7 min read
To say the least, the last several years have been tumultuous for businesses around the world.
We've experienced forced lockdowns, transitions to remote offices, supply chain challenges, staggering inflation, unprecedented employee turnover, and overall economic uncertainty.
As we move forward into 2023, we're entering the year with optimism and hope for a strong economy, improved employee morale, and a return to a new operational normal that can begin to feel like "business as usual."
This year, businesses are uniquely poised to take advantage of some of the latest workforce trends to help retain employees and attract top talent while proactively positioning their companies for future success.
7 Workforce Trends That Could Change Your Business in 2023
1. Hybrid and Remote Work
The pandemic that forced most offices into remote working situations also proved to all of your employees that working from home and working remotely effectively is, in fact, possible.
For the workforce, remote work offers the opportunity to achieve a better work-life balance and eliminates time spent commuting to and from the office, as well as the associated transportation costs. It means spending more time with family, being more available to children, saving money on childcare expenses, and also having the ability to sit with your dog or cat while completing spreadsheets or to wear slippers during a Zoom meeting.
So, as you might expect, most do not understand the reason why anyone would want or need to return to a 100% on-site office model.
As a result, most of the workforce now expects to at least have the option to work from home part of the time, and many businesses chose to either keep their offices fully remote or to return with a hybrid office model. So, employees not only desire the ability to work remotely but they also have plenty of opportunities with plenty of employers to enjoy this type of office.
Read More: Managing Company Culture in a Hybrid World
If you want to hold onto your employees and attract top-quality candidates in 2023, then it might be necessary to transition to a hybrid office model. The hybrid office offers employees the best of both worlds. They have the flexibility of being able to work remotely while also enjoying the connection, camaraderie, and focus that come with working alongside coworkers in a physical office.
2. Improved Offices
For businesses that are still requiring in-office work, then it might be necessary to invest in improvements to your office environment. The office should be engaging, uplifting, motivating, and comfortable. In other words, it should be a place where employees feel good about spending 40 hours of their lives each week. It should promote employee happiness and satisfaction in addition to increased productivity.
Depending on what your office is like now, improvements could mean upgrading your office furniture with ergonomic replacements, overhauling your office lighting scheme to eliminate the flicker of fluorescents, creating a more inviting breakroom complete with complimentary drinks and snacks, adding live plants to the office to help reduce stress and increase creativity , or shopping around for a new location with more windows that offer a view of the outside and plenty of natural light.
3. Larger Candidate Pools
The move to remote and hybrid work offers an unexpected benefit to businesses – and that's the ability to hire employees from a national-sized candidate pool.
When your employees don't need to come into a physical office for work, they can live anywhere and still work for you. As a result, businesses that offer remote work opportunities benefit from having almost no geographical barriers to hiring the very best in the industry.
4. Retention Through Cross-Training, Collaboration, and Upskilling
Employee retention has always been key to running a successful business. However, with the Great Resignation still happening, employees jumping on the bandwagon to quietly quit , and employees still generally in high demand, retention has become more challenging than ever before. To attract employees, retain them, and keep them motivated, employers must make their job offerings as attractive to existing employees and new candidates as they possibly can.
A great strategy for holding onto employees longer is by providing them with in-house opportunities for career development. This can include cross-training employees to assist with or collaborate with other positions and responsibilities in the company. Additionally, it should include education and training to upskill your employees. As a result, you can promote from within and avoid hiring the wrong people (i.e. poor cultural fits) for higher-level positions in your company.
With upskilling, career development, and on-the-job training, employees benefit from having opportunities for advancement, and your business benefits from the ability to retain your best people for the long term.
5. Increased Employee Benefits
Even if opportunities for employee development are viewed positively by the workforce, asking employees to do more on the job should come with increased pay and benefits. As you upskill your employees, be sure to adjust their compensation appropriately so that their pay and benefits packages match their skill sets.
When considering benefits, look not just at pay but also at your insurance plan, retirement benefits, and paid time off (how many days employees earn or receive and how they are allowed to use those days). Additionally, consider the other "benefits" of working for your company. For example, what kind of workplace culture do you offer? Do you provide on-the-job training? Are your work hours flexible? Do your employees have a good work-life balance?
6. Focus on Culture
Workplace culture is the aspect of your business that can mean the difference between having a place where people want to work and a place that creates unhappy employees who quit and never look back. In other words, workplace culture is incredibly important to business success, and, as employers continue to compete for top talent in 2023, culture will only become increasingly essential to creating a desirable workplace.
Unfortunately, many business leaders believe that a positive workplace culture is something that will simply form on its own. Culture, however, must be created intentionally. Culture should start with the company's core values, beliefs, and mission statement and then be baked into its brand and every single policy, procedure, and interaction within the business.
A positive workplace culture should be based on the creation of community, the opportunity for advancement, appreciation, an excellent system of rewards and recognition, an ethos of embracing and learning from failures, free and transparent communication, welcome feedback, and a set of core values that your employees share and embrace as well.
7. Increased Retention or Greater Demand for Part-Time/Short-Term Positions
Whether the Great Resignation manages to come to a close or not, improved employee retention has been and always will be an essential goal for all business leaders. So, in 2023, retention will continue to remain an important metric to track and improve.
By focusing on culture, employee benefits, your office environment, career development opportunities, and the work-life balance your company offers in addition to always striving to hire for cultural fit when filling positions, you'll see your retention rates continuously improving.
Budgeting, Hiring, Planning, and Looking Ahead to 2023 From the Back Office
Whether your culture could use improvements, your onboarding department has a revolving door, or you simply hope to attract top-notch employees while continuing to successfully build your business in the coming year, your back office can help you guide you through every important (and even every not-so-important) decision you make.
With the right financial data and key performance indicators, you can determine what aspects of your company are and are not working for you. As a result, you'll be able to take control of your business's drivers to optimize your operations for the modern workforce, increase productivity, drive profits, and lead your business to a successful future in 2023 and beyond.