The pandemic has drastically impacted HR trends, since then the industry has faced the most pressure for change. Priorities for employers as well as employees’ have shifted as a result of the adaptations the pandemic forced us all to make. A couple of the main changes have been a significant increased focus on personal wellbeing, with remote and hybrid working as now a norm.
HR has now, more than ever, seen a need to take a more humancentric approach to its’ practice and in this article, we look at three predicted trends for 2023.
- A focus on total wellbeing
Over the last two years, workplace wellness has been a hot topic of conversation due to the detrimental effects of the pandemic. Whether your workplace has returned to the office or adapted to the new style of remote working, employee wellbeing has certainly moved further up employers’ and employees’ agenda for many companies.
According to work-related stress, anxiety, or depression statistics in Great Britain 2022, stress and burnout top the list of reasons for workplace absence. In 2021/22 work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related ill health and 55% of all days lost due to work-related ill health.
Add to the fact that 41% of workers reported that stress made them less productive, 33% reported that it made them less engaged, and 15% admitted to looking for a new job because of stress it’s likely that HR will see a sure move towards a more proactive approach to wellbeing and resilience. This will involve businesses developing a more holistic approach to wellbeing by focusing on the three pillars, namely: mental, physical, and financial wellbeing.
- Redefining flexible, remote or hybrid work strategies
How we work has significantly changed thanks to the pandemic. For instance, LinkedIn data shows that remote jobs, which account for around 20% of all jobs on LinkedIn, received over 50% of all job applications! This illustrates that being open to flexible working will put businesses at a competitive advantage.
However, not all organisations have realised this, and they continue to hold on to outdated strategies that previously made sense. For example, 95% of executives believe that employees need to be in the office 9am – 5pm to maintain company culture. This is likely to cause some friction heading into the new year, since 64% of employees would consider quitting if they were expected to return to the office full-time.
Hybrid, remote or flexible working has become such a fundamental part of the modern work culture, that it’s possible to say that the days are gone when employers insist that employees attend the office five days a week, 9am – 5pm.
Going forward, employees want clear communication and modernised policies. Employers will need to set clear principles about how, where, and when work is done, while also being mindful of overcoming proximity bias. This is an unconscious tendency to favour employees you often see in the office over remote workers, specifically when it comes to performance metrics, such as promotion, and salary increases.
- Creating values-driven organisations
2023 is also the year in which employers will focus on creating values-driven organisations.
One of the fundamental shifts we’ve seen in the past couple of years is the importance people have placed on finding meaning and purpose in their lives, and this includes in the workplace, largely as a result of these four driving factors:
- COVID-19: Nearly two thirds (63%) of people state that their priorities have changed as a result of the pandemic. 27% now want a better salary, others increasingly prioritise convenience, with 25% stating they want more flexibility and 21% wanting an easier commute.
- Automation: 81% of workers believe that the automation of mundane and repetitive tasks will lead to more meaningful work roles.
- Demographic changes: Both Millennialsand Gen Z’s increasingly prioritise values and purpose which align with them personally more than their older counterparts, while the older population may decide to work longer if the work matters to them.
- Changing mindsets: The anti-work movement in the US, quiet quitting, and the lying flat movement in China have demonstrated the significant changes to people’s values and, therefore, their workplace expectations.
These forces have shown us that meaning and purpose, or lack of, is becoming a deal breaker for many workforces around the world, and that employers who understand the importance of values-driven organisations are better able to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to attracting and retaining talent in 2023 and beyond.
For further information on how HR could help your organisation take a leaping start into 2023, get in touch with hr inspire – Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy that can bring your business the benefits, protection, and experience of an entire HR department.