The 8 most important HR trends of 2023: from pay to employee happiness
By Kirsten van Enk | 16/01/2023
What will the coming year look like for HR professionals? Every year we look ahead to the upcoming year’s trends in HR. The 7 key HR trends of 2022 predicted developments from the Great Resignation to hybrid working. What are the key HR trends for 2023? Make sure you go into the new year well prepared!
HR-trend 1: the importance of pay increases
It has undoubtedly not escaped your notice: prices are rising all over the world due to rising inflation. Many households in the Netherlands are also affected by this. And worrying about finances brings many unpleasant consequences. For example, employees suffer more stress and there is lower productivity.
Salary is one of the 15 drivers that contribute to employee happiness and engagement. Therefore, it is important that you as an employer remain responsive to rising prices. Have an open conversation with your employees and break through the taboo that often exists around finances. That way you can recognize signals faster and intervene when necessary. Sometimes a higher salary is not an option, but there is wiggle room in additional benefits. A tip: offer your employees the opportunity to take a course on budgeting, for example, so they can get their finances in order and reduce stress.
HR-trend 2: labor market shortage remains
It has long been a topic of conversation in HR departments and a headache-buster for recruiters. The labor market tightness is not over for now. In 2021, the Netherlands saw 126 job openings per 100 unemployed, and in 2022, thankfully, that picked up slightly: 121 job openings per 100 unemployed. While that is already slightly better than the previous year, it is still very difficult for employers to attract good staff.
That is why it is important to invest in your recruitment process as well as diversity and inclusion in your company. If you get this right, you will appeal to a much broader segment of the labor market. In addition, you must ensure that you can retain the talent you already have. More about this in one of the following HR trends of 2023.
HR-trend 3: have you heard of ‘quiet quitting’?
Have you seen the topic of quiet quitting come up on social media? This is especially a thing among the new generation of employees. Millenials and Gen-Z’ers aren’t literally quitting their jobs, but they’re only doing what they get paid for. They want to maintain their work-life balance as much as possible and therefore only do the bare minimum that is asked of them.
That means no more overtime to meet a deadline, no more answering an email on your day off, and the work phone stays home from vacation. A very healthy line to draw when it comes to mental health, but very damaging for employee engagement. If your employees are engaged, they will go the extra mile when necessary. And that really does not have to come at the expense of a good work-life balance. In fact, it goes very well together!
As long as your employees are satisfied with various aspects of their work, they can both maintain a good work-life balance and show commitment. Tackle quiet quitting data-driven to keep your employees engaged!
HR-trend 4: being a good employer remains important
Of course you want to attract as many new employees as possible when you have job openings. But in the tight labor market it is just as important to retain your current talent. After all, it indirectly costs a lot of money when employees leave: you lose knowledge, have to train new people, and that takes up a lot of time. That is why you have to make sure that you are an attractive employer. And that consists of several factors.
In cooperation with Utrecht University, 2DAYSMOOD has developed the Certificate of Sustainable Employment. This is a scientifically validated method that measures on six different characteristics how good an employer you are for your employees. Do your employees get enough opportunities to develop? Is there enough support from the manager?
By asking your employees for input with the simple and fast 2DAYSMOOD tool, you will quickly discover in which areas you can improve. This way, you make sure you keep your employees engaged and involved, so you don’t lose talent!
HR-trend 5: absenteeism is going up
It was mentioned earlier in this list of HR trends of 2023: several factors contribute to employees experiencing more stress. Think of inflation, maintaining a good work-life balance or experiencing work pressure due to vacancies and absorbing work from others. This is a dangerous trend, and can cause absenteeism and long-term illness.
As an employer, you want to be able to spot these trends as early as possible. The earlier you are there, the greater the chance that you can intervene. That is why it is important to regularly ask your employees how they are doing. Do they suffer a lot from work pressure? Are they worried about their finances or other personal things? Are there things in which you as an employer can facilitate to address and especially prevent absenteeism?
By continuously measuring you receive valuable trend overviews and you can not only intervene quickly in case of worrisome images, but above all you can anticipate them. In this way, you can quickly make adjustments when employees indicate that they are experiencing a lot of stress and prevent burnout. This way you always have valuable and relevant insights into how your employees are doing and you are not too late!
HR-trend 6: employee happiness more important than ever before
Did you know that job happiness and absenteeism are directly linked? Employees are less likely to drop out if they are involved in their work and experience happiness. Of all the HR trends of 2023 mentioned above, happiness at work is the most important one this year. If your employees experience work happiness, you already overcome many of the possible negative consequences that the other HR trends can bring.
Work happiness keeps employees engaged, gives them motivation and, above all, pleasure in their work. They perform better and are better able to deal with stressful situations. They are happy at your company and want to stay here to develop further. What more could you want as an HR manager?
So invest in your employees’ happiness at work in 2023 by measuring how satisfied they are with the 15 drivers of the Employee Happiness Model. That way you can immediately see where you can make the most impact for more employee happiness and keep your employees engaged and happy in 2023!
HR trend 7: sustainable employability & learning and development
Ideally, you want to keep your employees tied to your organization for as long as possible. In the current labor market, they have plenty of opportunities to start working elsewhere. And we said it before: as a sustainable employer, you need to invest in your employees. For many people it is essential to be able to keep learning and developing at work. This in turn makes them more permanently employable: they develop hard or soft skills that they may be able to use elsewhere in the organization or that enable them to grow in their jobs.
This development is important in retaining your employees. When they are sustainably employable, they are committed, intrinsically satisfied and feel at home in the organization. Reducing the workload, facilitating social cohesion and providing supportive management also helps with that, among other things.
HR trend 8: digitizing HR processes
Preferably, you don’t make decisions based on gut feeling. And especially when it comes to retaining employees and optimizing their experience, you want to be able to use data to inform your decisions. Fortunately, there are tools available to make that easier. With 2DAYSMOOD’s tool, for example, you gather continuous insight into employees’ moods, their workload, stress or engagement. You also make the link between happiness at work and absenteeism and see how much you save with happy employees. This allows you to make the right decisions based on data and monitor whether your chosen actions have the right consequences. Simple, fast and clear!
What HR trends do you expect to see in 2023?
These are the six HR trends we expect to see in 2023. What do you think we can expect to see? And how will you prepare to respond faster and more smoothly to the changes coming this year?