HR’s Focus in 2023: Role, Experience, DEI, Digitization & Skills Gaps

Trends 2023

During 2023, employers will spend more time and energy reexamining HR’s role, the employee experience, DEI, digitization and the struggle to close skills gaps.

The HR Trends Report 2023, from HR consultancy McLean & Company, says these trends have appeared even as HR’s effectiveness and role as a strategic partner have become stronger, said William Howard, McLean’s director of HR research and advisory services.

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What Are the Trends About?

HR professionals in 2023 will need to monitor and manage increasing stress and burnout levels among both employees and HR team members, McLean said. They will also have to fulfill their roles even as they recruit and develop a company’s employee experience–two top priorities for organizations in the new year. 

In terms of employee experience, McLean said that organizations will examine how work gets done, a shift from their previous focus on where work gets done. “For this shift, an employee value proposition that effectively communicates organizational efforts will be more important than ever,” McLean said.

On DEI, the survey noted that employers’ performance has been lackluster, a step back from the upward slope seen in 2020. So, the report observed, “work must be done to reinforce the foundations of effective DEI activities to maintain the progress made over the past several years.”

Meanwhile, while many businesses have seen benefits from HR digitization, others still face roadblocks in implementing solutions, the report said. As a result, HR digitization in 2023 will require “a customized approach” if it’s going to realize strategic value for both HR and the wider organization. 

In terms of skills gaps, the most pressing areas HR professionals must address next year will be those involving first-time leaders, McLean said. These managers, the report said, can lack the critical leadership and strategic competencies needed to succeed in their new roles. So, it’s necessary to prioritize their development.

Recently, McLean recommended that HR operations be structured in ways that will make them more efficient and effective. In that study, the company found that only about 37% of non-HR professionals see their HR team as a partner in the planning and execution of organizational strategy. 

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