What 2023 Holds for HR and People Practices

7 minutes read
By Top Employers Institute

2023 is here, and 2 053 Top Employers across the globe have been certified as leaders in HR for their outstanding strategies and people practices. As the new year begins, it's time to look ahead and consider what 2023 holds for HR and people practices. As the pandemic continues to reshape our world and business processes, forward-thinking employers must stay abreast of shifting trends to ensure their HR strategies remain competitive. What better way to kickstart 2023 than by exploring top industry insights from Top Employer's CEO David Plink? 

In a recent deep dive on LinkedIn, Plink highlighted three key themes poised to shape HR agendas this year: diversity, equity, and inclusion; balancing work, life, and well-being in a new world order of work; and humanising HR. According to Plink, these topics will be essential for businesses that wish to remain agile and resilient as we move into 2023. 

The need for diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to be underscored significantly. With conversations around systemic racism taking centre stage across many industries, companies have had no choice but to adopt initiatives that support more equitable workplaces. This means organisations should now look beyond tokenistic efforts such as quotas or running affinity groups - instead, they should focus on making structural changes that offer greater opportunities for people of all backgrounds while also providing measurable benefits like improved recruitment outcomes or increased retention rates. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are a necessary part of any successful organization. Creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates the differences between employees and customers is essential for an organization’s success in 2023 and beyond. A diverse workforce provides many benefits to businesses, including:

  •    Higher innovation
  •    Better customer relations
  •    Stronger employee retention
  •    Increased profitability 

Moreover, creating a sense of belonging amongst all staff members is critical to achieving DE&I in the workplace. Companies should strive to create an environment of acceptance and understanding where everyone feels included and valued regardless of their background or identity. An effective DE&I strategy will promote sharing ideas from various perspectives while fostering collaboration among colleagues from different backgrounds. This helps create an environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their unique skills and experiences to the table without fear of judgment or discrimination. 

Key Takeaways from Top Employers and Johnson & Johnson on Advancing DEI Strategy

Balancing Work, Life, and Wellbeing

We must also acknowledge the toll the pandemic has taken on employees' well-being. Working from home can provide a level of flexibility not available in traditional office settings - but it can also lead to burnout if not managed correctly. Companies must create flexible policies that enable employees to manage their work and personal lives simultaneously. This could include things like offering mental health days off or training managers on how to recognize signs of stress in remote employees. 

In the current age of digital transformation, the notion of work, life, and wellbeing has become increasingly crucial for leaders. Now more than ever, leaders need to lead by example.

Leaders must focus on all facets of employee well-being, such as:

  •    Mental/spiritual health– Leading in these areas could look like: Having regular check-ins with each team member where they can discuss any anxieties or worries, they might have. Employers can provide access to resources like mental health support services that employees can utilize if needed. Ensuring there is a safe space for employees to express their feelings and any potential problems they are facing so that issues can be addressed promptly is a crucial step in advancing your employees' mental and spiritual health.
  •    Financial matters: Some companies are providing access to financial resources or advisors who can provide advice and guidance on any financial issues that may arise. Organisations are seeking out financial wellness programs that help employees better understand and manage their finances, such as budgeting, saving, investing, debt management, and credit counselling. In 2023 businesses are offering additional avenues of support, such as virtual workshops, seminars, or webinars on topics related to finances and money management. Many leaders are ensuring they provide various retirement plan options for their workers. 

  •    Work-life balance: Helping employees navigate remote and/or hybrid environments has led some companies to develop flexible policies that simultaneously enable employees to manage their work and personal lives. Top Employers, especially, have made it an important part of their ongoing strategies to meet the work-life balance needs of their employees by putting work-from-home policies in place. This could include things like offering mental health days off or training managers on how to recognize signs of stress in remote employees. Some leaders make sure employees are aware of all the available benefits from the company, including vacation time and leave policies, as well as flexible hours and telecommuting opportunities. The rise of technology to make life easier for remote workers— everything from communication tools to task automation software should be considered when creating an effective teleworking environment. 

  •    Physical health: Some employers are also focusing on physical health and encouraging healthy habits by providing gym memberships or fully funded fitness classes for team members at home or in the office. A focus on physical health could mean installing fitness equipment at the workplace or giving out freebies such as nutritious snacks during meetings/events or incentives for regular check-ups at the doctor's office, etc. It could also be beneficial to implement wellness initiatives that focus on physical activities, such as walking meetings or yoga classes during lunch breaks (or even virtual ones).

Leaders should also create an environment where team members can openly discuss their concerns without feeling pressure or judgment from peers or colleagues. 

It is becoming increasingly evident that for businesses to continue thriving in our digitalised world today, leaders must take responsibility for supporting their teams beyond just professional tasks. Instead, leaders must consider every aspect of their lives, including mental, spiritual, and financial well-being. 

Humanising HR

Plink believes strongly in the power of human connections in the workplace - especially when it comes to creating strong organizational cultures through employee engagement initiatives such as team bonding activities or social events outside of normal working hours. By investing in building relationships between colleagues rather than solely focusing on process efficiency or task completion times, companies can build trust between their staff, which then leads to higher levels of performance overall. 

It’s high time that HR departments recognize and understand the value of individualism. By 2023, we expect a revolutionary shift in how HR strategies are created and implemented. This shift will be characterized by a new acronym – GAIT: Generally Applicable, Individually Tailored.

GAIT is not just a buzzword; it’s an idea rooted in treating everyone respectfully as individuals with unique backgrounds, experiences, set-ups, and dreams. Companies need to recognize that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when developing HR frameworks and policies. Teams need to account for each collaborator’s individual needs and allow for personal choices to be made within them.

The idea of GAIT was inspired by one of Lionel Messi's most significant achievements – in 2022. Similarly, 2023 marks the year of GAIT in HR: ensuring that policies remain applicable and accessible to all. They also allow for tailored solutions to fit every employee's situation.

David Plink's predictions give us an insight into what is set to shape HR agendas this year. He summarizes his thoughts by saying, “Now more than ever, companies need creative ways of engaging their people while maintaining operational efficiency." 

2023 is sure to be another exciting year with many surprises in store. This could mean a whole host of advances in technology, further development of artificial intelligence, and new opportunities in the workforce. We may also see more strides in social justice and environmental conservation, as well as the implementation of new policies or laws to improve people's lives around the world. The possibilities are endless, but what's certain is that we will have to stay vigilant and remain committed to creating a better future for everyone. It's clear we have a lot to look forward to - so let’s get ready for some ground-breaking solutions!

To learn more about how Top Employers are revolutionising people practices, explore our Top Employer certification and follow Top Employers Institute and Dave Plink on LinkedIn for more exciting updates on the world of work in the year ahead.  


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What 2023 Holds for HR and People Practices

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