Today’s businesses look to HR leaders to pilot through the unprecedented combination of an approaching global recession, low unemployment, and a serious skills shortage in the international talent market.
Forrester’s Predictions 2023: Future of Work report advises company leaders to “steer a steady course and avoid reactive moves in response to the headline of the moment.” While the knee-jerk reaction may be to start laying off people to rein in spending, the continuing talent shortage begs some more strategic thinking before taking any drastic measures.
For the modern HR professional, all of this is just business as usual. As 2023 approaches and promises another year of uncharted territory, these five HR trends can serve as a compass as you build an agile, multi-national, and people-centric business strategy designed to help you stay ahead of the curve.
1. Focus on change management
Over the last three years, overnight changes in market climate have forced companies to pivot quickly, overhaul business roadmaps, and reshuffle priorities.
With so much change, it’s natural for people to lose confidence in their job security. According to recent research, 60 percent of professionals ranked job stability as one of their top reasons for sticking with their current employer. Companies need to find ways to reassure their people of job stability to prevent them from leaving in search of positions they view as more secure.
“HR leaders must help employees to navigate change and mitigate the impact that change may have on their work and, more importantly, their well-being,” advises a recent report by Gartner. A change management strategy that helps your people evolve through market evolution with the company is critical.
2. Increasing workforce versatility
On the heels of change management comes workforce versatility.
In today’s market climate, it’s time to focus on retention. With a recession on the horizon, running a lean business is paramount. Pouring more money into recruitment may not be the answer to finding the talent you need, especially since there’s no guarantee that the specific skill set required to match the needs of today’s businesses even exists yet.
Instead, develop your current workforce’s expertise to match the evolving needs of the business. Research shows that when companies consider existing team members for open roles, it increases employee satisfaction and retention. And growing exceptional talent builds resilience and increases agility.
Promote multi-national, multi-generational knowledge and skill-sharing programs led by current team members across your organization. Leverage organizational diversity to prepare your existing workforce for pivoting quickly and adjusting to shifting market currents. Tap into the global freelance talent pool to give your in-house teams extra support.
3. Offering progressive compensation and benefits
Conversations about compensation and benefits are getting more popular, and they’re most likely going to remain a top HR trend in 2023.
In the face of inflation, nothing speaks louder than a salary hike. But for companies on a strict budget, more cost-effective compensation boosts can help offset an exodus of talent and show your people how much you care about them:
- Provide free or subsidized wellness app subscriptions and/or gym memberships.
- Give your people ample professional development opportunities. Send them to workshops, conferences, or online or in-person training courses.
- Offset some financial pressure by offering equity shares or stock options.
- Be flexible about schedules and offer more PTO. Encourage people to use it. It’ll help reduce stress and burnout and keep people feeling fresh and productive.
HR leaders must think strategically about how they can offer creative benefits packages to continue to assure job stability, retain talent, and attract the people they need—all while keeping the business lean.
4. Investing in effective leadership
The latest Gartner research on HR trends heading into 2023 shows that leader and manager effectiveness is a top priority for 60 percent of HR leaders. At the same time, 24 percent of HR leaders “say their leadership development approach does not prepare leaders for the future of work.”
Any effective leadership training program for multi-national teams must concentrate on helping your leaders–from C-level executives to line managers–hone the following skills:
- Gauging and preventing burnout
- Listening with empathy
- Communicating clearly in person and over digital comms channels
- Providing constructive feedback and mentorship
- Mediating conflict and resolving intra-team issues
- Assigning tasks and effectively managing project timeframes and priorities
These fundamental leadership skills are crucial to building and nurturing cohesive and happy multi-national teams. Make sure your leaders have the skills they need to lead today’s workforce. After all, as the saying goes, people don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.
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5. Integrating HR tech and automation into your workflow
Since the pandemic ushered in more remote and hybrid work and the flux of multi-national business expansion, the world of work has relied on tech like never before. Digital comms tools like Slack and Zoom are key to keeping your global teams together. And when it comes to managing a global workforce, HR tech and automated processes are an invaluable and permanent HR trend.
Manually keeping track of all the moving parts with spreadsheets just isn’t sustainable anymore. But, today’s people-centric HR tech has the automation you need, from onboarding workflows to handling multi-national workforce management and payroll.
Automated processes built into modern HR tools can also help streamline compensation and benefits programs, identify pay gaps, and make it easier to collect feedback from your teams with built-in pulse surveys, one-on-one meeting tools, and centralized dashboards that help track productivity and conduct performance reviews.
Each of these tools can help alleviate the pressure on HR teams—all while boosting your dispersed remote workforce’s activity and engagement, maintaining productivity, and ensuring your business succeeds.
Staying ahead of HR trends is key to resilient business strategy
When it comes down to it, there’s nothing anyone can do to slow down changes in the market or advances in tech that affect how we work on a global scale. But supporting versatile strategies and agile workforces is the only way to power through the constant winds of change. As we head into 2023, staying on top of key trends and technologies (and incorporating them into your multi-national, people-focused business strategy) is fundamental to coming out ahead.