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Podcast | HR Trends EVERYBODY Needs To Know For 2023

​People don’t value friendships at work anymore! Did you know that? We didn’t until we read the latest research, but that certainly changes the game for HR and people teams in 2023 and beyond. 

​So does the fact that 59% are stressed by their monetary situation, just 14% think their feedback drives change and hiring freezes or redundancies are meaning HR teams need to do more with less.

Emma Leonis-Hughes (Client Executive Director – HR Transformation, LACE Partners) and Carly Poulson (People + Culture Partner, Unleashed) joined us to discuss all of this, their recent HR research and more.

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Running order

0:00 Intro to the episode, Emma and Carly
1:50 Supporting employes under financial pressure
8:19 Approaching that difficult conversation with employees
12:29 Company culture’s role has massively changed.
19:04 What the reports tell us about the culture issue.
24:49 Does HR have an issue with feedback?
37:10 LACE Partners’ HR’s One Big Thing Report
43:43 Unleashed’s latest research from people leaders.
51:01 Building skills when we can’t buy or borrow.

Six lessons on HR Trends for 2023

1. Financial support can start with awareness, and doesn’t always cost money

“Finances are now the top cause of stress outside of work” – Emma Leonis-Hughes.

One-off payments are to be commended, but they can feel like short-term fixes, and not every company can offer them. Emma recommended taking a more holistic approach and driving awareness of what’s available:

“A lot of the time, our teams don’t know what’s there… if you’ve got those facilities [to support people], just communicate that.”

And there are lots of ways companies can support us that don’t cost money! Carly gave the example of financial education, something we’re not taught in school but is a crucial topic HR or L&D teams could support us with.

“Start by offering education! Ask your people what they want and what support they need. Go out to your team and ask them. Come up with solutions, but don’t do it in isolation, and communicate.” – Carly Poulson.

2. People experience culture differently now, and that’s okay!

“People have different needs and expectations, and we have to be comfortable with accepting that… Give people the option to engage with culture in the ways they feel comfortable.” – Carly Poulson.

People don’t always need to have the same experiences, we work at different times, in different ways and have different ideas of what culture means. And if we can accept that while providing clarity around expectations, we’ll provide better experiences. 

3. People in high-turnover companies think it’s less worthwhile to get to know their co-workers

“I’d love to understand what’s driving that. If that’s toxic behaviour, completely get that… But if it’s a fast-paced environment, the average turnover is two years, and it’s not because of leaders, that’s really sad if people genuinely feel like that!”

“The HR function has a real job in addressing that because there’s so much value in people feeling like they’re connected.” – Emma Leonis-Hughes.

4. HR has an issue with collecting, actioning and communicating feedback

“HR thinks it does a great job because it’s asking for a net promoter score – yay! But it doesn’t actually tell you that much… it’s the why. And the only way you get to the why is if you ask people.” – Emma Leonis-Hughes.

Measuring these scores is important, but it has to be a starting point for gaining qualitative research!

Go through the numbers, respond with follow-up questions, give people a platform to share more insights with you.

“I’m a big believer in transparency of communication. If you’ve got those scores and some anonymised comments, use them and present them back to your team. Tell them what’s happening and be open. It’s going to give you so much more insight afterwards.” – Carly Poulson. 

5. LACE Partners’ research: Talent attraction is the top priority

“What is the main people challenge you’ll face over the next 12 to 24 months?” – that’s the question the LACE team asked 30 Chief People Officers across 30 different organisations.

And two top answers were:

  • Talent attraction – 36% said it was their one big thing.
  • Flexible and hybrid working – which is somewhat surprising given how long we’ve been grappling with this now.
  • Creating agile organisations, nailing the employee value proposition and developing resilience also made their way into the answers.

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6. Unleashed research: Enabling performance is a priority for people teams and organisations

This was an exclusive for us because Carly shared some insights from research that hasn’t even been published yet!

They surveyed their communities and newsletter audience, asking for the top challenges of people or HR teams and organisations overall. Here are some of the top level insights, and I’d recommend connecting with Carly, so you can find out when the full report is live.

Top 3 HR/people priorities:

  • Enabling incredible performance.
  • Supporting growth and development in their teams.
  • Developing great leaders and managers.

The following were deemed very important to organisations:

  • 1st: Enabling incredible performance.
  • 2nd: Strong team communication.
  • 3rd: Developing great leaders and managers.
  • 4th: Attracting top talent. 

Also nearly 70% of respondents don’t feel like they have the capacity or capability to tackle people and culture challenges in their organisations…