The best HR trends to focus on in 2023

- November 8, 2022 3 MIN READ

To manage employee expectations and retain staff, business leaders must invest in people and technology, cultivate a positive culture and transform HR to be more automated and digital in 2023, writes Arj Bagga, Director, HR Advisory at Gartner.

To help HR leaders better understand the trends to watch for in 2023, Gartner conducted its annual survey and identified the top five priorities in 2023.

Top of the list is leader and manager effectiveness, but many organisations will also prioritise change management, employee experience, recruiting and the future of work.

The biggest HR trends to focus on in 2023

Happy and confident young team

Priority #1: Leader and manager effectiveness

This is a priority that 72 per cent of HR practitioners in APAC are focused on.

As organisations and society evolve, so do the expectations for what managers are responsible for, making their roles increasingly complex. Today’s work environment calls for ‘human leadership’; requiring them to be more authentic, empathetic and adaptive.

Even though HR managers try to build commitment, courage and confidence within executives, human leaders remain few and far between. HR’s typical approaches do not address the barriers that are holding businesses back, facing obstacles that include their own (very human) emotions of doubt, fear and uncertainty.

Current leadership development approaches often do not prepare employees for the future of work. To help business leaders deliver on the need for human leadership and prepare them for the future of work, recognise their humanity and directly address these emotional barriers.

Priority #2: Organisational design and change management

Organisational design and change management are top of mind for 59 per cent of HR departments in APAC.

Digital transformations, economic uncertainty and political tensions have led to considerable business disruption over the past year. As a result, organisational design and change management remain a top priority, especially now as businesses are seeing the fallout of so much uncertainty.

Employees are also growing more resistant to change — in 2016, the Gartner Workforce Change Survey showed 74 per cent of employees were willing to adapt work behaviours to support organisational changes, but this dropped to 38 per cent in 2022.

Change fatigue has clear ramifications. Organisations must help employees to navigate this and mitigate the impact any disruption may have on their work and, more importantly, their wellbeing.

Work team in hard hats and hi-vis clapping and cheering

Priority #3: Employee experience

Employee experience is a key concern for 57 per cent of HR leaders in APAC.

Many HR practitioners struggle to identify the internal moves that employees must make to grow their careers. In a recent Gartner survey, just one in four employees voiced confidence about their career at their organisation, and three out of four looking for a new role are interested in external positions.

Typically, career development pathways have three components:

  1. Set a trajectory and communicate role benefits and requirements
  2. Find in-role opportunities for potential new roles
  3. Identify internal roles to achieve goals

However, that pathway is less clear now that work experience is changing. Career options are less visible with less time in offices, skills are becoming obsolete and people are rethinking the role of work in their life.

This presents new career imperatives for HR leaders to create the best-fit careers.

Priority #4: HR technology strategy and management

Incorporating an effective HR technology strategy is a priority for 45 per cent of APAC HR leaders moving into 2023.

Organisations are looking to expand the parameters of HR technology implementation into talent management as a tool to increase efficiency.

This means managers and workforces will see the rollout of tech replacing the day-to-day tasks of HR leaders within organisations, in an effort to tidy up bottom-line productivity.

Priority #5: Recruiting

Recruitment is important for 42 per cent of HR managers in APAC.

HR managers report that current sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of organisations still expect the competition for talent to increase significantly in the next six months, regardless of broader macroeconomic conditions.

This means recruiters must reprioritise their strategies to align with current business needs, plan for multiple potential scenarios in this shifting market, and use data for decision-making.

To support strong talent and business outcomes in today’s market, focus on three key strategies:

  • build an intelligence-based sourcing capability;
  • create an equitable internal labour market;
  • and build onboarding for engagement.

Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Now read this:

Five steps to great leadership – even if you’ve never led a team before