Another new year represents new challenges and opportunities in all facets of life, and the workplace is no exception. January 1st doesn’t mean a legally binding change must occur, but experts are able to look toward the future and make predictions about what the new year can hold.

As we’ve done in previous years, we took a lot at the top trends experts expect for 2023. As always, there’s no guarantee how things will play out—we aren’t fortune tellers. But consider these workplace predictions as you contemplate 2023:

Quiet hiring

“Quiet quitting” was a popular buzz phrase in 2022, the idea being that employees would do the bare minimum to keep their job while being mentally checked out. This concept keeps a position filled but stops an organization from gaining the full benefits.

In order to counter this, Gartner contributors Emily Rose McRae and Peter Aykens believe that smart HR leaders will embrace “quiet hiring”, or a way to bring in new skills and capabilities without hiring new employees. They believe this can be accomplished in three key ways: a focus on internal talent mobility, upskilling and training opportunities for current employees, and alternative approaches to bringing in talent such as temporary workers.

A focus on retention

The Great Resignation of the past few years saw a great number of workers departing their current roles to find something that better aligns with their values and happiness. This has created many job openings, but many companies have struggled to fill their open vacancies, leading toward 2022 being a year that favored employees.

“The gap between the number of people seeking work and the number of open roles remains wide, meaning that effective hiring and employee retention tactics remain highly important.” –Emeritus

Finding and training new talent is an expensive process. Visier’s Amy Furr cites that the average cost to replace an employee is roughly double their salary. Amidst the struggle of acquiring new talent, companies are looking for ways to increase their retention, including investing in employee development initiatives, offering more opportunities for advancement, and training new skills.

Hybrid work models

Remote work saw a massive surge thanks to the pandemic, but with many Covid restrictions being phased out, many companies want workers back in the office. The availability of entirely remote jobs is quickly decreasing, much to the justified chagrin of potential employees.

The sweet spot continues to be in hybrid work models, having employees come into the office a few times a week while still working remotely on other days. This provides the opportunity for freedom and flexibility while still offering the chance for in-person communication and a space for collaboration.

Robert Boersma notes that many companies want to make sure those out-of-office hours are being used correctly and will take measures such as tracking hours or monitoring software, but this is a quick way to erode trust and lose employees.

Increased focus on DEI

Many companies are making efforts to implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs. A Good Hire survey found that 81% of participants would consider quitting if a company isn’t truly committed to DEI. These programs are excellent for educating employees and making sure everyone’s voice is heard. But not every organization does so effectively.

“In addition to potential turnover issues, failing to prioritize DEI can lead to major financial losses. Accenture has found that companies are losing over a trillion dollars a year due to their lack of DEI efforts.” –Emeritus

Emily Rose McRae and Peter Aykens note that many of these initiatives are pushed back against by a significant portion of employees, which can disrupt the efforts. Learning how to handle opposition and educate more efficiently will be crucial in making sure these efforts aren’t in vain.

A shorter workweek

Finally, we see a trend that many employees will be especially excited about—a reduced work week.

Tracy White Brown, Chief HR Officer at Clark Nuber, believes more companies will take a serious look at the 32-hour work week. Not only will this make employees happy while letting them keep earning, but it will have tangible benefits for employers as well. A shorter work week creates higher morale (leading to increased retention), will make workers more productive with the hours they have, will cut down on distractions, and will make the organization more attractive to new candidates. Finally, it helps with sustainability and lowers a company’s carbon footprint.

Wrap up

Employees want more than a good paycheck. They seek value in their work and strive for a good work-life balance and high quality of life. Many of 2023’s hottest trends seem to follow that line of thinking. By providing skill opportunities and diversity initiatives for employees and allowing for flexibility, companies will create a better environment for their employees, leading to a happier, more fulfilled, and more productive workforce. 2023 has the potential to be an exciting and innovative year!

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