2022 Word of the year: Sift

2022 is a big year for the HR community for three main reasons:

First, it is the year where we’ve finally made peace with the virus. We might still dislike or dare I say, hate it but we’ve come to accept that it is here to stay in some form or the other. There’s a pragmatic optimism in the air. In the world of work especially, I think we’ve come around to the dismissing the false optimism that work will ever return to pre-2019 days. Virtual, remote, hybrid is now everyday conversation. Somethings have to change for the long term and this is the year we look beyond just a few years.

Second, it is no longer the year of languishing. With the acceptance and optimism, has come a strange burst of energy. Adam Grant will likely give us a term for it come May. It isn’t the year of flourishing but we’ll likely float in a happy in-between. We will witness the first blooms of flourishing every now and then. It’s the ushering of phase 1.

Lastly, the acceptance, optimism and lack of languishing will flood us with innumerable ideas. We’ll be told that the future of work is asynchronous minutes after being told that the future of work lies in the metaverse; only to be told another five minutes later that the future of work is web3. The millions of light bulbs flashing will likely be overwhelming but in a pleasant way.

All of this leads me to the word of the year for 2022. Given the flood of ideas, it is only fair to say that it will be the year of HR professionals sifting through the myriad trends to figure which one to focus our energy on. We’ll need to transform ourselves into master sifters and resist the temptation to chase one fad after another in hope that something fits. I’ve for one begun my sifting journey. One person can only take in so much at a time but while I say this, I must add: It is impossible to sift without understanding what we’re sifting through. 2022 is the year of us keeping our eyes open and learning continuously; including areas that we may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. All this learning will allow us to identify the fads vs the ideas that deserve our time and attention.

Keep sifting my fellow HRs. It is how the best find their gold.  


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