Key Human Resource Insights for 2023

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HR Leaders have been faced with many challenges these past few years and have been called upon to play a crucial role in guiding management during a period of significant uncertainty and change.  The pandemic forced widespread layoffs and companies had to quickly adapt to changes in health and safety at work, shifts to hybrid and remote working arrangements, implementing workshare programs, and rapid digital transformation.  Moving forward into a ‘post pandemic’ landscape, companies are struggling to attract talent and adapt to the changing workforce.

Companies must think outside the box in an ever-competitive labour market and are required to be more flexible in recruiting and retention strategies. Employee wellness and flexible work schedules will continue to be a focus as we head into 2023 and likely beyond.

Let’s look at key HR insights for the year ahead

Optimise your Recruitment Strategy:

Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced challenges in hiring and retaining good talent.  Some companies have even been willing to pay more for less experienced employees.  There are many complex and at times personal reasons that have emerged during the pandemic that have changed employee expectation and how people want to work.  Skilled workers are also looking for better opportunities and companies are getting more creative in their compensation packages and perks. You may want to explore alternative benefits that employees want that you don’t already offer such as additional insurance, increased vacation time based on tenure, or flexible and remote working arrangements.

When candidates have employment alternatives, they will be more selective and will most likely want to know what others have experienced and share about working for the company.  Both Indeed and Glassdoor reviews will provide feedback and perception about your culture, salary and benefits.  If you currently have a low rating, it may be time to ask your long tenured employees if they are prepared to provide a review.  It’s very possible that you have a handful of terminated and therefore disgruntled former employees who have since added a negative review that has disproportionally impacted the overall company score. This is not an accurate reflection of the current majority.  Additionally, the most negative people are often the most vocal.  Those that are positive are usually not concerned enough or inclined to write a review on Indeed but if asked they would and therefore help improve the overall scores with a favourable and balanced assessment. 

Employer branding is crucial when recruitment is challenging.  You may need to re-evaluate your job postings and career sites.  Is there a ‘wow’ factor that is going to attract top talent?  Determine how you can differentiate from your competitors, and it may be as simple as promoting your vibrant company culture as well as listing the attractive perks and benefits.

Invest in the Employee Experience:

The employee experience starts with the first interaction: from as early as when they check out the job post and subsequently join the organization, then through to the point of departure and everything in between.  It’s about the individual journey throughout the employee’s life cycle and is often most driven by a sense of shared purpose and partnership.

Do your employees know how their role fits in with the overall organizational goals and that each role contributes to the overall company success? We all want to feel important and valued.  By creating a culture where the employee feels part of the team, they are likely to be more engaged and satisfied.  Examples include recognizing their contribution, involving them in decision making, celebrating their work anniversaries, or simply listening and responding to show that they matter.

Retention is always critical and in today’s tough market, a negative employee experience is detrimental to the business as it leads to low productivity, negative attitudes and ultimately turnover.  The organization should make every effort to understand what employees are looking for in the workplace.  The solution isn’t always about paying more money.  Nearly every business can be more creative in building a fun, inclusive, challenging, and engaging culture.  Revisit the benefits and perks that you currently offer and think outside the box on how you can make a few tweaks. You don’t want to lose any of your top performers and a few adjustments may keep your employees happy.

Managers need to take an invested interest in the quality of the employee experience.   Employee expectations have altered since the pandemic and providing personalized learning plans, working arrangements and benefits may just be your counter measure for employee retention. It is an employee market, and many organizations are still offering hybrid and remote working solutions.  It’s a trend that will continue to evolve but is undeniably here to stay for the foreseeable future. Ensure your organization stays ahead of this evolution and is efficiently flexible.

Promote Health and Wellness:

Employees have endured significant physical and mental stresses throughout the pandemic and employee wellness is now more important than ever.  This will be a continual focus in the year ahead and offering employee assistance programs can help improve and ensure physical, mental, and financial well being.  Consider inviting wellness providers to visit your organization and offer lunch-and-learn sessions that cover a variety of wellness topics.

We can all do our part in promoting wellness amongst our employees and it doesn’t have to be costly.  Offering fruit in the lunchroom, promoting daily desk stretch exercises and providing wellness resource materials are just a few things we can do to encourage healthy practices.

Good relationships are also essential for wellbeing.  Connecting with our employees and checking in regularly can provide early insight on changes or trends and make a huge difference in how employees think and feel.

Provide additional Training and Resources:

Employees are your most important asset and building a learning culture is a key strategy in ensuring overall job satisfaction and retention. Employees want to learn, grow, and feel challenged.  If they are not offered these opportunities throughout their employee experience, it’s likely they will become stagnant or may look for another role. 

Employee learning and career growth should be a key focus and HR will need to help identify internal moves that will help the employee’s growth and development.  This doesn’t always need to be an upward promotion as lateral moves can also add interest and broaden skill sets.

With employees working from home and often more isolated within their working units, it is more difficult for spontaneous or natural identification of career path opportunities.  A change in mindset with the organization putting consistent effort into finding learning pathways and opportunities for growth may be vital to keeping employees growing and engaged.

HR will play an important role in reshaping learning and development.  Consider offering short learning modules and short-term learning activities as an alternative to full day training workshops.  Additionally, be sure to plan how you will build a training library when you have employees working remotely.  To be effective, employee learning will need to be customized for your teams based on their work arrangements, learning style and career goals.

Cultivate a thriving Multigenerational Workforce:

Younger workers often have a different set of ideas and priorities for their professional careers.  An older generation may prefer hybrid work if they get the opportunity, while Millennials may expect to work hybrid or will find work elsewhere.  The younger generation may expect more interaction with management, regular feedback, recognition, personal development, and collaboration.  These employees thrive on social interaction and rely on various social media platforms to chat and get the latest updates.  Other changes HR will need to focus on is gearing training and development strategies that are suited for the younger worker.

In 2023 managers will need to adapt their leadership style to accommodate a multigenerational workforce more than ever. The first step is understanding the needs and wants of all employees and HR leaders can coach managers on tips and strategies to be flexible to effectively manage different generations.

HR trends and practices are continually evolving, and HR managers and leaders will need to adapt and embrace change to survive in a competitive market.  To learn more about how we can support you, contact Bridge Legal and HR Solutions – (647) 794-5442 or at admin@bridgelegalhr.ca 

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