Top 5 Future of Work Priorities for HR Leaders in 2023

Alice Vigneron

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past months, tremendous changes are happening, impacting the future of work: A competitive talent market, a power shift between employers and employees, a high employee turnover, a weary workforce and a tension to control costs. In this first article, we have compiled 5 future of work priorities to set in your strategy to remain competitive and attractive in 2023. So where do we start? Let’s begin:

Why is it so important to watch for future work trends in 2023?

A number of terms on the internet have emerged giving us a taste of what the future of work will look like. Keywords such as "the great resignation", “the disconnection crisis”, "quiet quitting", "acting your wage ", "career cushioning" or even "rage applying" reflect the current market climate.

According to Aon’s Employee Mindset Study(1), only 37% of Irish professionals are feeling engaged at work and about a third of them are likely to seek new employment in the next 12 months.

One thing is sure: the future of work will be very different from the way things have happened in the past. Leaders ought to reflect on what the labour market actually is to adapt to a new organisational environment. It’s time to embrace change to ensure success.


Priority #1: Address pay fairness benefits during inflation times

How about addressing the inflation-related needs of your employees?

  • Above-market pay and benefits are the number one driver to attract employees to an organisation according to the consulting firm Aon(2).

Employers should consider raising wages during times of inflation, ensuring their employees’ financial means to keep up with the rising cost of living and stay competitive.

According to a salary guide from the Robert Walters recruitment firm(3) published in the Irish Times:

  • 66% of employees said they will leave their job if they are not rewarded fairly
  • 82% feel “very confident” about job opportunities in their sector this year
  • Only 1/3 of businesses said they’re increasing pay to keep up with rising inflation

Increasing wages help retain your workforce. Employees are likely to stay with an employer who provides them with a wage that is competitive with the current cost of living. This will help them keep their purchasing power and maintain their quality of life.

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Priority #2: Foster a sense of purpose through leadership

Fostering a sense of purpose can be different for all employees. It is often linked to ensuring your employees feel connected to their work and the company they are part of. This is because employees are more likely to stay with a company they feel has a strong mission they can get behind.

While 94% of candidates search the culture of a company before accepting a role, more than two third of candidates feel they have been misled about the company culture during the onboarding process. This results in 59% of employees feeling demotivated at work due to poor culture fit, according to a report about Workplace Culture by Robert Walters(4).

Leaders have an important part to play here. In fact, they are the second top driver(5) of employee engagement. According to Amanda Shantz from Trinity College Dublin(6) other than the fact that leaders have to be ethical, they have to be seen as such. In her article, she interviews Katie Bailey who talks about the gaps between what managers and their employees think. While 76% of managers said that they have a compelling vision about leadership, only 47% of employees agreed.

“As leaders have a significant influence over an employee’s job satisfaction and career progression, they must be reliable and keep their promises to team members.” Dr Colin Hughes, head of the Graduate Business School at Technological University Dublin in an article(7) written by the Irish Times in association with Great Place to Work®️.

Given the prevailing competitive business climate, coupled with a growing determination of employees to work for a higher purpose, the need for leaders to cultivate strong ethical climates has never before been so pressing,” Amanda states.

Priority #3: Offer flexible working schedules and remote opportunities

Flexible working schedules and remote work opportunities help employees take back control of their work-life balance. It is a way to attract diverse employee candidates and make your employees feel more trusted and valued by their companies than those who don’t have this option. If you feel valued and supported by your company, you're much more likely to remain loyal to the organisation and stay with the company long-term.

Leaders need to support employees and show that they care. They also need to show them that they trust them,” says Dr Colin Hughes talking about hybrid working(8).

Last but not least, many managers see their employees' productivity levels increase when on a flexible work schedule. Higher productivity often leads to increased work performance and higher profit for the company.

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Priority #4: Offer a mentorship experience

As a mentor would reveal the talents of their mentee, employees want to feel understood, supported, and empowered by their managers. This extends beyond the annual performance reviews or training and development schemes companies often have. To grow, stretch and improve, they require regular feedback.

In a series of employee surveys(9), Gallup found that planned feedback signals to employees that their opinions are valued and that as an organisation, you are willing to listen. Employees who report their manager is willing to listen to their work-related problems are 62% less likely to be burned out(10), coming with an increase in employee engagement, productivity, and overall morale.

Think of your employee in your work environment as a seed in the garden. Observe where they thrive, acknowledge what they do well, help them adjust, coach and provide training on how to improve. Employees don't just want to be told what works and what doesn't.

Honesty and integrity have become paramount in exchanges. According to the LIFT Leadership Index(11), honesty and integrity were the qualities that felt the most in need of development to raise the standards of leadership in Ireland. Moreover, the study found that 91% of people believe elected representatives should be required to complete training on good leadership before taking up office(12).

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Priority #5: Create a diverse and collaborative environment

Last but not least, employees are increasingly seeking a collaborative work environment as organisations are experiencing an increasing disconnection between employees(13). Employees thrive in collaborative environments where they can work with their peers and get feedback from one another. Encourage collaboration among team members to get the absolute most out of them. They are in high demand for a more open and diverse workplace. They appreciate and embrace different perspectives and cultures, so make sure to foster diverse and inclusive workplaces for all.

The future of work will focus on collaboration – one that may have been more difficult during the pandemic if it weren’t for the comfort of technology. Working from home should not become a curse, make sure they feel involved and part of the organisation.

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About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the global authority on workplace culture. We help organizations quantify their culture and produce better business results by creating a high-trust work experience for all employees. We recognise Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies and the Best Workplaces™ in more than 60 countries. To join the thousands of companies that have committed to building high-trust company cultures that help them attract, retain and take care of their people, contact us about getting Certified today.