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Six trends impacting HR and business In 2023

In the past few years, HR teams and business leaders have several challenges to contend with, from mass resignations to the threat of recession, budget issues and fast-moving tech advances which have transformed industries. In 2023, what are the common trends that companies need to be aware of to stay ahead?

Over the last few years, organisations have had a lot to navigate, from new working practices impacted by the pandemic to the Great Resignation and looming recession. But navigating challenges comes with the job when it comes to HR professionals, and 2023 is no exception, with some significant trends to deal with. Here, we take a look at six of the business and HR trends that leaders will be facing.  

Investing in the talent you already have

One of the leading HR trends for businesses in 2023 is internal promotion and developing career paths for the talent already working for your business. One of the leading causes of employee turnover is a lack of clearly defined career paths, with 44% of staff stating that this is an issue in their organisation. For HR teams, there’s a real challenge in offering internal progression and encouraging existing talent to stay in the business with succession planning. 

Desirable skills are constantly changing in the world of business, so it can be tough for HR staff to keep up with this without necessarily hiring externally. Today’s time-poor employees may not have the capacity to retrain and develop their skills, so HR professionals will need to find ways to incorporate this into the typical working week for staff to enable them to grow. Nearly half of HR leaders believe internal skills are a priority for 2023, and this ties in with the demand for better career planning. 

Sustainability efforts on the rise

Research carried out by IBM and the National Retail Federation shows that 62% of consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce their environmental impact, and 85% of people have changed their buying habits to be more sustainable. 

But it’s an effort that not just consumers are making, as more businesses are responding to this demand by paying closer attention to their sustainability processes by making eco-friendly swaps and investing in circular practices. “A circular business strives to apply circularity for its own business needs such as packaging, energy, couriers, furniture and equipment”, explains Rachel Thompson, Head of Sustainability at MPB, “the circular approach is environmentally, social and financially sustainable”. 

For businesses that improve sustainability in their processes, there’s an opportunity to increase customer loyalty and improve their bottom line, with companies in the power and transportation industries, in particular, expected to generate the most value from their eco efforts. So, in 2023, there’s a drive for businesses to do more with their ESG frameworks. 

Entering the metaverse

Experts predict that as soon as 2026, one quarter of people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse, which means that organisations need to adapt and use the space in their recruitment efforts, from employee onboarding to meetings and virtual events. There’s so much potential for this platform to be beneficial for learning and training for staff, providing an accessible ecosystem built for development that HR professionals can leverage to deliver engaging interactions with candidates. 

HR teams will be central to figuring out how best to use this technology, whether it’s developing new working policies to ensure safe and healthy workplace practices to teaching leaders how to use it to lead effectively. With the right execution, the metaverse could be an effective way to improve business performance and employee engagement

A focus on flexibility

Remote work isn’t going away in 2023, and HR teams need to embrace flexible ways of working and update their policies to reflect this. It’s likely that in the coming year or two, even more employees will be working from home at least partially, so HR leaders need to create procedures that make this as seamless and effective as possible. 

Utilising technology to make communication that facilitates better connection between colleagues and ensuring that data security is kept a priority with disparate workers will be the focus for businesses moving forward. But HR leaders also need to focus on results while offering flexibility — one should not be at the detriment of the other. In fact, giving staff more freedom means that leaders need to strike the right balance between accountability and ownership. 

5G transforming data capture

The 5G mobile network may not seem like something that business leaders need to think about, but it has the potential to really transform business operations. With faster data speeds and greater reliability, 5G technology will be critical to companies that want to stay ahead of the competition and deliver better services. 

One of the use cases for 5G is delivering enhanced data collection for in-depth business analysis, so leaders can gather data from a diverse range of sources at quicker speeds. It could be used for smart data analysis, VR monitoring of machinery in manufacturing or remote control of devices. Combining 5G and AI offers even further opportunities to speed up and automate processes, for better efficiency and accuracy. For HR teams, 5G will create one of the biggest disruptions in 2023 and beyond, which will necessitate new policies and workplace adaptations. 

Pay transparency

It’s 2023, yet we still don’t have much transparency around salaries. Gatekeeping this data will increasingly become a thing of the past though, with pressure on businesses to make pay bands public and offer more transparency around salaries. This creates equitability among staff and wastes less time during recruitment, making it very clear to potential candidates what they’re applying for. It also aids talent acquisition because it attracts talent within a set range, which delivers better ROI for your hiring efforts. 

Pay transparency is difficult for many companies, but it does offer benefits for staff, applicants and employers alike, so it’s a challenge that needs to be overcome for better compliance and employee retention — and 2023 could be just the time to do it. 

In 2023, there’s immense opportunity for HR and business leaders, but also challenges that need to be tackled. HR professionals need to focus on workplace wellbeing, sustainability and internal development, but also take advantage of the technology available to them to improve processes and policies. 

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