Another year has passed for HR. If it feels like time flies, perhaps HR professionals are busy, caught in the middle. The end of the Great Resignation and Tightening the belt Which marked the waning days of 2022 — not to mention chatter about it Possible recession.

That doesn’t even take into account The changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has more or less defined the objectives of HR for the past two years. HR leaders are still sorting out the long-term impact of the pandemic on the way people work, not least of which is How their organizations will approach flexibility and the role of remote work and hybrid work.

The same conversations that will dominate HR’s attention in 2022 Largely overlapped With CEOs, CFOs and other C-suite executives. The pandemic may have shown how central people issues are to core business processes and goals. Now that HR leadership has the focus, it will be up to the profession to highlight its role in responding to the challenges of 2023.

Following are five HR trends that are likely to dominate this year.

#1: HR’s position as a partner to leadership

At its core, HR must partner with leaders to maintain influence over the organization’s direction, said Rebecca Kehoe, associate professor of human resource studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “It’s a two-way street,” notes Kehoe, but that doesn’t absolve HR from stepping outside its comfort zone to understand the needs of the business.

In her work teaching for Cornell ILR’s master’s program, Kehoe said such conversations have taken center stage: “Increasingly, we’re doing a good job of training them to understand the needs of the business and those needs need to be at the center of our policies and decisions.”

This is very similar for veterans officers in the field. Reggie Willis, chief diversity officer at Ally Financial, told HR Dive in an interview that interacting with management and leadership has become a key part of his job over the past few years.

“For many HR leaders it’s, ‘How do you provide that guidance?'” Willis said. “That’s the million dollar question.”

Part of that job is communicating organizational priorities to workers as well. That job has always been important, but it’s especially top of mind for workers in many industries a year later Made his voice heard. Public debate about wage increases, severance benefits, flexibility and other issues increased in 2022, and Kehoe said she expects many of these trends to continue.

“At a certain point, every organization will have to land on how to address each of those trends,” he added. “From an HR perspective, there is a need to be more proactive in establishing the position and role of HR within the organization around various issues.”

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#2: Flexibility: An opportunity for HR to prove itself

Transparency has become a central theme In the final months of 2022, employees and regulators alike have demanded this from organizations. Internal pressure is also increasing. The October 2022 Conference Board Report found that investors are looking to company boards Develop a clear human capital management strategy And connect those strategies to business and financial results.

Flexible working is just one opportunity for HR to engage with leadership and demonstrate transparency in 2023. In the early stages of negotiations to reopen offices, Kehoe said she was surprised to hear that many organizations were pushing back-to-office decisions onto managers, letting them make the decision. Which arrangements worked best for their team.

Some may still take this approach, but “in many cases what HR found was that managers themselves were uncomfortable navigating flexibility within their teams, and they didn’t want to put the burden of that decision on them,” Kehoe said. .

Instead, HR can step into a more supportive role, providing policy information, guidance and support to managers who may not know how to navigate flexibility. Willis said Eli’s human resources department does this in part by educating leaders on authentic, purpose-driven leadership strategies.

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