The world of work has changed a lot in the last few years, and employees are constantly keeping employers and human resources teams on their toes as they demand better work benefits and higher wages.
Amid macroeconomic problems, employees have been playing hardball with their bosses with the majority of workers demanding better pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries increased by 5.1% over the 12 months ending in September 2022.
Despite the pay rise, inflation for the recorded period in September was still higher at 8.2%, only coming down recently as the Federal Reserve aggressively hiked up interest rates.
Employees are not only demanding better pay, but a slew of workplace benefits including remote work, schedule flexibility, and retirement contributions have millions of workers changing jobs against the backdrop of a looming recession.
In a recent report by Robert Half, around 46% of more than 2,500 working professionals surveyed are currently looking for a new job or plan on making a career change in the first quarter of 2023.
Among those seeking new opportunities are young professionals, those aged 18 to 25 years, working parents, employees that have been working at the same company for two to four years, and human resources professionals.
As the landscape continuously changes, and workers seek out newer and more exciting opportunities, how can HR prepare themselves for the evolving labor market of the future?
Promoting Employee Wellness And Health
The pandemic and remote work helped millions of employees understand the value of flexibility and having more time to themselves. In the same breath, it also made many people realize that by not taking the necessary time to rest and unwind, work-related stress and anxiety can lead to severe burnout.
In the coming year, we could see more employers care for their employees' wellness and health, especially when it comes to job-related stress that’s causing many of them to feel burned out.
Workers want to feel happy and want to know that their bosses care, so it’s possible that more job seekers will be looking for companies that promote employee well-being, but also ensure employees receive the necessary rest during the year.
Flexibility In The Workplace
If there is one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s how we can become more flexible with our work-life schedules. This year we will see more companies taking on a more flexible approach to their employees’ schedules, including the time they spend working in the office or from home.
Not only has a growing number of employees been begging to work remotely more full-time, but some are now opting for a more hybrid scheme, which will see them working in the office every so often. Promoting flexible working hours and schedules will be a big plus for companies looking to attract top talent.
Creating A More Human-Focused Work Environment
Technology has enabled employees to be better connected than ever before, and while it provides on-demand solutions for team members, it can often leave many feeling somewhat disconnected from the rest of the office.
Not only has technology wedged itself between employees and their employers, but pressure from management has caused employees to feel increasingly demotivated, dehumanizing the entire office experience and company culture.
This year we will see more offices focusing on the human element of the office and the company to ensure that it can promote more inclusivity among peers, and also help promote healthy work environments for all types of workers.
Instead of hiring from outside the company, HR teams will look toward existing employees to fill open or vacant positions. This not only helps make the entire process a lot simpler and easier, but it helps to encourage employees to know that there is room for growth and career development.
Internalizing positions among existing employees will help management realize the potential of the team and how employees can grow when they are offered new and better positions.
Internal promotion will not only help the company fill positions easier but there are also some financial benefits to it, as it can often be seen as more budget-friendly to hire from within the company than advertising for new candidates.
Tech Will Help Advance HR
Technology is already found in nearly every part of the business and office, and in the coming year, we could see more tech-enabled features and tools make their way into the human resources department.
These sorts of tools will help HR teams source the right talent pool for open positions, provide more transparent reporting on employees, and enable them to have better access to market insight.
Technology will play a big part in how HR manages employee well-being, oversees employee leave or holidays, and facilitates employee engagement. Technology will have a more prominent role in HR, while team leaders take more ownership of how to manage and motivate staffers at the same time through these tools.
As much of the business undergoes some changes, HR will also see some new trends emerge in the coming year, as the labor market shifts and employee demand constantly changes.
For much of the new year, it’s important that employers stay on top of new trends, and how these will impact their company, existing employees, and any potential future growth. Having more room for improvement, and allowing for more versatility will help HR teams find the right pool of talent amid a tight labor market.