The past few years have been a veritable rollercoaster for organisations (and employees) across the globe. And in our post-pandemic world, we’re still processing the fallout and adapting to the impact it has had on the professional landscape. Understanding the latest workplace trends 2023 helps employers to future-proof their strategies and adjust to the new climate.
So far in 2023, we have seen businesses continue to battle challenges such as a burnt-out workforce, higher turnover, an increasingly competitive talent landscape, and pressure to cut expenses as an impending economic downturn looms ever closer.
With so much to contend with, many employers are struggling to decide what to prioritise in 2023. In this guide, we break down 5 of the most pressing workplace trends 2023 and how companies should prepare.
Workplace Trends 2023: 5 Employers Need To Know
Business is a fast-moving phenomenon. But, a failure to keep up means you can quickly be left behind. As the saying goes: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. So, it’s high time your organisation got to grips with 2023’s biggest workplace predictions.
Workplace trend 1: We’re in our “quiet hiring” era
One of the biggest workplace trends to come out of 2022 was the concept of “quiet quitting”. For the uninitiated, it was a movement where frustrated, undervalued employees refused to go “above and beyond” anymore. In essence, they began to only do the minimum that their job role required. In the process, organisations kept staff but ended up with a disengaged workforce that wasn’t prepared to take on additional responsibilities without fair compensation.
Fast-forward to 2023, and employers have caught on to this trend, leveraging it to “quiet hire” talented employees. But what does this look like?
Organisations are already starting to promote internal talent mobility by assigning employees to the areas of the company that need extra support. In doing so, they are providing skills development and upskilling opportunities to support employees in developing the necessary skills to meet changing business needs.
Employees receive a raise, promotion, or other incentives for this new evolving role as well as the opportunity to upskill and grow professionally.
Quiet hiring allows employers to fill skills gaps when hiring new staff is not in the budget. For staff, they can enjoy financial compensation while boosting their skills and employability.
In 2023 and beyond, we may start to see employers relying more on gig workers to plug skills gaps and complete high-priority projects.
Workplace trend 2: Hybrid work models for all
As a result of the pandemic, the global workforce made great strides in adapting to remote work and more flexible working conditions. However, not all professions got to enjoy the benefits of this new-found flexibility and work-life balance.
Many front-line professions, such as healthcare workers, manufacturers, and customer service staff, had a distinct lack of flexibility even at the height of the pandemic.
One of the biggest workplace trends 2023 is a shift to more flexible working conditions for front-line workers. Research by Gartner supports this, revealing that 58% of employers of front-line workers are actively looking for ways to offer more flexible work arrangements.
From paid leave to stable work schedules, this well-needed focus on creating hybrid flexibility for everyone is a trend that sets to continue in 2023 and beyond. In fact, more organisations than ever are investing in the employee experience as a strategic business goal.
Workplace trend 3: Diversified talent pipelines
It’s not a new topic. Businesses have known for years that they are missing out on a diverse and largely untapped talent pipeline. However, 2023 seems to be the year when employers take action.
Rising university tuition fees, an increase in career changers, and other factors have caused more employees than ever to pursue “non-traditional” or nonlinear career paths. This, coupled with rising skill gaps, has prompted many employers to rethink their existing talent-sourcing strategies in the pursuit of a more diverse pool of talent.
As a result of this shift, employers are stepping away from traditional screening methods that focus on candidates’ credentials and direct experience in the role. Instead, there’s a much bigger focus on transferable skills. This means scrapping formal education and minimum experience requirements from job listings and opening the doors up for candidates from underrepresented groups.
This will have a knock-on effect on how AI is currently being used in recruiting and workplace automation in general. With an increasing number of employers leveraging AI to streamline the recruiting process, several ethical issues have come to light. In particular, there are serious concerns about the potential bias connected with these tools.
These concerns and this push for a more diverse talent pipeline are likely to lead to structure regulations on how AI recruitment tools are used. In 2023 and beyond, we can expect more audits, new regulations, and pressure for companies to demonstrate transparent hiring metrics.
Workplace trend 4: DEI will lead the way
Despite some pushback, diversity, equity, and inclusion are one of the biggest workplace trends 2023.
Interestingly, Gartner’s research revealed that over 40% of employees consider DEI initiatives in their workplace divisive. Left unaddressed, this can lead to a drop in engagement, inclusion, and support for workplace diversity and inclusion in the company.
So how are companies addressing this potential pushback in 2023?
Well, first and foremost, by nipping it in the bud early. HR teams are already providing managers and supervisors with tools to address resistance around DEI policies. These strategies include:
- Providing training and resources to show employees how DEI goals can benefit both the organisation and their professional growth.
- Recognising allies on internal communication platforms
- Creating employee resource groups that provide a safe space for employees, based on gender or race/ethnicity.
In short, 2023 will see employers having to seriously look at their current DEI initiatives and address potential pushback before it manifests into deeper discontentment.
Workplace trend 5: Rethink workplace socialising
One major fallout from the pandemic was a lack of socialisation. This impacted all of us, no matter or age group. However, one group, in particular, was hit hard.
Many Gen Z workers simply don’t feel prepared for the workplace. Since they have had fewer in-person opportunities to observe how the workplace works (norms, social dynamics, etc.), they struggle to feel at home.
But it’s not just Gen Z workers that are finding it difficult to navigate socialising in our new professional environment. Employees from every demographic are finding their social skills eroding, leaving question marks on how to communicate and build connections with their peers.
So what’s the solution?
Businesses in 2023 and beyond must create opportunities and space for meaningful interactions among employees. The first step is finding out how employees prefer to connect with their coworkers (happy hours, training sessions, etc.). Then, the next step is creating opportunities and flexible options for employees to socialise in a way that feels comfortable for them.
The results speak for themselves. When employers facilitate fostering intentional connections between employees, the workforce tends to perform better and feel a stronger sense of belonging. In turn, this leads to lower staff turnover and higher levels of engagement and employee wellbeing.
Stay Ahead Of The Latest Workplace Trends 2023
Knowing the latest workplace trends enables employers to stay ahead of the curve, remain relevant and competitive, and plan for the future. From more diverse pipelines to offering hybrid flexibility, 2023 has already seen some big shifts in how the modern workplace operates. As employees’ goals, motivations, and expectations continue to evolve, so must employers.
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