Six HR Trends Shaping the Workplace in 2023 – and Beyond
Did you know that one in 10 New Year's Resolutions are dropped before the end of January?
Change is hard, but it’s unavoidable in today’s workforce. One of the best ways to handle change is to get ahead of it so you can plan your adaptations instead of reacting in the moment. As an HR leader, you can use HR trends and other data to successfully improve your company culture, employee experience, and business processes.
To help you stay one step ahead, here are six transformational HR trends you can use to make your workplace a rewarding and effective environment.
Six HR Trends Shaping Work Today and Tomorrow
HR trends can provide insight into the future business landscape. To guide you through those insights, we’ve found principles shaping today’s workforce you can use to shape your goals.
- Focus on Total Wellness
Trends of human resource management show that healthy employees who are able to prioritize their mental, emotional, and physical wellness perform better at work and are far more content at their job.
Unfortunately, only one in four employees strongly believes that their current employers care about their wellbeing. Often, this can be attributed to the benefits and policies that either support or hinder an employee’s health opportunities.
One of the biggest perpetrators of poor health in employees is burnout and excessive stress. Burnout and stress are increasing and leading to negative health effects, which likely doesn’t surprise anyone. So many doctor’s appointments ends with, “lower your stress levels as much as you can!” Doing so is not easy, though, when the place you spend most of your day is a constant high-stress environment that cultivates burnout. Even HR professionals are feeling burnt out, so readjusting expectations or introducing better policies can protect employees on every level of the company.
Refocusing on overall wellbeing has been growing in popularity, and this trend will continue beyond 2023. So, how do you prioritize overall wellbeing? Focus on work-life wellness, which emphasizes employee wellness both inside and outside of the workplace. Work culture plays a big part in someone’s health and stress management, and a workplace that supports health outside of work, such as providing healthcare and wellness programs, is even better.
At the end of the day, HR is meant to protect the wellbeing of employees, so as you think about the future, find ways to take care of your employees' health. Spotify, for example, had a company-wide “wellness week” for employees, where it shut all offices to create the space their workforce needed to destress, recharge, and get some personal time back.
Keep in mind that employee health is ultimately good for business, too. Well-rested workers who can enjoy their time off can also bring more to the table at work—after all, healthy, happy employees are more productive! This trend of focusing on wellness will continue to evolve into a more holistic view of employee health, where physical health is important, but so is stress management, mental clarity, emotional support, social security, and spiritual wellness.
- Continued Emphasis on Remote and Hybrid Work Environments
The days of commuting to work every day continue to recede into history. For many businesses, moving to a remote or hybrid workplace is a reasonable adjustment that offers a lot of flexibility for employees. Most people work from home because they want to, and for good reason: People can save gas and time by avoiding a commute, have greater control over their time and hit the gym or meal prep, and more easily spend time with their loved ones.
If completely remote work isn’t available, workers want a hybrid option instead. Any time that you can give time back to your employees is appreciated. So, while some fields or positions require on-site attendance, those who can work offsite deserve some autonomy.
Some companies are tempted to move back to in-office only since the pandemic isn’t as apparent and people can gather, but flexibility continues to be an important benefit — 64% of workers are willing to quit if their job goes on-site only.
As an advantage for employers, hybrid offices can be smaller, can help your budget during rocky economic times. HR professionals play a key role in drafting policies and communicating those to employees, so you can help advocate for hybrid work environments and even market it as a key benefit.
Of course, remote work comes with some challenges, but modern tech makes it much easier to stay connected. Employees want clear communication on what is expected of them as early as possible, so HR professionals can find the best resources to support hybrid work models for their employees. They must also ensure that new employees receive their proper training and opportunities no matter where they choose to work.
- Driving Personal and Organizational Purpose
Work priorities have shifted over the last few years. Employees now want their values to align with the company’s initiatives. Workers today focus more on personal health and wellbeing, and how a company's values match their own. A good benefits package is a reflection of how a company values its people, so HR must create a compelling benefits package to remain competitive.
Tightly tied to this trend is the increasing number of workers who say it’s important for their company to have a meaningful vision, with goals outside of yearly profits. Businesses with objectives that support personal growth, ethical actions, and having a positive impact will make your company more appealing.
HR can help identify what the goals should be to make an admirable vision come to life, which can help attract more talent and engage the talent already at the company. It is also the responsibility of HR to help employees understand the organization's mission and help them align with it, bridging the gap between corporate and the employee workforce.
- New Focus on Upskilling and Educational Opportunities
Between hiring freezes, layoffs and buyouts, many teams are having to run with fewer people without risking burnout. HR needs to ensure that existing employees are fully trained to fill any gaps in knowledge and manpower.
If you are losing talent or institutional knowledge, you need a plan for how to restore it. In fact, HR trends estimate that more than one billion people will require additional training for a position they already have to keep up with the current job market. Plus, technology is changing businesses and people require more training to meet those demands and remain competitive. Current employees will need the resources and training to keep up, especially because as automation grows, 81% of people believe more meaningful, skilled work will become the norm.
Identifying what roles and employees require upskilling and education will be a key function of HR in the coming years as they assist people in becoming more skilled workers who appreciate their workplace.
- Continued Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
HR trends show that 75% of Americans want more diverse workplaces and want that diversity prioritized and promoted. This starts at the hiring and talent acquisition process and is woven into the workplace through intentional practices and policies. HR especially should do its part to increase the opportunities to promote diversity in the workplace and spearhead inclusion initiatives.
This can be achieved through diversified hiring panels, making it easy for incidents to be reported, offering education, and creating a diversity and inclusion panel. And, as a benefit to the company, greater diversity (especially in leadership) also means greater innovations, profitability, and team morale amongst employees and departments.
- People, Analytics and Automation
We’ve talked about it here and there already, but there are so many advancements happening now and in the near future. Our world is becoming increasingly technology-based, and HR is no different. People analytics are some of the most future-forward resources out there, but 62% of HR professionals don’t know how to properly use people analytics.
This makes now a great time for HR departments to embrace the latest tech to fully take advantage of analytics and data. The rise in AI and other automation provides unique opportunities for HR professionals to help drive their organizations toward their goals. It also streamlines decision-making without having to put in much leg work. Measuring HR efforts, understanding human capital management trends, and using modern technology can help with:
- Reducing employee turnover
- Tracking how much revenue is spent on new hires
- Measuring how the company shows up in terms of diversity metrics
Stay on Trend
A wellness program is a powerful tool to harness all of these HR trends. They are a data-driven strategy to support employee wellbeing wherever they work, contributing to a positive and work culture where everyone can thrive. If your HR strategy is missing a wellness program, talk to a Gympass wellbeing specialist to learn more!
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The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.