What to Watch For in 2023: AI, More AI, VR Learning and Upskilling

HCM Vision

New Year’s didn’t come with a lot of drama this year. As 2022 slid into 2023, most people were simply glad to see something like normal edge back into their work lives. As for the changes we’ve seen recently, sometimes past is prologue. 

This year’s most important trends are clearly based on existing products that have made steady progress over the course of time. So as you consider our trends of 2023, don’t be surprised if you get a sense of déjà vu.

Generative AI

If you haven’t heard of ChatGPT and its creator, the artificial intelligence lab OpenAI, you haven’t been paying attention. Since the app was launched in November 2022, it’s had technology professionals around the world chattering about its potential.

What makes it different? ChatGPT takes in raw data and uses it to create a clean result – things like job postings, or content marketing or a video of life in a particular workplace.

As of January 2023, 21.1 million users per month were visiting OpenAI’s website. The page for ChatGPT alone generated more than a million visits less than a week after its launch, according to business intelligence company DemandSage. That’s serious traffic. With a $10 billion investment from Microsoft coming in, it’s clear that a number of ChatGPT’s use cases will be put to the test – including those from HR.

Of course, often the bloom falls off the technology rose fairly quickly. But even with its most basic capabilities, ChatGPT is sure to attract continued interest from professionals and manager throughout the organization – including HR.

Expanded Use of AI

While ChatGPT’s creative capabilities has got people thinking, more established AI solutions are helping HR departments get work done in the nearer term. HR teams have already expanded AI’s use beyond automation and candidate screening. During 2023, look for AI-driven data collection and analysis to play a greater role in administrating benefits, implementing workplace policies and managing DEI initiatives.

People-First Approach

Stress is rampant in today’s workplace. A study by AFLAC found that 59% of U.S. workers experienced at least moderate burnout during 2022, consistent with what they experienced at the height of the pandemic.

That makes creating a people-first strategy – which addresses the mental, physical and financial needs of employees – even more crucial than it’s been in the past. It makes sense when you consider the benefits that come with it: increased job satisfaction, improved recruiting and better employee retention, plus better productivity, employee engagement and collaboration.

Earned Wage Access

With so many employees living paycheck-to-paycheck and dealing with inflation at the same time, many employers are embracing earned wage access as a way to pay workers more quickly.

Overall, there’s no sign that the growth of EVA will slow down during 2023. For one thing, providing ready access to earned wages is a growing concern for employers. For another, businesses have discovered that offering EWA brings non-monetary advantages with it, such as increases in engagement and retention, and can also can be an effective recruiting tool

Virtual Reality Learning

Technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality have attracted roughly $4.1 billion in investments as companies seek more innovative and engaging ways to improve L&D and collaboration.

In the midst of that wave, training with VR has become mainstream at many organizations.  By helping users step through real-life scenarios and simulations, experts say, VR makes learning more immersive and effective. It seems to work: PwC studies show that people learn with VR four times faster than they do in the classroom, and grow nearly three times more confident in applying the skills they’ve learned.

Upskilling Employees and Leaders

In order to succeed, organizations have to focus on developing the knowledge of their employees and leaders. Employees need to gain the skills they need to perform effectively, while leaders need the skills necessary to manage an evolving workforce.

To address that, look for employers to use technologies such as VR and personalized learning more aggressively in their L&D programs.

Employee Experience

Nearly half of all HR leaders surveyed by Gartner chose managing the employee experience as their top priority for 2023. Yet, almost as many said they do not have compelling career paths to help create the experience required to attract and retain workers. Organizations will spend more time developing career pathways and aligning jobs with opportunities that will position employees to advance.

Image: iStock

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