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Spotlight on 2023 Workforce Trends

Spotlight on 2023 Workforce Trends

2023 is already shaping up to be a big year, both in terms of economic performance and workplace development. Businesses of all sizes have to consider rapidly evolving workforce trends that affect the decisions of individual workers and the policies that managers should embrace to keep their employees happy and productive.

Today, let’s break down some of the most important workforce trends of 2023.

Quiet Hiring

"Quiet quitting" describes a trend in the workforce where employees don't outright quit their job, but they stop taking their duties seriously or giving 100% effort. In situations like these, companies suffer greatly. They don't lose personnel and must continue to pay worker salaries, but they miss out on vital experience, effort, and productivity.

In response, many employers are now using “quiet hiring” to offset some of these losses. In a nutshell, quiet hiring involves:

  • Focusing on internal talent mobility by redeploying employees where they are needed
  • Providing upskilling opportunities for employees so they can meet new, evolving needs in their businesses
  • Leveraging additional hiring and freelance work opportunities, like gig workers, to get projects done on a case-by-case basis

With quiet hiring, employers are looking to show employees that workplace motivation is a two-way street.

Hybrid Schedule Flexibility

At the same time, many business leaders are now facing a hard truth: many employees expect to be able to work remotely part-time or full-time.

75% of workers around the globe think that a remote work model is normal. Remote productivity might just be the future of work. It’s one of the most important workplace trends, given its positive impacts on employee burnout, work-life balance, company culture, and more.

There are many reasons for this, but the change was primarily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers became used to remote work during the pandemic and are unwilling to return to the office full-time after finding that working from home benefited their schedules and mental health.

Many employers find that it’s actually better to lean into hybrid or flexible schedules for their employees. Not only does remote work provide employees with what they want, fostering greater employee loyalty, but it also helps to save money on real estate. With fewer people in the office throughout the work week, businesses can rent less office space while still completing the same amount of work as they did previously.

On top of that, leaning into hybrid work schedules lets businesses hire working parents and other individuals with unique schedules. All in all, the trend toward hybrid schedule flexibility is a positive one for workers and employers alike.

However, companies will also need to extend schedule flexibility to frontline workers. The disparity between frontline and office workers can lead to negative elements in company culture and the labor market. Frontline workers often have different or better employee experiences, as well. Thus, HR leaders will seek to attract Millennials and Gen Z workers with more flexible schedules across the board, not just for blue-collar professions.

Pushes Against or Toward DEI

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies have received a lot of pushback over the last few years, with many employees stating that DEI efforts are divisive at best. Despite this, many organizations are committed to continuing DEI policies. For example, they may:

  • Make group-specific safe spaces based on demographic characteristics like race, ethnicity, or gender
  • Using new communication and incentive policies to motivate allyship
  • Upskilling specific employees with unique or targeted guidance, ensuring that workers from underrepresented demographics or groups have the same opportunities as their parts

It remains to be seen how DEIinitiatives will ultimately affect the workplace across different industries. For now, many companies are committed to maintaining DEI momentum, as reductions in DEI policies are known to reduce workplace inclusion, trust, and engagement — all bad signs for organizations trying to thrive in the competitive modern market.

Gen Z Recruitment and Industry Shifts

Gen Z is finally entering the workforce en masse, and workers from Generation Z are the least likely to remain in a job that they are unhappy with. This can be due to a wide variety of factors, like feeling unappreciated, values not aligning with their employers, or insufficient salaries. Overall, this attitude has contributed significantly to job shortages and the Great Resignation.

In any case, the willingness of Gen Z workers to jump ship and go to a competing company has had a positive impact on workplace conditions for workers of all ages. Companies must now compete to offer attractive benefits, better salaries, and healthy workplace cultures to keep Gen Z workers in their chairs.

This may have a positive impact on the work environment and work trends for all workers, however. In the coming years, expect a greater emphasis on employees’ health, a more competitive job market, and a focus on providing job respondents in the talent pool with opportunities to learn new skills and explore different career paths.

Solutions for Skills Gaps

Right now, approximately 64% of managers don’t believe employees can keep pace with future skill needs. In other words, many employees don’t have the requisite skills or talents they need to maximize productivity at their workplaces.

This has led many managers to look for novel solutions. Indeed, many businesses now offer upskilling or reskilling educational opportunities for their employees.

Not only does this counteract the quiet quitting described earlier, but it also enables employers to train their employees for specific positions, tasks, or tools. They don't have to look outside the organization for someone who knows general information, then teach them very specialized information once they are in the company.

This is a broad benefit for organizations of all sizes. Companies that invest in workforce training usually see greater employee retention and higher employee loyalty. This, in turn, could be beneficial, given the lower-than-average loyalty of Gen Z workers.

Higher Reliance on Contingent Workers

At the same time, more companies may rely on freelance workers or so-called "gig workers." These contingent workers are now everywhere, with certain sources indicating that there are now 60 million freelance workers in the US alone.

Freelance workers pursue short-term or contract work for a variety of companies. They operate in many different industries and skill sets, like writing, web development, accounting, coding, and much more. Companies have the option to seek out the perfect gig workers for their needs without having to pay them a regular salary or benefits: a major advantage for organizations that are strapped for cash.

At the same time, freelance employees often choose these careers because they get maximum freedom. They choose who they work for, how much money they charge for their services, and when they work. Many of them also have full schedule flexibility, enabling them to work from home 24/7.

This may have long-lasting consequences for the workforce overall. Since companies are now able to outsource a lot of their necessary project work to gig workers, they don't necessarily need to hire more full-time employees beyond what they already have. This is also a solution that some businesses use to overcome quiet quitting or a lack of necessary skills among their current worker bases.

Emphasis on Worker Well-Being and Mental Health

In addition to the above, many employers are now focusing on worker well-being and mental healthinitiatives, often to excellent effect. Worker well-being is vital in terms of office productivity, workforce loyalty, customer experience, and overall employee trust.

With 60% of employees reporting that they are stressed at work every day, organizations must take matters into their own hands by:

  • Leading wellness seminars
  • Leaning further into the hybrid schedule flexibility mentioned above
  • Providing employees with good benefits for their families
  • Training managers and leaders to respond to wellness concerns properly rather than dismissing them

In this day and age, a workforce that has a healthy, positive relationship with mental health concerns is more likely to attract top talent compared to a company with an old-school, “tough it out” approach.

Recruitment Transparency in Response to AI

AI is guaranteed to disrupt many industries and workplace cultures, but it’s already being heavily leveraged in the recruitment process. However, unfortunate ethical implications have become urgent, as AI recruitment tools are known to introduce bias into the recruitment process.

This has driven a call for increased transparency when using AI during recruitment. A recent law in New York City limits the use of AI recruiting tools for employers and requires all organizations to submit to annual bias audits plus publicly disclose hiring metrics.

This could herald an overall culture shift in how AI is used. As time goes on, 2023 may see organizations use AI as a supplementary tool rather than a driving force for things as important as recruitment, employee wellness, and marketing.

Salary Transparency

Many workers are no longer satisfied with their salaries being hidden or secured by their employers. In 2023, many more businesses now offer salary transparency rules, and many employees are demanding such rules in organizations where they are not yet in effect.

In essence, Gen Z workers share information about their salaries more readily than ever. This has put employers who previously kept salary information private in a tight spot, as they are not legally allowed to threaten employees or force them to keep salary information quiet.

Therefore, salary transparency seems to be an inevitable wave of the future. Employers will be forced to equalize salaries across different employment levels and positions.

On the bright side, this could have positive applications for individuals from underrepresented minority groups; it will be much harder for biased managers to discriminate against them in terms of salary compensation, for example.

Let Awesome CX by Transom Help You Meet Modern Challenges

Overall, 2023 will see a focus on:

  • Worker wellness, both in terms of hybrid schedule flexibility and an increased emphasis on mental health
  • Recruiting new workers from both Generation Z and the gig worker sector
  • New policies and management principles relating to AI, skill training, and DEI

Any one of these has the potential to massively change an organization’s structure or performance, but they’re all affecting the 2023 workplace simultaneously! In times like this, it can help to call in the experts.

At Awesome CS, we’re well-equipped and ready to assist with customer experience revitalization and improvement. Let our people help your brand provide new, better experiences for your customers on your website and in your products as you continue to build your business with these workforce trends.

Contact us today to learn more.


Gen Z: The workers who want it all | BBC Worklife

State of the Global Workplace Report | Gallup

Freelance Forward 2022 | Upwork

New York City AI Bias Law Charts New Territory for Employers | Bloomberg