Employee wellbeing, flexible work models, diversity, equity and inclusion have been the main priorities for companies as they have learned to adapt to this change. As we look at the year ahead, many of these trends will remain at the forefront, as organisations zone in on communication, skills development, and relationship management.
Here are the key areas HR leaders will focus on:
HR trend 1: Financial wellbeing
With the cost of living still on the rise due to inflation, it is not surprising that salary is the main concern for most employees. This mainly affects those on a lower income. It is said that there will also be a pay increase to national minimum wage in April this year from 9.7% to 10.9% to support the living standards of lower paid workers. Salary reviews, pay equity and benchmarking are likely to be a high priority for HR managers to avoid the risk of losing existing talent. In addition, employee benefits and their communication are becoming increasingly important.
However, not all companies can offer salary adjustments in times of political and economic uncertainty where budgets are tight. New approaches are needed – flexible workforce management can play a key role in ensuring that the core team is adequately paid while at the same time reacting flexibly to external circumstances such as market changes. Ultimately, the right balance needs to be found between investment in labour and technology to optimise workflows and further increase efficiency.
HR trend 2: Leadership and management training
With each generation, leadership styles will adapt and evolve. The traditional focus of leaders on KPIs and business success is now being complemented by empathy.
This shift may be the reason why companies are investing in specific leadership training, with a focus on ‘human’ leadership. Empathic leaders are more capable of responding to the individual challenges of their employees and proactively supporting them in achieving their goals. Leadership based on trust and empathy also makes the team feel valued and respected, increasing overall morale and motivation in the workforce.
HR trend 3: Hybrid work
Before the pandemic, society believed that working in the office was more productive than working remotely. However, in the past two years, data has shown that people who worked in a hybrid structure were 9% more efficient when working from home. Companies will continue to support this style of work through 2023 by providing a solid structural system and appropriate equipment.
HR trend 4: Diversity & inclusion
Companies are more aware that a diverse and inclusive work environment is beneficial for both employees and the company itself. Diversity refers to considering people’s differences in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, cultural background, skills and other characteristics. Inclusion refers to creating a work environment where all employees feel accepted, valued, and can fully develop their talents and skills. Some steps that companies can take to follow these trends can be: Including diversity in the recruitment process, create a corporate culture that promotes inclusion and offer awareness training to employees.
Digitalisation has fundamentally changed the way we work. Digital staff leasing promises the advantage of responding to this trend by providing access to an extended reach, and therefore a diverse pool of applicants within a very short time regardless of location. Diversity strategies can be implemented easily and in a targeted manner, by job offers being made accessible to all people, regardless of their background.
HR trend 5: Employer Branding
Employer branding is one of the key trends for 2023 and helps to improve a company’s image, and reputation as an employer. Therefore, it is essential as a company to communicate that the wellbeing and development of employees is important to them. This is especially important for Gen Z and Millennials. 92% say that they would consider changing jobs to a company with an excellent corporate reputation. Every company loses potential talent and future leaders if this working climate cannot be communicated effectively.
HR trend 6: Further education
Most workers are looking for a company where they can grow their career. According to a recent study by Gartner, which surveyed more than 800 HR leaders about their top priorities in 2023, 44% feel that their current company does not offer compelling career growth, so they tend to look for new opportunities.
In a rapidly changing labour market, and an increasingly complex business world, it is important to continuously update and expand employees’ skills and knowledge. Offering or supporting further education also helps to increase the attractiveness of the company as an employer and to strengthen employee loyalty. Companies that invest in further education for their employees can also improve their competitiveness and position in the market. In the UK, unemployment slightly increased to 3.7% in December 2022. Nevertheless, it is still crucial for companies to retain and develop their employees through further education and training.
HR trend 7: Flexibility
In the UK, flexibility has become an increasingly important trend. More companies are offering their employees flexible working hours, teleworking, and other forms of flexibility. Statistics show that 80% of companies now offer flexible work arrangements. This has many advantages, such as a better work-life balance for employees, higher motivation and productivity, as well as the possibility to attract talent from all over the world.
Flexibility is also seen as an important factor in the attractiveness of an employer and can be an advantage in the competition for qualified workers. The pandemic has ultimately contributed to the increased emphasis on flexibility in the world of work.
More and more people are looking for this flexibility in their jobs with the aim of better balancing their work with personal commitments and priorities, to organise their work in a self-determined way, and to use their time and resources according to their needs or to handle several tasks or projects at the same time.
HR trend 8: Elderly workers
Age stereotypes and age discrimination are an obstacle in a long professional career. Fortunately, an exciting trend has been observed: The employment rate for 50–64-year-olds was 70.7% in June 2022, which has been gradually increasing since the mid 1990’s, when it stood at 57.2 % in 1995. Family planning is complete, and experience is high – the qualities and know-how of older workers are increasingly in demand which is great news. Opportunities for older workers support this trend and actively counteract the shortage of skilled workers.
After a long period of living in uncertainty, employees now have empathy and transparency at the top of their list when it comes to their career in order to cope with the crisis.
We have entered another challenging year in which HR managers are confronted with a new level of disruption. The time between planning and implementation is getting shorter and the demands are increasing, making it even more important that HR managers learn to thrive within these changes by putting people first, focusing on their wellbeing, job security, and using technology to help them become more agile.
Flexible workforce management around the core team, simplified implementation of diversity strategies or targeted further education for experienced flex workers are just some of the ways digital staffing companies like Coople are helping businesses address and effectively implement the key HR trends of 2023.