The last few years have been turbulent for businesses and organisations, and technology continues to influence our working days in all sorts of exciting ways – so how have these challenges and opportunities been reflected in HR?
Here’s our round-up of the top trends we’ve seen shaking up the landscape in 2023.
1. Spotlighting employee wellbeing
It’s hardly surprising that the pandemic put wellbeing at the forefront of many HR strategies. From helping employees cope with massive changes to working environments to supporting them with difficult circumstances at home, HR played a huge role in keeping many businesses afloat during times of great uncertainty.
Now that we’re getting bedded back into workplaces and getting to grips with how the pandemic has affected work and productivity, we’re seeing a shift towards employee wellbeing.
It’s not just about looking out for teams at work anymore. Now, wellbeing is an opportunity to help enhance employees’ personal and home life experiences.
According to the Top Employers Institute, many UK Top Employers proactively undertake wellbeing programmes. It reports that of the 84 top employers in the UK, 98% have initiatives to raise awareness of emotional wellbeing.
2. Increased support for remote and hybrid working
While many workplaces have welcomed employees back into the office, the trend for increased flexibility and remote working isn’t likely to end any time soon. The UK census found that the number of workers using hybrid working schemes has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% in May 2022.
What’s changed in the last few years is that support for remote working is starting to move beyond the practical and physical concerns, like making sure everyone has the hardware needed, and into the spirit of supporting communication and collaboration.
3. Putting the work into reskilling and upskilling
Many organisations ploughed their energies into maintaining essential functions over the last few years, but now is the time to focus on employee growth and progression. Reskilling and upskilling has a crucial role to play in engagement and retention – and according to a study by McKinsey, 77% of employers recognise just how important retraining is for their organisation.
Whether it’s helping employees expand on their core skills or looking at ways their skillset might adapt and change in the future, the pandemic has conclusively shown the value of investing in talent to counteract uncertainty.
Adapting to a new situation and adopting new skills put some employees ahead during the pandemic, especially when navigating unfamiliar technology or communication platforms.
Unsurprisingly, the LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report found that 72% of employers agree that learning and development have become a more strategic function in their organisation, and 74% think it’s become more cross-functional.
4. Embracing and supporting diversity
Embracing diversity has been a rising trend for a while now, and it’s not going anywhere. As we see Millennials and Generation Z making up more and more of the workforce, the desire for diverse workplaces is set to increase.
Diversity, equality and inclusion can affect all areas of a company – from hiring practices to decisions about hybrid working or even ensuring that you’re creating a psychologically safe work environment.
A good demographic mix can be powerful for any organisation, providing new perspectives, fresh ideas and a more robust team. And evidence suggests that companies are well aware of the benefits, although there’s still a lot of work to do.
Gartner research found that diversity and inclusion are top talent management priorities for CEOs, but 80% of organisations rate themselves as ineffective at developing a diverse and inclusive leadership bench.
5. Making use of onboarding software
Tech isn’t only instrumental in helping us make the most of hybrid working. It can revolutionise the onboarding process too. A good onboarding experience takes time, and while that time is very well spent, it can be a big commitment for an overworked HR team. Luckily, there’s now a great range of software out there to help.
A survey by Gallup found that only 12% of employees felt like their companies did a good job of onboarding – that leaves many unable to get off to a flying start in their new workplace.
Did you also know that a good onboarding process is crucial for retention? Digitate found that employees with a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to look for new opportunities soon.
So how can you improve the onboarding experience in a consistent way that’s not too time intensive? With the help of the right tech! We’ve picked 10 of the best employee onboarding software solutions out there.
6. A focus on employee value and recognition
Ensuring that employees feel recognised and valued remains high on the trend list this year – and it’s no surprise when you consider how much working conditions have been under pressure recently. From hybrid models to overworked HR departments, there’s never been a better time to show employees that their contributions matter.
If you have an online platform where celebrations and recognition can take place, you can turn offering recognition into an easy and casual part of your everyday routine – boosting interaction in a fun and time-sensitive way.
From key milestone achievements at work to smaller, more personal shout-outs, building a culture of recognition drives staff engagement, boosts wellbeing, and can help with retention too – making it a key trend for 2022 and beyond.
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