4 Small Business Trends in 2022
Siân Killingsworth / 8 Mar 2022 / Business
A record number of Americans chose to quit their jobs in 2021 and reevaluated their career priorities – a trend dubbed “The Great Resignation.” Many experts predict that a small business revolution will follow in 2022. As more workers abandon employment at big companies in favor of smaller ones, employers will find themselves competing for the talents of a large pool of job seekers who are prepared to hold out until they find the right opportunity that meets their needs.
To attract great employees, small business owners will likely have to increase starting salaries, bonuses, and benefits, including attractive retirement savings plans. Additionally, employers will need to place an emphasis on what small businesses do best, which is to foster intimacy among employees and provide a sense of belonging.
1) Family-First Mentality
Covid exposures, mandatory quarantine periods, and school closures could continue to cause disruption in 2022. Small business workplaces must evolve to handle these challenges and support employees. Company owners will need to emphasize a people-first workplace by offering flexible schedules, remote work options, expanded parental leave, and the ability to unplug completely on days off.
Some companies have shifted to four-day work weeks or provided paid time off to participate in charitable activities of the employee’s choosing. Other businesses monitor individual workloads carefully to ensure that employees are not overloaded.
2) Humanized Branding
Many workers are drawn to the personal, more humanized brands that small business owners create. With a variety of easy-to-use tools at their disposal, each employer has significant freedom to express their values in an attractive and accessible way. They use video storytelling, a well-designed website, LinkedIn and other social media networking, and blogging. The strongest small businesses will be the ones that are unafraid to show their humanity, showcasing employees and featuring value-driven work.
3) Advanced Technology
Affordable artificial intelligence technology tools are increasingly marketed to smaller businesses as a way to streamline efficiency, save time and money, and be more competitive. AI software is used to accomplish many functions faster and cheaper, including:
- Draft and review contracts
- Manage inventory and logistics
- Improve call center routing with chatbots
- Screen job candidates
- Manage customer relationships
Small businesses that leverage advanced technology to alleviate drudge work and allow employees to focus on more enjoyable tasks will have the hiring advantage in 2022.
4) Small Business 401(k) Retirement Plans
In recent years, retirement plan administrators like Ubiquity have focused their attention on serving small business owners with low-cost, flat-fee 401(k) plans without Assets Under Management costs or per-person fees that can present a large financial burden to a growing company.
In 2022, it is likely that even more small businesses will begin to offer their employees retirement options. State-mandated retirement plans are rolling out in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In California, for example, the CalSavers plan is already enforced for businesses with 50+ employees, but it will be required for any business with five or more employees by June 30, 2022.
Instead of accepting the cookie cutter government option, most small businesses choose to create their own retirement offerings. This empowers them to design plans that meet their specific needs and have more control over how the plans are run. Employers can also take advantage of auto-enrollment tax credits and Safe Harbor designs with built-in IRS discrimination test compliance.
Offering small business 401(k)s can be an excellent way to level the playing field, attract, and retain top talent with the same benefits offered by much larger corporations, and enable employers to benefit from tax credits.
Questions about 401(k) retirement plans for your small business? Contact Ubiquity.