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Why Employees Are Dedefining What Work Will Look Like in 2022

Why employees are redefining what work will look like in 2022

As the wants and needs of workers evolve, employers will need to keep up next year.
By: | December 15, 2021

Over the past nearly two years, there have been tremendous changes in how and where work gets done, along with a rising digital transformation accelerated amid the global pandemic—both of which fueled businesses to streamline workflows, empower and engage teams, and optimize for future growth. This pace of change is now quickly becoming the norm, as innovation builds further momentum. As we continue to see such significant change, what will the world of work look like in 2022?

Aaron Smith, ADP

Author Aaron Smith

The answer to that depends upon the fact that the global workforce itself stands changed as well. In fact, ADP Research Institute found that 64% of the global workforce was negatively impacted by COVID-19, including 28% who lost a job, were furloughed or were temporarily laid off, and 23% who took a pay cut. These labor market shifts have led workers to reprioritize their needs, further redefining how and where work gets done and adding pressure for employers to meet their emerging demands.

As we head into 2022, employees are driving work’s transformation. Leveraging ADP’s data into the workforce, here are four key trends shaping the evolution:


Employee visibility will be redefined

According to ADP Research Institute’s People at Work: A Global Workforce View study, in just one year, three-quarters (75%) of the global workforce made changes or plans to change how or where they live, with that trend even greater (85%) among Generation Z. Additionally, ADP surveyed small and mid-sized U.S. employers and found that 66% already have a hybrid work model in place, helping to account for this shift.

Related: What ADP Research indicates is fueling the Great Resignation

With workers no longer sharing one central location and many businesses currently operating across a mix of hybrid, on-site and remote locations, businesses will need new opportunities to increase employee visibility. To better understand the needs of a dispersed workforce, managers will use people data to gain insight into how teams are performing. This data provides employers with the real-time insights they need to drive employee engagement and performance.

People and purpose will drive workplace culture

As changing work models shift workplace culture, employers will look for new ways to build connections. ADP Research Institute found that U.S. workers who feel they are “strongly connected” to their employer are 75 times more likely to be “fully engaged” than those who do not feel connected. With connection driving engagement, employers will need to refocus squarely on their people and center initiatives around the larger purpose that unites the workforce.

To build a workplace where everyone can thrive, employers will embrace people-centered initiatives. This includes maximizing workforce flexibility through working arrangements, benefits programs and policies, and giving workers the tools they need to be successful. As businesses look to foster connection, the focus on diversity, equity and inclusion will continue to evolve, broadening perspectives and driving true, measurable progress.

Reliable data and expertise will power resiliency

The already-complex regulatory environment will see additional operational and compliance considerations in 2022, as employees continue in their remote and hybrid work arrangements. ADP’s HR Survey Series with HR Outsourcing found that nearly 20% of U.S. companies with 25-99 employees concede they are currently facing challenges with compliance and regulatory issues. That percentage could increase as regulations change.

See also: Want real change? Look to data and analytics

Leaders will need to rely more heavily on real-time data to guide decision-making and stay ahead of compliance mandates. Timely, quality data will enable businesses to act on important decisions with confidence. For example, to better manage return-to-the-workplace policies including vaccination tracking and testing, employers are using people data.

Greater innovation will accelerate growth

As business models evolve amid global shifts, organizations will turn to technology to help drive efficiency and expand capabilities by eliminating task work and refocusing efforts on strategic growth initiatives. This evolution points to the rising trend of adopting technologies that create efficiencies while enhancing the employee experience.

We’ll additionally see a surge in skills-based hiring as roles continue to evolve amid a digital transformation and the pandemic’s impact on the labor market. ADP Research Institute found that more than one in four workers (28%) report having taken on a new or changing role due to pandemic-driven labor market shifts; for Gen Z workers, the number jumps to 36%. Since the pandemic began, many workers were required to learn new skills and take on additional or alternate duties beyond their usual jobs to adjust to new work models, many of which have become permanent operational changes.

Workers understand that these new skills make them even more attractive in a tight job market, and they will continue to pursue new opportunities—internal and external—where they can apply their unique strengths. Businesses wanting to retain valuable employees and accelerate employee performance will need to make sure they are providing opportunities to develop newfound skills or embark on a new career trajectory within the organization with more potential for growth. Additionally, employers will also rely on technologies, such as machine learning, to identify workers with the right skills in unique places, such as former applicants who may have previously applied for alternate roles.

Looking forward

As the dynamics of work continue to shift in the year ahead, employees will play a large role in how businesses adapt. To drive business performance and growth, people are the key to success. Without people who feel connected to the work they’re doing and empowered by their employers to succeed, growth is but a goal. Only when working in tandem can businesses and their people achieve their fullest potential.

Aaron Smith is senior vice president of Product Development at ADP.

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Women in STEM

ADP Women in STEM Profile: Laurie Liszewski

“As a leader, I’m outgoing and have strong opinions. But when it comes to the team, I want people to feel comfortable challenging me. I want to create an environment of empowerment with diversity of thought and perspectives.” – Laurie Liszewski, VP Product Development

If you tell Laurie Liszewski she can’t do something, she will do it, take pictures, and show you how well she did it. “It’s my mantra!”

Laurie grew up in New Jersey and isn’t afraid to try or learn anything. She’s been a real estate agent, an emergency medical technician working on an ambulance, and now is a vice president of product development at ADP.

“Find what drives you. We all work so hard. You have to love what you do and work for people where you feel comfortable being yourself,” she says.

Coming to ADP

Laurie says she fell into a job at ADP. Her husband worked for the company in the “Total Time” area as a customer service rep. Laurie’s family had grown to three children and it was time to pursue a new work opportunity. So, she applied to work as an administrative assistant at ADP and says, “It was a great way to learn the business and get experience from the ground up.”

She started as an assistant to the business systems analyst team that managed ADP’s Autopay solution. “I was in awe of the people I worked for,” Laurie says. “They had such deep knowledge of both tech and business. I asked how they got there; it turns out no one there went to school to be a business systems analyst. It evolved from a core skill set.”

Laurie Liszewski

Above: Laurie Liszewski

For people who don’t know what business systems analysts do, Laurie explained, “they bridge the business need with the technology and design. You have to understand and speak both tech and business. Today, the title isn’t as prevalent as it was in the 1990s. The position has evolved more into product management, although we have a few core areas like compliance where the role is vital.”

It wasn’t long before the vice president in that area noticed and was impressed with Laurie’s work. She told Laurie she was very analytical and had a unique perspective, then asked her to consider a three-year training program to become a business systems analyst. Laurie jumped at the opportunity and says, “That’s where my true tech career started.” Laurie’s vice president was Bernie Sussina, her first mentor and sponsor. “I always aspired to be as well respected and valued as Bernie. She was truly an icon to me, an inspirational woman in leadership in a predominately male world of tech. To this day, I am forever grateful to Bernie for the opportunity.”

Laurie completed the program and moved into an associate systems analyst role, then worked her way up to senior systems analyst.

When ADP began working on the new platform for small business services (SBS), many people on her team moved over to the new product. Laurie ended up following them and took a role working on the design of a client-facing user interface.

“I learned so much because I was at the front end working with clients,” she says. “You can see how they actually used the system. I was able to attend trade shows and client user groups. I also had the opportunity to do ride-alongs with the sales team. It opened a whole new world for me and so much clicked. I realized that what they were doing was much more than just a series of tasks. I learned and understood what they needed to accomplish to run their business.”

Becoming a manager

When Laurie started thinking about the next steps in her career, she began to pay attention to how people were chosen for different roles. “ADP is great at seeing people’s potential rather than just their experience,” she says.

“I had great leaders who inspired me to become a leader. But it’s a big shift. You move from controlling your own destiny to your success depending entirely on the success of your team.”

She applied for her first leadership role and was pretty sure she wouldn’t get it because she didn’t have management experience.

“I scheduled a one-on-one with Rich Wilson, the senior vice president of SBS product development, and asked why I wouldn’t be qualified for the job. If I wasn’t qualified, I wanted to know what I needed to do. He had no idea who I was and was a little taken aback. I wondered if I had made a mistake. But he was impressed, and I got the position. I chuckle to this day because he loved to tell that story. Rich was my second huge supporter, mentor and sponsor.

“Don’t get me wrong, he was tough. I attribute much of my success to his rigor. As I reflect on my career, Rich pushed me to stretch and grow in ways I never had before. He always put me in roles I wasn’t sure I was ready for. It was the best preparation for my future because I kept learning the tools and skills I needed for the next step on the journey. I am forever grateful to Rich for believing in me.

“I was also very inspired by Regina Lee, division president for SBS, who explained it is a leader’s responsibility to help people grow in their ADP careers. Our obligation is to not only hold people to their current goals but also to empower our teams to hold us to the career goals they set for themselves.”

Next, an opportunity opened on the ADP retirement services team. Laurie talked to the new senior vice president about it, and he encouraged her to apply.

“I had my payroll wings, but only had a small idea of what the retirement business was based on my own personal experience with 401(k) plans,” she says. “That role gave me the opportunity to learn that part of the business and a new product. While I was there, one of my key responsibilities was to help the organization move from a waterfall development life cycle to the more modern agile methodology since we had done the transition on the backend of the RUN Powered by ADP® payroll solution a few years before.”

2019 GPT Conference

The above photo was taken in October 2019, at the GPT conference in Miama, FL. ADP associates shown, left to right, are: Karen Stavert, Erin Moss, Manish Bhatnagar, Laurie, Mike Ruangutai* and Ranjan Aggarwal. (*No longer at ADP.)

About the same time, ADP moved as an organization from business systems analysts to product managers.

“I had a choice to be the Senior Product Manager for ADP’s retirement services division or go back to the RUN team,” Laurie says. “I scheduled a meeting with Don Weinstein, ADP’s chief product and technology officer, and asked where ADP needed me most and where I could make the greatest impact. After talking with him about it, I decided to go back to the RUN team as a senior product owner.”

Eventually, Laurie moved from product management back to product development, where she focused more on compliance and statutory requirements and worked as a liaison with the legal team. Additionally, she led portfolio management for the Autopay solution and loved her team and work there.

For Laurie, it was like going home. At the same time, she could see how far she had come.

“I went from ordering pencils to leading the team I was in awe of when I started this journey,” she says. “I wondered how I would ever measure up and whether I would be strong enough to lead these amazing people. Earning their respect was the best thing I’ve done. I also love compliance work, and this gave me the opportunity to lead that for the major and national account services payroll engine.”

She landed in her current role as vice president of product development when the senior vice president of ADP’s small business services division took a role in compliance services. Laurie loved working with him because of his transparency and honesty. It was also an opportunity to learn something new, particularly employer tax compliance, reporting, filing and payments.

“Tax is a whole other level of complexity,” Laurie says. “In every group I’ve had the honor to work in across ADP, each team thinks their systems are the most complex. And it’s true! It’s all complex.”

Girls Inc

The above was taken at a Girls, Inc. event in June 2019. Shown left is Alyssa Liszewski (ADP La Palma, CA office) with Laurie.

Laurie loves the challenge and responsibility.

“Here I am. Never, ever would I have thought that I would be leading a division responsible for managing all the tax liabilities for the clients we service,” she says. “It’s enough to keep you up at night, thinking about the impact you have on people and the economy. The value ADP brings to the economy and each individual we pay and employer we service has never been more amplified than these past 13 months with the pandemic. The number of stimulus plans and tax law changes all of the compliance teams had to react to are like nothing I’ve ever experienced in my career.

“As a leader, I’m outgoing and have strong opinions. But when it comes to the team, I want people to feel comfortable challenging me. I want to create an environment of empowerment with diversity of thought and perspectives. We need people who understand our clients and know what it’s like for employees as well as businesses – out of the box thinkers who evolve with the market.”

Ready for more?

Explore the stories of these and other ADP Women in STEM, and learn about careers at ADP.

Team building escape room

The above was taken at a team building event in October 2019. ADP associates pictured left to right are: Victor Mak, Erik Kachmarsky, Mike Plonski*, Laurie, Margo Dear, Ajit Kumar, Jordi Conrado, Maya McGuinness, Mat Saunders*, Mike Ruangutai* and Arjun Hegde. (*No longer at ADP.)

Tags: Tax and Payroll Reporting Diversity Equity and Inclusion Leadership Trends and Innovation Technology Articles