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3 trends to watch in 2023

by Ana Lopez
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At Vanderbloemen, we’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands of organizations to help them find their top talent. This gives us a unique overview of trends that occur in the labor market.

I think you’ll see three strong trends emerging in 2023. These trends have already surfaced, but 2023 promises to see an acceleration of all of them as we finally enter the first year with no significant handicaps from the pandemic.

Working from home will continue, but will decrease further.

Productivity studies are trending right now, and if you enjoy working from home, that’s not good news. Lately, many remote workers spend too much time trying prove their productivity. The pressure to prove that one’s time is spent wisely is not conducive to a healthy work environment.

Several experts point to the huge productivity boost that occurred at the start of the pandemic as people learned to work from home. However, recent studies now show that much of that productivity was the product of panic. It seems that at a time when so much was out of control, people started using their energy to work on things they could control.

Hindsight brings clarity, and as the pandemic looms, experts are realizing that a fully remote workforce just doesn’t work. The amount of remote work that actually “works” varies from industry to industry, so there won’t be a one-size-fits-all answer for the future of working from home. Will employees return to the office in 2023? Not quite. Will staff work completely remotely? That solution is also unlikely.

But I do think you’ll see a lot of companies starting to experiment with hybrid work options, relying heavily on having the workforce physically together to get their best work done.

Retention becomes the new ball game.

Hiring is super expensive. Hire a search agency, while a wise investment, is also a financial investment. But the best way to avoid hiring costs is to keep good people a little longer. I learned the hard way that losing good people is costly, painful and slows down a company’s momentum.

As Gen Z enters the workplace, their affinity for changing jobs (and even careers) is even greater than millennials. Gone are the days of working for a company for 25 years and earning the gold watch. Jobs are viewed much more as interim assignments than lifelong careers. That means that revenue will generally continue to rise and employment will continue to decline.

As companies begin to require their employees to return to work in person, and as we are all still reeling from the major layoff, employers will have to work extremely hard to make their office a place worth living to come to, and the workplace one that is very hard to leave.

Intuitive leadership teams should ask themselves questions like, “How can I make this a more attractive place to work in early 2023?”, “What concessions can I make to encourage people to be in the office?” and, “How do I make hybrid and remote work a reward that is earned and not something people feel they are entitled to?”

Creating an irresistible workplace is becoming a compelling task for leaders across the country. Stay up to date ways to boost retentionn becomes vital in 2023.

Vanderbloem wrote Culture wins after studying 150 companies that created a work culture that retained their employees. What I found time and time again is that employers spend money on culture to extend an employee’s lifespan. Put bluntly, it costs less to building a good culture than constantly having to replace staff. A good first step to building an inviting workplace is to see how healthy your workplace really is.

In our study of the best places to work, we found 8 key health indicators every company has, in good or bad shape. U.S Culture tool is an employee engagement survey that scores your culture against the industry average on these 8 key culture indicators. More than 3000 organizations have made this assessment and the results of seeing where they are made the difference.

The human dimension (soft skills) will become the new gold standard.

AI replaces human workers. This means humans need to become experts in what AI can’t do; – being human. AI-based machines can arguably be more efficient and accurate than us, but they can’t make judgments or use intuition to be culturally sensitive.

I think this will lead to a trend of hiring people who are exceptionally good at being human. Often referred to as soft skills, the hallmark indicators of human contact will become the hallmark indicators of a good hire that will last for years to come.

Entrepreneurs should ask themselves, “How well does this person get along with others?” Savvy entrepreneurs will also ask themselves: “Does the presence of this person in the room enhance our atmosphere or not?” These are just some of the questions to consider. To answer the questions that will certainly continue to arise, Vanderbloemen is completing a large-scale study into these properties, which will be published in 2023.

There are many more trends I see on the horizon, but these three are the main ones instinctive managers should address early in the year. Consider finding out how much time your team needs together in the office. Figure out how to make that office an attractive place to work. Next, determine how to staff your office with people who are exceptionally good at the human touch. Focusing on these three trends will significantly increase your productivity, employee satisfaction and overall profitability by 2023.

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