Expert HR surveyed the key HR Business priorities for 2023; here’s a summary of their findings.
Employee engagement and experience,wellbeing and leadership development feature strongly in priorities for HR over the coming year, each of which can play a crucial role in encouraging employees to remain.
Wellbeing is now firmly part of HR’s strategy, with the link between wellbeing and productivity, and engagement and absence, now clear. Wellbeing amid the cost-of-living crisis focuses on all areas – physical, emotional and financial – and HR sees these as clear priorities for 2023.
For the first time in years, there is more of a focus on culture change – the introduction of hybrid working following the pandemic has been a driver for this, plus the desire to create a positive work culture as well as having to be more flexible and aware of employees’ needs.
Businesses want to ensure that salary reviews are not tied to inflation rates but deliver both sustainable and meaningful increases. And this is being managed against a backdrop of increasing costs and ensuing tightening of spending.
The challenge being felt by HR is how to continue progressing its strategic priorities while also ensuring the business continues to have the right people in the right roles at the right time. There is a concern about accessing the required skills and experience from a tight labour market.
Succession planning is a priority to protect the business from the threat of losing key talent. While pay is one of the levers at HR’s disposal to retain staff, the economic climate means organisations are also focussing on minimising “push” factors in employees leaving the organisation.
Alongside this, some organisations are considering downsizing and needing to make employees redundant. Some businesses are managing both scenarios – actively trying to retain key talent for some areas while also entering into consultation around potential redundancies.
Top HR priorities 2023 (private-sector services)
employee wellbeing across all areas – emotional, financial and physical;
recruitment, specifically attracting talent;
improving the employee experience and engagement;
upskilling all employees;
review reward and recognition strategy;
driving culture change;
succession planning; and
resolving hybrid working issues.
Barriers facing HR include;
Securing management buy–in is the top barrier towards the progression of HR priorities. With the cost-of-living crisis, many business leaders will turn their attention to mitigating risks to the business, including controlling costs. However, budgetary constraints may hinder their ability to retain key talent.
External factors, including the ongoing economic uncertainty. The cost-of-living crisis has widespread implications in dealing with employee welfare, which can hamper productivity, engagement and absence levels.
The overall challenge for HR is to build on its strategic reach during this time and again demonstrate that, through effective planning and rightsizing of its organisation, it can play a crucial role in supporting the business through these difficult times.