What’s a good way to start the year? To reflect on the past and to think about what the future holds for us.
The Great Resignation has impacted almost every industry in 2022. Today, many HR leaders are facing an inflection point – how do we attract, retain, and engage the talent we need to remain successful?
However, as businesses start planning for 2023, many are turning the Great Resignation into a Great Opportunity.
2023 is bringing a changed world of work. The pandemic has propelled digital transformation four years into the future, and the employee-employer relationship has transformed. Although HR has been leading change and crisis in the past years, it runs the risk of missing the boat on this fundamental shift in how we work.
1. Hybrid offices
In one survey to find out the plans towards post-COVID workplaces. The survey revealed that 47% of companies will allow their employees to work remotely even after the pandemics. Other companies (43% of respondents) will introduce flexible days, so employees can choose between remote or on-site work.
That’s how we’re approaching the era of hybrid offices (or workplaces). A hybrid office is one of the hottest HR trends in 2023 that offers a versatile approach to organizing a workplace:
- Partially remote that implies some of part of the workforce working remotely and another one works on-site. It’s a typical scenario for companies that can’t move some of their processes to the remote due to security or hardware limitations.
- Flexible remote hours or days, so employees can manage their workflows and work some of the time out of the office.
- A coworking-like organization of the office where employees don’t have a dedicated desk or a workplace. They book the workspaces in advance once they decide to work on-site.
2. A focus on total wellbeing
There’s a silent crisis happening in organizations. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress in the wake of the pandemic. 87% of Americans feel anxious about inflation, and 7 in 10 employees are worried that their compensation hasn’t kept up with the changes in purchasing power.
HR has arguably been impacted too. The function played a leading role during the pandemic, which has taken its toll. Research by Workvivo reported that a staggering 98% of HR professionals report feeling burned out at some point in the past six months.
Our first HR trend for 2023 is that organizations will take more responsibility for this looming burnout crisis among employees across the business. First, because it is the right thing to do, and second, because it poses a threat to the continuity of the organization.
The first step will be for HR to overcome its own burnout crisis. Although this may go against the nature of Human Resources, which must focus on helping others, HR professionals should put on their own oxygen masks first. Otherwise, the department will not be able to help the rest of the organization.
3. Employee upskilling
Employee upskilling entered into the picture of HR trends some time ago. A recent Udemy’s survey showed that the upskilling demand grew to a whopping 38% in 2020. As a comparison, in 2019 this figure was only 14%.
How has upskilling become one of the key HR trends? Because it’s a sustainable and lean approach to developing your workforce. Upskilling initiatives help HR professionals retain employees, boost morale, and cut costs on recruiting and onboarding.
Last year brought us challenges like laying off, increased number of sick leaves, and transition to remote work. To stay agile and adapt to external market challenges, organizations will implement upskilling initiatives to help their workforce stay competitive in the job market. For instance, a consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) spent $3 billion on upskilling employees that have been working at the company for the last 3 or more years. This is one of the most ambitious PwC’s upskilling initiatives that implies training on a day-release basis.
4. People Analytics And Automation Are On The Rise
Expanding the use of big data in HR has been on the rise for quite some time. Especially given the digital transformation seeping its way across all aspects of human resources.
With businesses doing more with less in the talent arena, people analytics is getting the spotlight it deserves. However, HR professionals need tools and education at their fingertips to make data-driven decisions that make a positive impact.
Currently, 62% of HR leaders admit to not being able to use people analytics to spot trends and provide actionable insights to inform business-related decisions.
With the right people analytics tools, businesses can fuel smarter decision making while better understanding:
- The rationale for high employee turnover
- How much revenue is spent on new hires
- How the company shows up in terms of diversity metrics
- Why there is higher absenteeism than normal
Automation will also take center stage in HR operations in 2022. Things like chatbots, streamlined workflows, artificial intelligence, automated onboarding processes, and instant manager approvals will make everyone’s lives easier.
The future of automation and people analytics in HR will look different for all organizations. However, the top trends in HR will certainly save time and boost efficiencies when human resources teams need it most.
5. Diversity, equity, and inclusion Stay at the Foreforce
In 2020, the amount of search queries on workforce diversity insights has increased by 74% in comparison with a year before. Companies recognize the impact of diverse teams on business innovations, profitability, and team morale. In fact, companies with a highly diverse workforce reported up to 19% higher revenues than companies with low diversity.
Here are several HR trends related to DEI we’re expecting to observe in 2022:
- Redefined hiring strategy. Hiring is the first step to ensuring a diverse workforce. Diversity sourcing, blind hiring processes, and AI-powered candidate screening are common recruitment techniques that’ll help HR executives build diversified teams.
- Education initiatives. For example, Starbucks initiated anti-bias training for employees in the US and Canada to fight race and ethnicity bias. The company resorted to these measures after a notorious Philadelphia’s case when two afro-Americans were arrested at Starbucks without a reason.
- Analytics and accountability. People analytics will come in handy to set SMART diversity goals, measure the HR efforts, and create an inclusive workplace. With automated diversity tools, HR executives will be able to determine diversity ratios across the company and find opportunities for improvement with actionable data at hand.
6. Workplace Flexibility Is Essential For A Frontline-First Employee Experience
A flexible work environment is high on employees’ lists. And not just for full-time workers.
Our survey found that there is a dire need for more flexible working hours in frontline jobs. And it’s not just hours. Better work-life balance, more time on weekends, and longer hours on fewer days are all on the table.
Additionally, Gartner found that nearly half of frontline workers want more control over when, where, and how they work, but only a third of the workforce actually has flexibility.
One way HR leaders are taking action on this is by introducing shift scheduling technology. These mobile tools make it easier for employees to access shift schedules from any location. Frontliners can also use these tools to find someone to switch shifts with in a pinch and receive instant approvals from their manager.
7. Reshaping workplace learning
2023 is also the year in which HR will reinvent employee development strategies and bring learning into day-to-day work.
Amid the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle, lack of career development and advancement is the top reason for quitting a job, according to a McKinsey report. And while 87% of organizations know they have a skills gap or will have one within the next few years, only 40% of employees say their company is upskilling.
Closing the skill gap is one of the critical ways for HR to make a difference in their organization. However, doing this well requires initiative and reinvention of old learning approaches.
In 2023, we will see a focus on more strategic learning – the training of skills aligned with the capabilities the organization needs to be competitive. This can include hard skills, which are more technical, and soft skills, like communication, time management, and analytical and critical thinking skills.
Implementing learning these within the flow of work requires a reinvention of traditional training methods. We will see more microlearning, micro-mentoring, performance coaching, and learning in the flow of work.
A final word
We see 2023 as a year of immense opportunity for HR. However, there are a number of challenges to overcome.
As we can see, the current scenario pushed the HR industry to rework conventional processes and focus on positive employee experience. As never before, we pay attention to the mental health of our employees and encourage diversity initiatives.
To keep up with further challenges and rely on data rather than intuition in your HR decisions, opt for our reliable and fully customizable software solutions like smartPeople and smartInsights. Or, you can get in touch with us to discuss how we transform your organization together.
It is time for HR to step up to the plate, capture the opportunities that 2023 brings, and reposition the function’s value proposition as a leader of the business and a builder of competitive people capabilities. That is the true power of HR: driving strategic impact through people.
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