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The work environment is changing. Thanks to the pandemic, the Great Resignation, and now economic uncertainty, people have changed what they expect from their jobs, and they’re advocating for those changes to be reflected in their organizations. Employees want value-driven work, they want recognition, and they want a supportive culture.
In order to balance employee needs and your organizational needs, you can focus on the following nine trends for 2023:
- Ensure everyone’s work has a purpose
- Combat quiet quitting
- Build out flexible work arrangements
- Plan the employee experience
- Improve employee-manager relationships
- Bolster employee development opportunities
- Implement more recognition and rewards
- Shift from results-oriented to wellbeing-focused
- Enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
With the right focus, everyone’s needs will align, and all your employees will work for the betterment of each other.
The Work, the Workforce, and the Workplace
The HR trends you need to be aware of can be broken down into three main categories: the work, the workforce, and the workplace. These are general terms that encapsulate different aspects of your business and employee needs. Let’s take a closer look at each to see what the HR focus should be.
HR Goals for the Work
Work can be loosely defined by what your employees actually do on a day-to-day basis—how they produce work outcomes and create value. Here are some work goals to keep in mind for 2023.
1. Ensure Work Has a Purpose
Employees want their work to mean something, and they want to have a purpose. In 2022, 82% of employees said that it’s important for their work to have a purpose, and 72% said that purpose should be more important than profit.
On the flip side, only 42% of employees say their organizations’ purpose statements drive impact. So for 2023, you need to answer these questions:
- What does your business stand for?
- Do you have a concrete mission statement that resonates with your people?
- How does each individual employee contribute to that mission?
Answering these questions can help employees feel that what they do really matters.
2. Combat Quiet Quitting
Quiet quitting seems like a temporary trend, but it’s actually a major concern—50% of employees in the US alone have quietly quit. This means employees don’t go above and beyond, but instead settle for the bare minimum of effort at work. And if over half of employees feel that way, productivity can take a big hit. However, blaming the employee isn’t necessarily accurate.
Instead, the fault lies with disengaging work, high stress levels, unclear expectations, and feelings of unappreciation. In order to keep employees from quiet quitting, you have to make the work they do more engaging, rewarding, and clear. Clarify expectations, and frequently discuss each employee’s workload. Give them work they find engaging, and reward them for their efforts.
3. Focus on Flexible Work Arrangements
Remote and hybrid work are here to stay. No matter what executives think, there’s no denying that employees are willing to either quit or even take a pay cut to ensure they have the flexibility to work where they want.
An HR focus for 2023 needs to be on supporting remote and hybrid workers. This includes implementing better technology for collaboration and communication, training managers to avoid proximity bias, and streamlining work for both in-office and at-home employees.
Consider how else you can implement flexibility at work in 2023. Ask your employees what they need for a better work-life balance.
HR Goals for the Workforce
The workforce is your people. Your employees should arguably be the biggest focus for 2023. How can you take an employee-centric approach into 2023 that’s sustainable and effective?
1. Plan the Employee Experience
The employee experience journey includes every step your employees take at your company, from their first interview to the day they leave. For 2023, you need to map each step, including recruitment, onboarding, retention, development, and separation, in order to maximize each employee’s growth and success throughout their tenure.
The employee experience needs to be individualized, not cookie-cutter. How does an employee’s journey differ if they’re hired for sales, engineering, HR, or customer support? What milestones, growth avenues, and development opportunities do you need to plan for? How does each employee find a purpose in their work? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself as you map your employee journey.
2. Improve Employee-Manager Relationships
Just because managers are…well, managers, doesn’t mean their growth is done. Companies need to focus on upskilling managers and leaders. Managers need to know what’s expected of them, and they need to develop soft skills such as active listening, empathy, and trust.
Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce report for 2022 found that managers account for 70% of team engagement. Job dissatisfaction, disengagement, and burnout are all soaring, and the most effective way to fix those problems is better management.
Employees need to know that they’re supported by their leaders—they need to know that they can turn to them in difficult times, and they need to feel confident that their managers have their best interests at heart. In short, employees need to trust their managers. And HR teams can help that happen with training and support for company leaders.
3. Bolster Employee Development
Lack of career advancement opportunities has been a leading cause of turnover, so next year, HR teams need to improve offerings for employees to gain skills, get promoted, and narrow the skill gap.
Learning and development not only helps employees gain the skills they need to succeed now, but it can also future-proof your business. Offer training, mentoring, and coaching for both hard skills (technical skills required to do a job) and soft skills (skills like communication, time management, and critical thinking).
HR Goals for the Workplace
Workplace culture can make or break your company, and employees know it. People want a place that is fun, supportive, and focuses on wellbeing. In short, they want a workplace that values them as individuals.
1. Implement More Recognition and Rewards
A culture of employee recognition can have a huge impact on your employees. In fact, when employees feel appreciated:
- turnover, health complaints, and frustration all drop
- relationships, motivation, and engagement all improve
Employees need (and deserve) to feel valued. Value-based recognition can be expressed through things like pay, equity, retirement benefits, health and wellness benefits, development opportunities, and flexibility. You can create recognition programs to recognize and reward employees in easy and effective ways, as well.
2. Shift From Results-Oriented to Wellbeing-Focused
Wellness, both physical and mental, is front and center in many employees’ minds. Over half of employees suffer from work-related stress, 70% of employees worry about inflation, and a whopping 98% of HR professionals report feeling burned out recently.
No one is immune from stress, but HR teams are in the unique position to do something about it. Workplaces need to focus on total wellbeing for all employees, including:
- Strict work-life balance policies
- Mental health support avenues
- Physical wellbeing and healthy habit incentives
- Financial coaching and education
These types of programs can help employees in a holistic way, reducing stress and improving wellbeing.
3. Enhance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
While diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is a big focus for many organizations during the recruiting stage, DEIB needs to be a focus throughout the employee experience. According to research, only 15-20% of S&P 500 companies include DEIB metrics in executive incentive plans, and only 5-10% of those companies have an objective DEIB metric.
It’s time for that to change. Every employee has the right to feel supported and compensated in a fair way, no matter what. In 2023, make plans to create quantifiable, objective DEIB metrics to ensure that your employees feel like they belong.
Pave Your Way to a Phenomenal 2023
HR teams have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, but they also have the unique ability to initiate transformative changes in a business. By focusing on the work, the workforce, and the workplace in 2023, you can take a huge step in negating the rising dissatisfaction, disengagement, and unhappiness levels in employees.