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Employee Benefits

2023 HR Trends

(And How Employers Are Addressing Them)

May 10, 2023

Just as HR professionals quickly adapted to changes at the height of the pandemic, they must now adapt and respond to today’s evolving expectations of organizations and employees alike. As the year’s trends have revealed themselves, savvy HR leaders and professionals are adopting human-centric strategies that holistically support and benefit workers while addressing those trends.

1. Pay Transparency

Today’s workers want to know what they’ll be paid before interviewing and that they’re being compensated fairly compared to their colleagues. Workers also want to clearly understand their career development potential, as many are interested in professional growth opportunities.

Some large states, most recently California, have passed pay transparency requirements, now requiring organizations to disclose salary in job postings, but others require it only upon request. Although conditions will vary, many municipalities and states are poised to join the growing nationwide pay transparency movement. As a result, many U.S. employers feel pressured to provide salary information even when they are not legally required to do so.

Pay transparency is rising on the list of employees’ demands, and employers should consider what changing requirements and employee desires for pay transparency mean. There are different ways employers can increase their pay transparency—and doing so may help improve attraction.

Related Reading: 5 Employment Policies to Review in 2023

2. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in Workplace Culture

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) is a growing initiative focused on eliminating discrimination, bias and harassment while creating an inclusive workplace. According to a PwC survey, 75% of companies said they value and prioritize diversity. This year, employers have an opportunity to pursue, enhance and make good on their DEIB initiatives.

While diversity, equity and inclusion have long been targeted efforts for employers, the concept of belonging is newer. Belonging is the experience of employees being wholly accepted and included by those around them. While belonging doesn’t necessarily come with a price tag, employers can invest efforts and resources into ensuring their workplaces are inclusive, collaborative and connected. A focus on belonging can play a crucial role in improving workplace culture and, in turn, improving employee attraction and retention. When workers feel like they belong at work, they are more productive, motivated and engaged. Add that all up and workers are more likely to contribute to their fullest potential.

That’s a win-win for employers. With hybrid and remote workplaces becoming increasingly popular, additional employee experience layers must be considered among employers. Ultimately, employers can elevate employee experiences by creating workplaces where employees feel they belong.

3. Upskilling, Learning and Development Opportunities

Learning and developing efforts are on the rise, and many employers in 2023 will invest specifically in upskilling and reskilling. According to Gartner data, the number of skills required for a single job is increasing by 10% per year, and more than 30% of the skills needed three years ago will soon be irrelevant. It’s often less expensive to reskill a current employee than to hire a new one.

On the flip side, employees who receive learning and development opportunities are more likely to stay with the company and grow into different roles. Learning and development initiatives prove to be a win-win situation for employers and employees.

Upskilling, in which employers provide employees the opportunity to learn new skills to better their current work performance while also prepping them for the projected needs of the company, is a solid solution to finding workers for their in-demand roles. When upskilling employees, employers are investing not only in workers but also in the company’s longevity and development. Furthermore, organizations are prioritizing internal mobility to address skills gaps and strengthen employee retention.

Related Reading: Understanding the Value of a Learning Workplace Culture

4. Skills-based Hiring

As labor challenges continue through 2023, employers are exploring skills-based hiring to help them compete for talent, rather than experience or education.

While specific qualifications may be valuable for some roles or industries, HR professionals may consider candidates based on desired skills rather than experience or education. With robust learning and development initiatives in place, employers can hire workers who are an excellent cultural fit and then train them on specific skills or tasks later. In the current worker-friendly market, many employers are having luck with taking a chance on candidates who are eager for a challenge and willing to learn on the job.

5. Well-being and Mental Health Focus

Between the pandemic, inflation and job duties, more employees are feeling burnt out. As such, organizations are expected to take more responsibility for workers’ burnout and help employees on a personal level. More employers are taking a proactive approach to employee well-being and resilience. Benefits, perks and wellness programs are shifting to being more holistic to account for mental, physical and financial well-being.

To address burnout and other well-being challenges, many employers are offering or expanding their employee assistance programs, behavioral health anti-stigma campaigns and training for recognizing employee and peer behavioral health issues, as well as programs that specifically account for mental well-being. Employers are poised to offer the education and support that today’s workers need and are looking for.

6. Redesigned Flexibility

Remote work exploded at the height of the pandemic as most organizations shifted to this flexible work model out of necessity. Nearly three years later, it’s still at the forefront. Along with remote working arrangements, employers are offering hybrid options, flexible scheduling or even four-day workweeks.

Employees want the flexibility to work when and where they want. Employers have an opportunity to deliver on those desires and win over more workers. It comes down to offering the flexibility they need in their work and personal lives.

On the other hand, many employers are striving to bring employees back to the workplace based on business priorities, so it’s essential to balance those organizational goals with employee desires for workplace efforts to be successful and well-received. While workplace flexibility is not feasible for every industry, organization and role, employers can evaluate their own situations and consider ways to develop flexible arrangements. The goal is to focus on output and productivity rather than time spent online or in the workplace.

Employers can get ahead of the game by monitoring the trends that will impact the workplace and resonate with the current workforce. Many HR functions and employee expectations have significantly evolved amid the pandemic era. As such, there will still be ways to elevate and strengthen workplace strategies to be sustainable, supportive and attractive to today’s workers. Organizations will benefit from putting people first and listening to what their people need.

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