The pandemic has transformed work over the past three years in ways few expected. It normalized remote work, created a shortage of critical workers, and led to organizations where employee mental health and the need for a healthy work-life balance are critical to retention and engagement.
Regardless of your industry, what does 2023 likely have in store for you in your workplace?
There are welcome and unwelcome developments, along with some potentially confusing ones.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
Regardless of whether the United States slides into a recession, there will be be more widespread job cuts than what we have seen so far in industries like technology, media and finance.
“We are starting to see more layoffs in other industries. I expect layoffs to increase in most sectors,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, as layoffs in 2021 and 2022 were at their lowest levels since 1993.
However, the labor market has cooled off somewhat – but it’s still running hot, with a high level of vacancies per jobseeker.
The overall hiring slowdown is likely to continue, with employers more likely to implement performance improvement plans for underperforming employees and in-work layoffs, Challenger predicts.
And, of course, should there be a real recession, the layoffs would cut much deeper.
While there is still tension between managers and employees over how many days people should be physically present at work, hybrid work and work flexibility are not going away.
“Today, the majority of employers (66%) allow hybrid working, and another 9% allow employees to work from home every day,” according to benefits consultancy Mercer.
Still, this could be the year employers actually start enforcing their minimum work days, Challenger said.
Just this week, for example, Disney CEO Bob Iger instructed employees to return to the company’s offices four days a week starting March 1.
Frontline workers like retail workers, health workers and security guards whose jobs require them to be onsite at all times may be offered other forms of flexibility, said Emily Rose McRae, senior director of research at Gartner, a workplace consulting firm.
This could include being given a regular schedule, as opposed to “on call” work where they don’t know their schedule in advance, McRae said. It could also mean getting more paid vacations, or that front-line workers could choose not to work certain shifts or certain days.
McRae said she’s seeing more employers offering so-called “proactive recovery options” this year.
The idea is to actively help people recover before they are completely exhausted not only from work but also from the upheaval in their lives caused by the pandemic and the social and political upheavals of recent years.
“The big change is realizing that our workforce is in trouble,” McRae said.
Proactive recovery can take many forms. Some employers may offer days off — whether it is a full week or just one day per week for a set period of time. Or it could simply mean branding a specific work day as a non-meeting day.
IT pros will continue Winning the day at work when it comes to who gets the biggest raises and bonuses.
“Most companies anticipate that the talent market will remain as competitive or even more competitive for at least the first half of this year,” said Tony Guadagni, senior principal in Gartner’s HR practice. “They will do what they have to do to attract this critical talent.”
Increases in performance gains (3.9%) and total compensation (4.3%) expected by employers this year are the highest in 15 years, according to workplace consultancy Mercer. With inflation still above these levels, you might not feel like the raise makes much of a difference in terms of what you can afford – unless your skills are in high demand.
It used to be difficult to find out if you were being paid competitively for your talent because companies weren’t open about what they paid others and colleagues didn’t talk about their pay.
But now that New York City, the state of California and a handful of other states and localities have implemented pay transparency rules for job postings, in 2023 it will be easier to confirm that you’re being paid fairly compared to your teammates. which is offered when you are looking for a new job.
However, these laws are very new and companies are not applying the new rules consistently. For example, some recent job postings have advertised unhelpful salary ranges — think $50,000 to $200,000.
In addition to the major benefits that employers typically offer full-time employees (e.g. subsidized health insurance, 401(k) match, etc.), they also offer a number of secondary benefits or perks, such as: B. Tuition reimbursement, supplemental life insurance, a grant for home office care, or financial coaching.
Gartner and Mercer note that more and more companies are allowing their employees to decide how best to spend these perks by allocating them a fixed amount of money for the secondary perks that matter most to them.
Your company may be “hiring silent workers” this year if it hasn’t already.
It is a misleading term as it is neither silent nor includes it actual attitude.
Rather, your company will want to use existing employees—possibly you, if you have the skills—on the employer’s highest priority projects this year.
This could be a great opportunity if you hate being confined to the same duties of your official job or if you want to develop new skills and work with new people in your company.
It can also be very frustrating, especially when a company simply rotates all employees to ensure understaffed, critical tasks are being handled by someone with the appropriate skills.
Anyhow, “quiet hiring” could offer a first taste of a broader trend likely to unfold over the next few years that could spell the end of “jobs” — and particularly job descriptions as we know them, according to the consultancy Deloitte.
That’s because many employers are looking to transition from a job-based to a skills-based organization so they can adapt quickly to change, address talent shortages and provide their employees with opportunities for professional development, said Arthur Mazor, a leading global executive in the human capital practice by Deloitte.
So instead of looking at you as the holder of Job X, your company is likely looking at you as someone with a set of skills that can be used in many ways.
Early adopters can be found in a variety of industries this year, Mazor said — from software makers to automakers to financial services and healthcare.
Even in companies that have not yet formalized the change to a competence-based organization, the change is still taking place. According to Deloitte, around 70% of employees state that they already work part-time.
A recent example cited in Deloitte’s latest work report comes from M&T Bank, a leading lender to small business administration. The chief talent officer told the firm: “When the Paycheck Protection Program rolled out during the pandemic, we had to stop thinking about jobs and start thinking about skills. …By focusing on skills versus jobs — and mobilizing talent with speed and agility — we outperformed our peers.”
It’s too early to determine exactly how this will affect employees, in terms of incentivizing a move to a new project or pinching for another department, how an employee’s work will be evaluated and rewarded, and how a lot of say he gets in the assigned projects.
But done right, Mazor said, employees should have the opportunity to share their skills and the areas they want to develop in an internal database before being matched to a new job.
“This is not a stealth effort. It includes worker input.”