2022 is 'year of the human'

Workhuman CEO explains why employee appreciation and recognition is more important than ever

2022 is 'year of the human'

With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly in the rearview and summer finally upon us, it’s the season of family get-togethers and reunions.

It’s no different in pop culture, as beloved franchises like Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Harry Potter have all hosted similar gatherings for cast members. After nearly two years of isolation and loneliness, people just want to be around their friends, family and even coworkers.

Perhaps the biggest reunion in the HR industry, Workhuman Live recently tapped into that yearning for belonging. Eric Mosley, CEO of the HR tech firm headquartered in Massachusetts, kicked off the weeklong conference by declaring 2022 as the “Year of the Human.”

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“The pandemic ripped humanity out of the workplace,” Mosley said to a packed audience of HR professionals at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. “We must rebuild connection in the workplace and rebuild corporate culture. HR will be the ones to do that.”

Mosley introduced the Workhuman iQ app, which leverages machine learning models and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze tens of millions of data points on how people work, as well as new Workhuman integrations. He also explored the trifecta of actions that lead to a more human-centric workplace: thank, talk and celebrate.

Employee recognition, or “Social Recognition” as Workhuman calls it, is vital for retaining talent during the Great Resignation, in which companies across the United States are suffering historic turnover. Nearly 70 million Americans have quit their job over the past year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 4.4 million Americans quit their job in April, following similar amounts in March and February. The mass exodus is a result of the pandemic, which has prompted people to re-evaluate their priorities in life. Now employees want higher salaries, better conditions, greater work/life balance and more opportunities to advance their career.

When recognition hits the mark, employees are three times as likely to feel connected to their culture, according to the latest Gallup poll in conjunction with Workhuman. Furthermore, employees being truly recognized are 45% more likely to be thriving in their lives outside the office. “When you empower employees to show authentic thanks to each other, relationships get deeper,” Mosely said. “Recognition is how the core human need to be seen is satisfied.”

Mosley also touched on the importance of communication, especially in an increasingly hybrid world. Workhuman’s Conversations, built on the Workhuman Cloud, creates a culture of continuous performance feedback that focuses on the employee as an individual. After all, building a human-centric workplace doesn’t stop at recognition – it requires investing in growth and development so that all employees can realize their full potential.

“Research indicates productivity goes up due to conversation,” Mosley said, pointing to recent Reward Gateway data that shows 43% of employees feel invisible or undervalued. “We’re hoping to combat the drop in relationship infrastructure over the past two years.”

Mosley wrapped up by stressing how crucial it is for companies to recognize and celebrate their employees’ achievements. Naturally, Workhuman provides solutions to facilitate displays of employee appreciation. The company’s suite of applications – Service Milestones, Life Events, and Community Celebrations – intends to fuel human connection across the organization.

Speaking of Reward Gateway, check out this exclusive interview with the company’s head of global engagement and internal communications on how to create the perfect Employee Appreciation Day.

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