HR teams will face conflicting and changing workforce trends in 2023, according to global HR analyst Josh BursinBut awareness of these issues will lead to proactive solutions for the benefit of the organization.

In his HR Predictions 2023 report, he notes how the pandemic and subsequent return to work practices has “tapped out” the workforce, he says, while managers often obsess about employees’ productivity when they’re not in the office.

At the same time, employees feel more empowered and vocal than ever, forcing organizations to focus on employee experience initiatives to discourage them from taking their skills elsewhere.

Bersin, CEO of Josh Bersin Companies, is known for his insight into HR practices and technology. He predicts that 2023 will cement several external trends impacting the role of HR teams around skills development, recruitment and employee engagement.

In a detailed report of the 2023 workforce forecast, his main thoughts for the coming year are:

Manpower is changing

Demographic changes mean that the population employers hire is both age and ethnically diverse, and policies will need to reflect this. Longer lifespans and lower birth rates mean the workforce is generally getting older, and that could mean up to five generations working together.

“Twenty-somethings seeking new relationships, career guidance, constant communication, and excitement; early family creators who need flexibility for childcare and child activities; middle-aged workers seeking promotion and improved living standards; older workers seeking purpose, meaning, and work That fit their old eyes, hands and feet,” Bersin says.

The available talent pool is also shrinking; Bursin points to World Bank predictions that total population will peak in 2045 in highly developed countries, followed only by countries in Africa, Indonesia and India. This means that immigration needs to become a major source of workers.

Industries will be connected

We are already seeing corporations move into new domains, such as car manufacturers moving into electric vehicles and battery production, and this shift will continue in other industries. From a human resources perspective, Bersin predicts, employment architecture and business structures will need to adapt.

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“HR leaders need to respond by looking at recruiting, retention, reskilling, and redesigning jobs into one integrated system,” he says. “There is a huge push for building skills models and assessing skills, as well as improved internal mobility, talent markets, and new ways to nurture high-value talent from current low-status employees.” Traditional career paths may no longer be valid, nor will “hiring on experience” as jobs will change all the time.

Management skills become more dynamic

Because the formal relationship between people and jobs is weakening, people will work in multiple roles and projects and skill requirements will change rapidly. To respond to this, HR needs to move away from competency-based models of recruitment and promotion and use data to focus on who has the right skills for any given project or role. It should be “ability first, skill second”, he suggests.

Hybrid work evolves

Companies will begin redefining workplace models for better teamwork, performance management and multi-tasking, Bersin predicts. They’ll look at technologies covering scheduling, workplace optimization, real-estate planning, video and productivity to ensure teams can collaborate remotely and in person.

“Hybrid work also requires cultural strength. Managers must not only be comfortable with remote, but also learn how to lead, listen and help in that context. Instead of mandating ‘days at the office,’ I urge companies to build a set of appropriate, organization-specific tools and guidelines.” I do,” he says.

‘People stability’ and a new kind of leadership

Managers will offer more conscious support for employees’ physical and mental health so that they feel able to give their best at work, including being more aware of issues such as health and safety, diversity and inclusion, collective bargaining and employee rights such as independence. sexual harassment.

When people feel productive, they love their work; When they feel they are wasting their time, they quietly quit or move on.

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With this we will see leadership qualities redefined, suggests the analyst. Recent large-scale jobs at tech companies have shown that “you can’t just grow and expect to work all the time”, Bersin says. Good leaders in 2023 will listen to employees and be more deliberate and strategic in their work.

Performance management ‘in the flow of work’

Companies have been moving away from annual appraisals for a few years and are developing tools that help managers check in with workers on a more regular and informal basis. Some technology providers offer tools that can oversee goal management and can be integrated with key workplace platforms such as Teams.

The importance of transparency and equity increases

Rising inflation and a tight labor market make 2022 a volatile year for wages, according to Bersin, but workers are more concerned about whether their wages are equal than actual levels. He advises HR and payroll teams to identify pay disparities before allocating budgets or giving everyone a raise. Offering non-cash benefits like insurance, extra paid vacation or learning opportunities helps people “stay focused and productive,” he says.

Increase productivity

Simply hiring more people doesn’t increase productivity, as organizations have discovered. Instead of “filling slots,” HR teams need to focus their hiring on people who can prove they can increase productivity not just for individuals but for the entire team. Policies should improve rather than reduce productivity, Bersin predicts.

Doing so will improve engagement, he adds: “When people feel productive, they love their work; When they feel they are wasting their time, they quietly quit or move on. Your people should always only do the jobs that make the best use of their credentials and valuable skills, not waste time on admin.”

Learning and development will support this, building “capability academies” where leaders can build internal support for people’s career progression and growth. HR tech platforms are looking to become “systems of record” for skills, he adds, so that teams of people can keep a close eye on how their organization’s skills are developing.

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HR should ‘value’ employers more

While technology can support recruiting, sustainable recruiting requires recruiters to build relationships and become trusted advisors to the business. Bursin argues that recruiting teams occupy a “leadership job” because they drive the employer brand and have the tools to source and evaluate key candidates. “Stop seeing them as just salespeople,” he says.

At the same time, the use of people analytics will become more sophisticated so that recruiters can build “talent intelligence,” specific numbers of CEOs and share estimates of how many people the company can hire, reskill, or which jobs can be redesigned.

HR is at the heart of the business ‘operating system’

HR grew during the pandemic as it supported employees to protect themselves from the infection and pivot their working practices. They did this by working with the business and need to continue this relationship, he says, so HR can be part of more integrated, cross-organizational work in the future.

Bursin told Personnel Today that he believes most HR teams are “aware” of the issues highlighted in his 2023 Forecast report, but are at different stages of activation.

He said: “Well-being and employee retention are on every company’s mind at this time, as are cost and productivity issues. But the critical issue of building skills-based hiring and promotion strategies, career models, internal mobility, and new leadership solutions is a lot of work in the process. And almost every company is scratching their heads figuring out which HR tech to buy and which tools to integrate.

“So, I’d say HR is ‘wide awake’ to these issues, and 2023 will be a big year of ‘activation’ and design to make work more productive and engaging.”

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