Keep an Eye on These 4 HR Trends In 2023

Feb 2, 2023 7 min read

Are you seeking strategies to make your employees’ experience memorable, enriching and fulfilling? This is the first of a new blog series for independent financial advisors where we’ll dive into ways to elevate human resources management at your firms and give you tangible steps to reach your desired goals! Here at Purpose Advisor Solutions, as entrepreneurs, we’re proud of the culture we’ve built, the programs we’ve launched and the new ways we’ve boosted our employee satisfaction, but it goes without saying that there’ve been some bumps along the way. We’ll show you what works for us and what doesn’t to help you propel your team to excellence. This should help you with higher eNPS scores, a reduction in voluntary turnout rate, and recruiting top performers. Most importantly, it will create a space where your employees can be their authentic selves, feel empowered, and have the right resources to develop and grow.

So, let’s kick things off and delve into the four HR trends to watch in 2023.

1. Win-Win-Win for Flexible Work

There’s no question that organizations offering flexible work schedules are seen as current and in line with today’s culture of work-life balance, which is a big draw for new hires. But how do we manage this flexibility? First, we empower our people leaders to have open discussions with their teams and employees to determine their optimal working environment. We set parameters, of course, and asked that all teams have one in-office day per week to maintain community, build relationships, and reinforce our company culture. But we also knew we didn’t want to force a set schedule. Giving this ownership and autonomy to our employees allowed for a smoother transition from remote to hybrid work, but more importantly, it increased productivity and satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that our employees only come into the office just once a week or that everyone must work 9 am to 5 pm — we know that it’s essential to fit work into your life, and it’s not about sacrificing your time, relationships, or life goals to the grind. If our employees are excelling and meeting their objectives while content in their space, we are more than pleased to allow it.

The challenge for leaders is ensuring that employees manage their time effectively and reach their targets. Checking in with them regularly to learn what they’re focusing on and how they’re doing plays a key role in understanding if their current working style is effective. Happy employees are always more productive, so let’s create a work schedule that increases those odds. Flexibility also includes not passing judgment on employees for taking their vacation days, using mental health time off, or needing last-minute sick days. Promoting your hybrid working style through job postings or social media will attract and retain top talent from across the province, country, and globe. And for my eco-conscience readers (which I hope you all are), an added bonus of flexible working is that you’ll be helping the environment through fewer carbon emissions from commuting and helping your employees’ wallets by eliminating travel expenses. A win for the organization, a win for employees, and a win for the environment, right?

2. Optimizing HR through AI

Artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly resourceful tool to increase efficiency and leverage automation in all fields of work. But how could this ever-evolving tool impact HR? For Purpose Advisor Solutions, it’s through a human capital management (HCM) software that uses AI and machine learning to optimize our HR process, giving us more time to focus on our KPIs. With many options on the market, it’s crucial that you find the right software that fits your business needs, budget, desired reporting and analytical features, and integration with any existing systems and apps your company uses. A little over a year ago, we switched to Dayforce Ceridian, which has quite a bit of backend setup work and maintenance. But once the automation was created, it’s been a game-changer for us.

In terms of recruiting, internally and externally, we’ve leveraged AI capabilities to match candidates with the most suitable job opportunities based on their qualifications, skills, and preferences. By scanning resumes and identifying the best-suited candidates based on specific parameters, we streamlined the whole process and saved so much time for our recruiters, allowing them to make better use of their time! We’ve also automated our onboarding process for collecting paperwork, ensuring compliance, and reducing missed steps — we all know there are a lot of steps that go into onboarding just one employee.

The reduction in administrative workload, especially the AI chatbot that helps employees change their personal information, submit time-off requests, or simply find their pay statements, has been a blessing for our HR team. Still, one of the main reasons for maximizing AI capabilities in HR is the predictive analytics on employee satisfaction, performance metrics, turnover, and engagement. This will help your organization pinpoint the areas of opportunity and to make data-driven strategies. Bottom line, get yourself an HCM. It’ll be well worth the investment!

3. Making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion a Permanent Fixture

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) shouldn’t be a trend; it should be a staple focus at every company. However, I felt it important to include it here as it needs to come into play in all of your HR objectives. It’s important for Purpose Advisor Solutions that our employees can be their authentic selves and that the organization continuously assesses and addresses the management of DEI.

But where to start? First, the HR and leadership teams should assess the current state of things by gathering data on the demographic makeup of the workforce. This includes the representation of the leadership team and reviewing the current policies relating to DEI, like recruitment and hiring procedures, performance and promotions, to identify any potential bias or areas of concern. With this data, you can prioritize the issues identified and develop an action plan to address them. At Purpose Advisor Solutions, we see the importance of offering education to our employees on understanding DEI and unconscious bias to ensure that all of us are promoting and fostering an equitable working environment. Holding leaders accountable and encouraging employees to express their ideas and perspectives fairly across all ages, genders, and races, calling out any discrimination and bias will be a key component to strengthening your company’s inclusivity.

Simple ways to ensure people feel included is by internally recognizing all important religious and cultural events like Diwali, Orthodox Easter, Passover, and Lunar New Year. You can also celebrate important historical events with social events. For example, one of our employees hosted a dumpling cooking class to celebrate Asian Heritage month! Embracing diversity, ensuring equity, and investing in inclusion will hands down be the most rewarding focus for your HR team this year and beyond. But don’t just assume your company is being inclusive; put the policies and programs in place to lead this evolution of thought.

4. The “Well”-ness of Your Workforce

Most people define their life’s success as being happy and healthy. So, why wouldn’t we want to ensure happiness and health inside our workspace? Through planning and execution, we need to ensure our employees’ health and wellness are being looked out for and for them to know that we are continually modernizing our approach. It starts with improving employee engagement, where employees feel physically, emotionally, and mentally fit. If you touch on those three areas in improving the quality of employee experience, it will translate to superior work and better retention.

So, what exactly do you do? Start by recruiting employees who want to help organize or lead events virtually or in the office, such as lunchtime fitness classes, morning meditations, cooking classes, or even fitness challenges. Having your own employees who are passionate about fitness and health leading events will boost attendance (because who doesn’t want to support their work-bestie?) and will reinforce the company culture of health. At Purpose Advisor Solutions, we’ve also hired external speakers to give workshops on gut health, recognizing burnout, and understanding psychology. We find it best to have health and wellness events every 2–3 months and create them around nationally known health promotion days to educate and raise awareness. Wellness also comes from ensuring your organization offers wellness and health benefits that align with your people’s needs. For Purpose Advisor Solutions, that was by offering our employees a Lifestyle Spending account that they can use at their discretion on various things relating to fitness, pet care, medical services, and even vacationing. And by covering all allowable health benefits. But we know that not all companies can support these benefits coverage, so finding a budget-friendly way to incorporate health and wellness activities into your regular programming will be an asset to offsetting other shortcomings in your health and benefits package.

-Melanie Emberly is an Employee Experience Coordinator at Purpose Unlimited

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