As we close out 2022, a year where we’ve adjusted to hybrid workplaces as the new norm, tried to understand quiet quitting, navigated ongoing inflation and economic uncertainty, and faced increasing demands for compensation and employee engagement, it’s time to look ahead to see what the next year will hold for organizations and HR teams.

1. HR will have to bridge the divide. 

Companies are going to over-index on performance — and risk damaging the employee experience.

We are still dealing with a global pandemic, and on top of that, we now also have inflation and economic uncertainty to contend with. As businesses look for ways to cut costs and increase productivity, organizations have tried various tactics to get more out of their current workforce, including requiring employees to return to the office at least a few days a week or using surveillance software to track employees.

Increasing productivity is easier said than done. Gallup found that highly engaged teams are 18% more productive and 23% more profitable than low engagement teams. However, only 21% of employees are engaged at work globally, with workers in the US and Canada slightly higher at 33%, meaning the majority of employees worldwide are disengaged. Low engagement teams have 18% to 43% higher turnover rates than highly engaged teams, which is costly to the bottom line.

Disengaged employees are leaving companies, but the reasons why they’re leaving and the reasons that executives believe they’re leaving are mismatched. Executives attribute attrition to transactional elements — compensation, poor health, and employees looking for a better job. Meanwhile, employees have reevaluated what they want in a job in the last few years, and it now takes more than money to retain top talent. A Lattice survey of 2,000 US and European employees showed that younger workers are looking for a place to belong. Work flexibility has also risen in importance: Recent Lattice research showed that 59% of Gen Z and millennial employees would consider walking out of a job over a company’s remote work policy. Plus, in light of layoffs and cost-cutting efforts, employees are being asked to do more with less, which is a surefire recipe for burnout.

HR teams have the difficult job of finding the middle ground, working with executives to set realistic goals for the organization while also trying to increase employee engagement and retention in order to achieve those goals. HR teams can create or revisit their employee value proposition (EVP), which is the promise the organization makes to employees and candidates that incorporates company values, compensation strategy, learning and development opportunities, and more. Employees are looking at their work experience in its entirety and are looking for businesses that align with their values. By emphasizing deeper connections, personal growth, flexibility, well-being, and a shared purpose, employers can shift their EVP to be more human-centric to show employees that they are valued as people, not just line items on a spreadsheet.

Your employee experience doesn’t have to be at odds with your business performance. Check out How to Use Performance Management to Inspire Employee Growth to learn how.

2. Your managers are not okay.

Manager engagement and retention will be a mission-critical priority for HR and business leaders this year. 

It’s clear that employees at all levels have faced challenges these past years, and that is certainly the case for managers, who sit in the wide middle area between C-Suite executives and employees and have to balance the priorities of both. Good managers have a specific set of skills and are more than just advanced individual contributors. They lead, manage, and develop their teams and reports. The past few years of the pandemic and shift to hybrid work have made managerial responsibilities multiply and grow in unexpected ways — not only do they have to champion their employees but they’ve also had to help employees navigate an unsettling economy and potential job insecurity, and managers are reaching a breaking point.

With engagement and retention more important than ever, the brunt of this responsibility falls on the shoulders of managers. Gallup data shows that team engagement depends heavily on the manager, who can account for a 70% difference in engagement rates. Employees want purpose in their jobs, but the “who” that can drive employee engagement is a caring manager. A GoodHire survey of 3,000 American workers showed that bad managers not only impact engagement, but also retention, and 82% of workers would potentially quit their job because of a bad manager. One of the top reasons employees leave their jobs is because they don’t feel valued by their manager.

But managers are also struggling with engagement. According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager Report, 35% of US managers are engaged, and 14% are actively disengaged. With these rates, it’s no wonder that employee engagement rates are also low, as employees who work for engaged employees are 59% more likely to be engaged themselves. And it’s not just that managers are disengaged; they’re also burned out and leaving their jobs. Lattice research also found that middle managers (defined as managers who oversee teams of managers) were the most likely cohort of employees to be actively looking for new work (70% in the UK and 50% in the US). 

Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index showed that managers felt like they were stuck between managing executive and employee expectations, which often aren’t aligned. Over half of managers surveyed felt that their organization’s leadership was out of touch with employees. But managers felt powerless to create change, with 74% of surveyed managers saying they lacked the resources and influence to make changes for their team.

The role of the manager as a team motivator is more critical than ever, but managers are facing an extraordinary amount of pressure to have their teams deliver while trying to balance heavy workloads, manage people, engage employees, and maintain everyone’s well-being. Most managers do not have the resources or bandwidth to combat burnout when they’re facing it themselves. 

Companies need to find ways to support their managers, as they are a crucial part of improving engagement and company culture. That means including managers in the employee experience to get a full picture of how employees are doing, and implementing the right systems and processes to enable managers to succeed. Managers are less likely to know what’s expected of them than the people they manage, and over 40% of managers surveyed say they have competing priorities, so setting clear priorities and expectations can help managers focus on the most impactful business goals instead of trying to do it all. Organizations should provide career development opportunities to help their managers grow, as well as performance management resources (best practices in giving and receiving feedback, conducting one-on-ones, etc.) to help their teams succeed. And there should be a focus on well-being initiatives or programs to help managers combat burnout for themselves and their teams. 

Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy (SOPS) showed that manager training was the second highest priority for HR leaders in 2022, behind employee engagement. Investing in managers helps invest in the teams they oversee. Bad managers negatively impact engagement and retention and are therefore costly, but good managers give employees a reason to stay and perform to their best ability.

See what HR professionals around the globe had to say about this year’s priorities, successes, and challenges in The 2023 State of People Strategy Report.

3. Pay transparency is coming, and it’s going to be a mess.

Creating a compensation philosophy is only half the equation; employees want to know where they stand.

California recently passed a pay transparency law requiring all companies with more than 15 employees to list salary ranges for jobs. California joins the growing number of states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, and Washington, that have passed similar legislation requiring employers to disclose pay. The laws vary from state to state, which may be difficult for job seekers to navigate. Still, pay transparency has benefits, such as helping to counter the gender pay gap, the difference in salary between men and women in the US. Research from 2022 shows women earn $0.82 for every $1 men earn, and the gap is even wider for women of color.

Pay transparency is also in line with what employees want from employers. A Lattice survey on compensation found that 67% of US employees agreed their company should have transparency around pay policies, and over half of respondents think companies should disclose how much everyone is paid.

Companies, on the other hand, are still catching up. Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy found that pay transparency within organizations is still low, and even lower at smaller companies.

  • 54% of HR leaders said only HR and finance know pay bands.
  • 25% of employees know the salary band for their job level, but only 9% know the pay band for the next level up.

With 59% of companies investing in pay transparency, and 21% investing considerable effort in it, companies are making some progress. Pay transparency helps employees have trust in pay equity across the organization and can also increase engagement and retention. For example, if employees see a comparable job listing with a salary that is much higher than theirs, that information may help them negotiate during the next round of performance and compensation cycles. It can also save time during the recruitment process by weeding out candidates who are looking for a role that pays differently.

Compensation transparency can’t happen without proper planning and strategy. Businesses need to be clear on what they are going to disclose and how. To achieve that, People teams need to develop a compensation philosophy that provides clear guidelines, ties back to company values, and explains how salaries, raises, and bonuses are structured. Creating the compensation philosophy is only half the equation; organizations then need to develop a communication plan so all employees know where they stand and what the potential opportunities are for movement within the company.

Keep in mind that compensation goes beyond salary, and a compensation philosophy should factor in a total rewards package, which can include benefits, health and wellness programs, learning and development, and paid time off. These additional items may not show up directly on a paycheck but can still positively impact the employee experience. 

One way to add structure to your compensation strategy is to use a compensation tool, which can help HR teams securely share data, collaborate across teams, and implement updates as needed.

Fair compensation can improve retention, employee motivation, and overall business performance. Download How to Reward Top Talent With Pay-for-Performance to learn more.

4. We’re returning to fundamental workforce strategies.

The world of work is moving on from gimmicks like quiet quitting, productivity paranoia, or the hybrid push/pull.

Changes in work norms have led to rebranding of old trends with new terms in an effort to describe the shifts in employee expectations. For example, “quiet quitting” is simply a new term for employee disengagement, and “productivity paranoia” is when leaders are worried their teams aren’t working hard enough with hybrid work models, despite 87% of employees reporting they are productive. And even employees recognize that these are just new names for old stories: Recent Lattice research found that 45% of employees reported that they were not very familiar, or not familiar at all, with the phrase quiet quitting — and yet 36% of those same employees self-reported having “quietly quit” in the last year when it was defined as disengaging from their work. 

Neither of these trends began during the pandemic, but coining phrases for them highlighted the fact that engagement and productivity have always been organizational priorities, and HR teams have been at the forefront of navigating this new world of work. According to Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy, HR leaders expect some, if not all, of their workforce to be remote, and have prioritized employee engagement; manager training; learning and development; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) programs; and performance management over talent acquisition.

As employee expectations change and organizations adapt to meet them, we’ll see a shift from The Great Resignation to The Great Recognition. Organizations will recognize that the best employees are engaged employees and that listening to workers’ feedback is not only good for employee growth, but for company growth as well.

5. “Hybrid work” is just “work” now.

Employees who have embraced it will increasingly shape where the new workforce is headed. 

For better or worse, a majority of workers have gotten used to remote work and all that it offers: no commute, comfortable work clothes, and more flexible schedules. According to behavioral economics, people avoid loss more than they seek gain, and thus they are not likely to want to give up remote or hybrid work, no matter what the additional in-office perks are. In fact, six in 10 fully remote employees and three in 10 hybrid employees said they are “extremely likely to change companies” if remote flexibility is not an option. Even though a company’s percentage of remote workers varies significantly by industry and organization size (for example, professional services and tech companies will have more remote employees than manufacturing companies), for most employees and employers, hybrid work is not an option anymore, but rather a requirement. 

Some of the early concerns with remote work were about how managers and employees needed facetime together for productivity and engagement. However, managers have become comfortable managing their teams remotely, with 45% saying they have enough facetime to effectively manage most employees and situations. Even the 26% of respondents who would prefer more facetime feel they have enough of it to handle major issues. This is consistent across companies whether they are 10% or 90% remote. HR professionals who feel there should be more facetime cited engagement and culture as their top concerns, with productivity ranking second to last.

Employees have realized that they don’t need to go to a physical office to do work and that they want increased flexibility so work can fit into their lives instead of the other way around. Smaller companies can shift to hybrid and remote work models more easily, and traditional businesses will have to follow suit to retain talent. Gen Z not only places greater importance on purpose at work, but will also be the first generation that has not been required to be in the office five days a week. Gen Z’s percentage of the total workforce will only grow over time, and as a result, as an increasing number of hybrid or remote employees move into leadership and manager roles, hybrid strategies will improve and solidify in the long term.

A shift in employee values and demographics, new and hybrid spaces where we physically do work, and an ongoing struggle to maintain employee engagement despite internal and economic pressures have all upended traditional organizational playbooks. HR teams play an increasingly important role in balancing priorities at all levels of the organization, evolving company culture to meet dynamic needs, and driving employee and business success.

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Money isn’t everything — especially when it comes to choosing or keeping a job. Sure, offering competitive salaries will improve your business’s ability to attract and retain top talent, but compensation is just one of many factors that make your company a great place to work. Employee benefits, workplace culture, office location, and other non-monetary offerings play a significant role in making your company attractive to prospective employees and fostering loyalty and dedication among your current staff.

Think of your own job search: What would you look for in a new role? If you were offered two identical jobs with the same salary, what would persuade you to take one role over the other? It could be better professional growth opportunities, employer-sponsored healthcare benefits, paid parental leave, or more work-life balance. These other factors, while sometimes more qualitative than quantitative, can significantly influence a candidate’s decision to accept or reject a job offer with your company, or an employee’s decision to stay with or leave your organization.

That’s why it’s crucial to approach your compensation, benefits, and employee development programs more holistically and fully understand the value each offering provides your employees. This comprehensive approach to employee compensation is called building a “total rewards package,” which can better convey the value of your business’s programs for employee compensation, well-being, benefits, recognition, and development to both current and prospective employees.

Here’s a look at what employee total rewards programs are, their benefits, and best practices for adopting this concept within your organization.

What Is a Total Rewards Strategy?

To define employee total rewards, it’s essential to start by defining total compensation. Total compensation consists of all the monetary rewards an employee earns during a year. In addition to an employee’s salary, total compensation includes other financial benefits like bonuses, commissions, merit awards, and equity. While all of these items make up an employee’s gross pay, total compensation doesn’t factor in any non-monetary benefits an employee receives from their employer, while total rewards, on the other hand, does.

Employee total rewards combines both the monetary and non-monetary benefits an employee earns at a company. In addition to gross pay, a total rewards package includes things like traditional benefits (e.g. health, vision, and dental insurance) and voluntary benefits (e.g. disability insurance, financial counseling, or critical illness coverage), retirement plans, vacation time, work-life flexibility, career advancement training programs, and wellness programs.

“Companies go to great lengths and considerable expense to position themselves as ‘great places to work;’ however, they typically get little credit from their employees for all of these supposed good works,” said J.D. Pincus, PhD, Vice President at human capital solutions company Leading Indicator Systems.

“Part of the reason is that these rewards are never communicated to employees,” Pincus continued. “By sharing the complete reward landscape and how the company provides opportunities for security, inclusion, autonomy, and caring; immersion, personal growth, recognition, and material success; and a reputation for fairness, ethical practices, and higher purpose, it becomes easy to understand the vast non-monetary rewards that employees receive.”

Usually, companies calculate each employee’s individual total rewards and present it to them on a total rewards statement, either during annual performance reviews for employees or along with an offer letter for candidates. This helps give employees a better understanding of all the internal programs their organization has set up to help them personally and professionally, as well as better recognize the value they get by working for the company.

Benefits of Calculating Employee Total Rewards

In addition to letting you think more holistically and strategically about your business’s compensation and benefits plans, calculating your employee total rewards can help you attract, retain, and motivate your workforce. Here’s how.

1. Attract top talent.

Sharing employee total rewards can be a powerful recruiting tool. It gives prospective job candidates a more inclusive view of all the benefits that come with working for your company, allowing them to make a more informed decision about your employment offer.

In fact, a survey by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that more than 40% of employees said they would take a job with a lower salary for better benefits like flexible work scheduling and the ability to work from home. Survey respondents also shared that they view flexible scheduling as the equivalent of a 9% pay increase and telecommuting as a 4.1% increase. Being upfront about these perks in job descriptions and employment offers can help you win over top talent and seal the deal with candidates who are on the fence.

2. Retain current employees.

Adopting an employee total rewards program can also help you retain top talent by educating your employees on your current offerings, thus allowing them to take full advantage of everything your business has to offer. A 2018 survey by risk management and insurance brokerage firm Willis Towers Watson revealed that 78% of workers said they would stay with their current employer because of the benefits it offers.

“Businesses that effectively communicate their entire range of benefits stand the best chance of maintaining positive relationships with high-caliber employees,” stated Tony Giacobbe, HR and talent acquisition leader at Amica Senior Lifestyles, a Canadian-based company providing premium retirement residences. “There will be a greater chance of retention as employees are informed of the benefits that they will enjoy at different stages along their career path.”

Importantly, educating your employees on all of your benefits and programs can inspire company loyalty and increase tenure.

3. Engage your workforce.

Lastly, sharing a personalized total rewards statement with each of your employees allows them to better understand everything they’re getting out of their working relationship with your organization. Insurance company Guardian Life’s Sixth Annual Workplace Benefits Study revealed that 70% of employees said they would be more loyal to a company that offers employee benefits personalized to their needs.

A total rewards mindset can help your team build an inclusive benefits package that offers something for every employee. Tying certain benefits to company performance, like annual bonuses and employee recognition programs, can increase employee accountability and encourage employees to meet and exceed individual and company goals. When your employees know how their contributions affect overall company success, they will be more engaged in their work.

Employee Total Rewards Best Practices 

Ready to introduce total rewards at your company? Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting a total rewards strategy and annual statements.

1. Invest in benefits your employees care about.

Looking at your compensation and benefits plan holistically lets you be more strategic about your plans for the future, as well as identify gaps in your current offerings. Remember that you’re designing these rewards for your employees, so you should regularly survey them to ensure your current programs meet their present needs.

“Find out from your employees what matters to them and build total rewards programs that provide solutions to their needs,” advised Aaron Cleavinger, MBA, CPSM, CPM, Managing Partner at Murdoch Mason Executive Search Group, an executive and strategy consulting firm specializing in consumer-focused companies. “Then, communicate the connection between employee input and company offerings early and often, so they feel connected to the process.”

2. Don’t inflate value.

When assembling your personalized total rewards statements for employees, make sure you don’t try to inflate the monetary value of any non-monetary benefits. While unlimited paid time off (PTO) is an attractive perk, it doesn’t warrant a $50,000 price tag, for example. You can estimate the actual value by calculating what the equivalent of their daily pay would be and multiplying that by the number of days off the employee took in the past calendar year. For a prospective job candidate, you can take a similar approach by multiplying their proposed daily pay by the number of PTO days included in your policy or offer, or, if you offer an unlimited PTO plan, use the average number of vacation days your employees took off in the previous year.

“Be transparent about the actual costs and benefits of the programs,” stressed Cleavinger. “Employees see through attempts to overemphasize value if they don’t feel positively impacted.” You can even ask your employees how valuable a certain program or policy is to them to help you generate a value for a particular hard-to-quantify offering.

3. Communicate total rewards to employees.

Once you’ve calculated every employee’s total rewards package, you need to share it with them. Some companies have software providers that allow them to share statements with employees digitally, while other businesses choose to distribute physical statements to their teams. However your business decides to share statements, be sure you tell employees where they can find their personalized report and remind them to take the time to review it.

Most companies choose to share employee total rewards annually, often tying them to performance or salary reviews or the end of the fiscal year, but the timeline is completely up to you. You can make it a practice for managers to print out hard copies of these statements to bring to all their team members’ annual performance reviews, or consider sending an updated digital copy to employees every year during open enrollment.

Need some inspiration? Here’s a total rewards statement template from HR, benefits, and insurance firm Towne Benefits.

4. Categorize your statements.

Breaking your rewards up into distinct categories can make your statements easier to read and help you identify program gaps. Many companies choose to split their rewards up into five categories: compensation, benefits, work-life, performance and recognition, and employee development. That said, you can pick or define whichever categories work best for you, your business, and your employees.

Keep in mind that every benefit your business offers is designed to help your employees and show that your company takes care of them beyond a paycheck. While some benefits might impact certain employees more than others, it’s your job to design a total rewards package that leaves all your employees feeling supported and valued by your organization.

A total rewards statement can be a powerful visual reminder of the financial commitment your business has made in employees’ personal and professional growth. Regularly communicating that to your employees will go a long way toward attracting, retaining, and engaging top talent.

If you want to stay ahead of HR trends and best practices, you’ll need to hit the road. From the massive SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition to intimate roadshows like Disrupt HR, today’s conference circuit is full of exciting options. So how do you prioritize which events to attend?

This year, make it a resolution to invest in your professional development. Be sure to slot some of these can’t-miss HR conferences into your travel calendar. 

Disrupt HR 

When: All year
Where: Around the world

In a field crowded with massive, standalone events, the Disrupt HR series offers conference-goers a more intimate alternative. Each event follows the same model: 14 speakers, each with five minutes to share their story. “Teach us something, but make it quick,” the organizers ask.

Disrupt HR events have been hosted in cities around the world, featuring talks from upstarts, veterans, and prominent HR influencers like Laurie Ruettimann and Steve Browne. 

HR West 

When: March 9 – 11, 2020
Where: Oakland, CA

For over thirty years, HR professionals in the Bay Area have attended HR West for its unique blend of content covering everything from recruiting to compensation. Hosted by the Next Concept HR Association, the event focuses on the issues and dynamics that are unique to Silicon Valley workplaces and tech startups. This year, HR West features over 70 concurrent sessions and a keynote from author and HR expert Cindy Soloman.

[email protected]

When: March 15 – 17, 2020
Where: Washington, D.C.

Consider this the event of the year for HR pros with political science degrees. [email protected], formerly known as the SHRM Employment and Legislative Conference, offers a rich catalog of HR compliance content. Hosted in Washington D.C., the conference covers topics like paid family leave, labor reform, and even marijuana in the workplace. Past speakers have included former Attorney General Eric Holder and broadcast personalities like Chris Wallace, Ana Navarro, and Sally Kohn.


When: Spring and Fall 2020
London, Paris, and Las Vegas

UNLEASH bills itself as the world’s biggest HR event series — and looking at their 2020 calendar, you might be inclined to agree. UNLEASH has three major events scheduled in London, Paris, and Las Vegas, each expecting to attract as many as 3,000 attendees.

The events’ concurrent sessions largely focus on how HR leaders can better use technology to advance their work. That’s fitting, as over 150 technology vendors will be showing off their latest innovations on the exposition floor. Past keynote speakers include Brené Brown and Richard Branson.

SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition

When: June 28 – July 1, 2020
Where: San Diego, CA

Call it HR’s answer to the World’s Fair. Every summer, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) hosts over 20,000 professionals for four days of inspiring talks, interactive workshops, and networking. Past keynote speakers include Martha Stewart, Sheryl Sandberg, and Laszlo Bock.

In addition to hearing from industry thought leaders, attendees get the chance to see live HR technology demos on the expo floor. Be sure to visit Lattice’s booth and say hello!

Culture Summit 

When: July 14 – 16, 2020
Where: San Francisco, CA

“No fluff, all strategy.” That’s how the organizers of this year’s Culture Summit bill their annual summer event. The conference, which focuses primarily on workplace culture, includes a variety of concurrent sessions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. Past speakers include HR leaders from companies like Facebook, Pinterest, Airbnb, and LinkedIn. 

Hiring Success

When: February 11 – 12
Where: San Francisco

The conference circuit is flush with events that cover general HR. Hiring Success takes a different path, diving into talent acquisition almost exclusively. Attracting over 1,200 talent recruiting professionals each year, Hiring Success features a full agenda of sessions and workshops covering topics like unconscious bias, hiring strategy, and talent analytics. Past speakers include HR and recruiting leaders at Visa, Deloitte, and Optimizely.

California HR Conference

When: August 30 – September 2, 2020
Where: Long Beach, CA

Saying “California” to an HR professional might just induce cold sweats. It takes a unique blend of professional savvy and (serious) compliance chops to cut it in the Golden State. The California HR Conference is an event designed exclusively for those up to the challenge.

This summer, 2,700 HR professionals will gather in Long Beach to hear from industry experts, gain actionable insights, and build lasting connections. Be sure to also visit the Lattice team on the exposition floor!

Resources for Humans Live

When: September 2020
Where: San Francisco, CA

What’s the secret behind any successful business? Companies that put people strategy first. That’s what Lattice’s annual conference, Resources for Humans Live, is all about. Concurrent and keynote sessions in 2020 will cover topics like performance management, employee engagement, and HR strategy. Past speakers include HR leaders from companies like Reddit, Stripe, and Pinterest.

Can’t wait until September? Register for the our virtual conference on February 20, 2020. You’ll hear from HR and management experts including Josh Bersin and Kim Scott.


When: October 4 – 7, 2020
Where: Nashville, TN

One of the country’s largest regional HR conferences, HRSouthwest includes a full agenda of sessions across all recruiting and HR disciplines. Last year’s event attracted an audience of over 2,000 attendees and a speaker lineup that included best-selling author David Horsager and television personality Carla Hall.

HR Technology Conference and Exposition

When: October 13 – 16, 2020
Where: Las Vegas, NV

Where do you find HR technology’s cutting-edge? Right off the Vegas strip. For over two decades, HR professionals and industry experts have flocked to the HR Technology Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas for three days of inspiring content, product reveals, and networking.

The event’s concurrent sessions largely focus on how recruiting and HR professionals can better leverage technology. Industry expert Josh Bersin also gives attendees a sneak peek at his annual HR Technology Market Report.

Talent Connect 2020

When: October 14 – 16, 2020
Where: Boston, MA

While LinkedIn might be a newcomer on the conference circuit, you would never know it from the impressive scale of last year’s Talent Connect event. The three-day conference included content covering a broad range of HR disciplines and was attended by over 4,000 HR professionals. Keynote speakers included Michelle Obama and Dean Carter, Patagonia’s head of HR.

Attending conferences is a great way to keep up with HR best practices and make lasting professional connections. Looking for ways to keep the conversation going in between events?

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Your favorite boss wasn’t always an all-star. While we’ve all heard of natural leaders, individual contributors are seldom ready to make the switch. In fact, one study found that nearly a third of new managers admitted they weren’t prepared when they made the jump.

While it’s natural for new managers to run into “imposter syndrome,” training can go a long way in alleviating it. Just as you would ramp up any new hire, consider implementing leadership training that covers these five areas:

1. Managerial Philosophy

New managers can’t be expected to jump into their roles and just wing it. Educate them about the managerial philosophies that inspire you. These will help them find the best management style for them and give them a sense of ownership in their new role.

For example, you may want to teach them how to be a great leader through the concept of servant leadership, which suggests that bosses should go out of their way to accommodate their employees — not the other way around. Just make sure new managers know they don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to their leadership style; instead, they can learn from the countless other managers that came before them.

2. Supporting Employees

A new manager will most likely be tempted to spend a lot of time thinking about what they can do to make sure their bosses are pleased by their individual performance. While that’s totally understandable, the bottom line is that they should really step into that management role by putting their energies towards supporting their employees’ needs.

When managers support their employees in both the day-to-day work and their career goals, they build strong relationships. Those employees’ level of engagement will rise, and in turn, their performance will directly affect their new boss’s performance.

3. Lifelong Learning

New managers should be encouraged to become lifelong learners who have the self-awareness to be constantly trying to improve themselves. When training a first-time manager, make sure that individual knows where to turn to for development resources and support in their new role. Create a culture where those in a management role are inspired to continue growing.

4. Communication Skills

New managers won’t succeed in their roles unless they are transparent and set clear expectations with their team members. Developing a leadership style built on open communication and regular check-ins can set the foundation for an effective manager. It’s imperative that new managers are trained for their roles thoroughly, and that ample time and resources go into developing and strengthening their communication skills. That way, employee engagement will be high, and the new boss’s direct reports will understand what they need to do.

5. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Great managers possess higher levels of emotional intelligence, or the ability to control one’s own emotions and see things from others’ perspectives. First-time managers need to develop empathy, which is its own skill set, so they can better understand what their direct reports are feeling.

Similarly, managers shouldn’t necessarily run from their emotions; they should embrace them. People are inspired by passionate leaders who know themselves and have a strong point of view. Make sure that the pressure of management doesn’t cause your new leaders to lose sight of who they are — and what made them worthy of that promotion in the first place.

Be patient with new managers. Almost all of them will need some time to adjust to a new job and learn the necessary skills to be a good manager. When they’re just starting out, set expectations for the next steps and encourage them to build self-awareness by frequently checking in how they’re doing. Assigning veteran managers as mentors can also help give them perspective.

To ensure new managers transition smoothly, train them thoroughly — just like you’d train any new hire — so they’re prepared to be the effective leader your company needs.