Click here to see latest events

New Year, New Problems – or maybe not?

If you’re feeling anything similar to how I feel, 2022 managed to go by very quickly whilst also seeming to be a very long and tiring year with many challenges. A phenomenon people tell me is called ‘getting older’. All jokes aside, within the HR world alone there did seem to be numerous challenges faced by all businesses which consumed valuable time and resources.

Let’s touch on a couple of these; recruitment was a large headache for businesses, with a real struggle to fill roles with desired candidates. We know first-hand from our own clients that long term absence continues to be a challenge across all sectors, in particular managing the relationship between work-life and an employee’s overall wellbeing (including mental health).

Unfortunately, it looks like these two particular concerns are here to stay and no doubt throughout the year we will continue to support clients in tackling these issues and allowing businesses to focus on growth (or resilience depending on sector) across 2023.

We cannot write a piece about 2023 without mentioning the term ‘crisis’, and in particular the cost of living crisis that most employees will be facing. Recent figures from the Royal College of Physicians suggests that over 50% of the population have seen the cost of living crisis negatively impact their health. This does mean that businesses may have to consider measures for ensuring the wellbeing of employees on a financial, physical and emotional level. Examples of this could be Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), private medical benefits or as some businesses are already looking to do, increases to wages above normal levels or one off ‘cost-of-living payments’.

Over 2022, the term ‘Quiet Quitting’ also became more popular as a way of describing disengaged employees doing the bare minimum work required until better opportunities arose. Employees may have been too nervous to change employers due to the uncertain times, meaning it is likely that businesses may start to find reductions in productivity from more long serving workforces. This makes it more important than ever to understand your staff, what they value and how to get the best out of them.

Finally, if I were to make a prediction for HR in 2023 it would be that this will be, to date, one of the most difficult years for managers and supervisors. We’ve already discussed the challenges that businesses will be facing and your managers will be the people trying to implement business strategy and satisfy shareholders in potentially difficult economic times. They will be doing all this whilst also trying to provide employees with a good work-life balance, sense of purpose and career opportunities. Therefore, more than ever it will be crucial to make sure that your managers and supervisors are equipped to deal with the challenges they will face and know that they have the support from business leaders when it comes to making tough decisions or having the difficult conversations.

Ultimately none of these problems are new, however the current climate is highlighting them specifically and exposing weaker areas within a business.

Enough of the gloom though, let’s end on some areas of opportunity. Getting the HR function right in a period of uncertainty is a great way to secure loyalty from employees and ensure that they are with you for the long haul. With it being hard to recruit, it allows employers to develop their own employees, train them and allow them to progress through the business, creating unique career paths. Finally, developments in hybrid working should allow businesses to reach further, both in the clients they service and the people they employ and could lead to some innovative strategies to develop and grow business.

As usual, our team of HR Consultants is here to support ProAktive clients and break down any developments in employment law into simple and practical advice. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team if you’re ever in need.

By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) Assoc CIPD

HR Business Partner | CQI & IRCA ISO 9001: Lead Auditor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *