economic downturn causing overt financial stress among many employees, organisations have started to pay greater attention to this issue. Has yours?

9. Why CQ may be more valuable than IQ

We all know about IQ, but what about CQ (cultural quotient)? Thom Dennis CEO of Serenity in Leadership Ltd, introduced us to cultural intelligence earlier this year and stressed the importance of high CQ among employees.

10. Will 2022 be a new dawn for employee wellbeing?

This question was posed by Professor Emma Parry, Head of the Changing World of Work Group at Cranfield School of Management at the start of the year. Emma argued that many organisations use sticking plasters to heal deep wellbeing wounds – an approach that, clearly, won’t have a meaningful impact. Did you rip off the band aid this year and start addressing the root causes of poor wellbeing?

That’s a wrap on our most popular reads for 2022

Did the inclusion of any of these topics surprise you? Share in the comments below! 

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Becky Norman

Managing Editor

Read more from Becky Norman

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