Nine innovative strategies to tackle HR challenges in 2023

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Innovative Hr Strategies For 2023

Nearly every organisation entered 2022 with a slew of HR challenges on their agenda. From employee retention issues exacerbated by the great resignation to the friction encountered in hybrid work models, each of these challenges were unique, and traditional strategies did not prove adequate against them. However, CHROs will now be armed with the power of hindsight, which they can combine with the following innovative strategies to mitigate these challenges which are expected to persist through 2023. 

Democratise change decisions to mitigate change fatigue

If there is one word that can sum up the business landscape of the 2020s, it is change. From new work policies to altered workflows, adoption of new tools, and revamped expectations, all of these changes have resulted in significant fatigue for employees according to 45% of HR leaders.

One of the best ways to tackle this change fatigue, is to involve employees in steering decisions concerning change instead of imposing them on the workforce. Let your employees have a say in how change will be implemented, and turn change communication into group discussions.

Customise roles based on available skill sets

In a tight talent market, shortage of the right skills is HR’s top hiring challenge today. This has widened the skills gap even at leading organisations, and is beginning to impede digital transformation efforts that are crucial to thrive in today’s digital ecosystem.

One of the best ways to combat this, is to personalise career trajectories for existing employees, and customise roles based for promising candidates. This will enable organisations to move from a workforce to a skills-force paradigm, and offer lucrative career trajectories instead of jobs to prospects.

Target retention efforts at critical roles and employees

Considering that 53% organisations are witnessing higher voluntary turnover this year, it is not surprising that retention has ranked as the top challenge faced by HR leaders for 3 consecutive years. 

However, retention efforts incur real costs to the organisation – which is why it is crucial to optimise them. In other words, retention efforts must be directed at the most scarce skill sets, and highest-performing employees. This will help HR teams adopt an investment-based approach, and ensure that their retention strategies pay off.

Shift your focus from digital employee experience (EE) to total EE

Ever since the pandemic ushered the adoption of digital workplaces, organisations have made significant efforts at improving the digital experience for employees. This is also reflected in the uptick observed in the usage of the term digital employee experience (DEX) by enterprises.

However, CHROs must not forget that DEX is a part of the total employee experience, and that each step of the employee journey impacts their perception of their employer and the workplace. To this end, HR teams must conduct surveys to understand which aspect of the employee journey matters the most, and target their efforts to achieve improvements in those areas.

Implement continuous employee performance evaluation

The traditional approach to performance reviews is growing increasingly obsolete in today’s fast-moving business ecosystems, and annual reviews are not adequate for shortening employee life cycles. That’s why 95% managers are unsatisfied with these approaches, and 53% employees say that these reviews don’t motivate them.

It’s time for organisations to adopt a continuous approach to performance management, driven by 360-degree constructive feedback, and on-the-spot appraisals. Moreover, performance management must reorient to an outcomes-based approach rather than counting online hours logged by employees.

Build high trust hybrid workplaces

Hybrid workplaces may entice HR leaders to implement micro-monitoring tools like cameras and keystroke loggers, but these tools establish a relationship of distrust and disregard employee privacy. According to IDC, organisations that implement such tools will experience a 20% decrease in employee productivity.

Trust is crucial to the success of hybrid work models. That’s why, HR teams must ensure that workflows remain transparent, and that accountability is driven by ownership rather than oversight. Managers and leadership must be coached on leading with trust, and empowering self-expression at the workplace.

Offer customised benefits to employees

Through the pandemic and the great resignation, employees have had the time to reflect on their priorities, and the role of work in their life. Today, 82% expect their employer to see them as people rather than employees, and 68% want their organisation to care about their family.

Employees have emerged from this turbulent period with varying priorities, which employers can fulfil by tailoring their benefits for them. While some would want more vacations or WFH days, others may trade them off with a higher pay. Let your employees customise their benefits, and provide the flexibility to change them up over time.

Build better trust in HR with employee advocacy

One of the most concerning findings of this year is that employees consider HR the last resort when they experience an issue at work. This is because HR is perceived by 37% as an advocate for the organisation rather than the people that comprise it. 

If HR is to play the strategic role that is required of it moving ahead, it must first regain the trust of employees. To this end, the HR function must act as an unbiased mediator between the employees and organisation and actively advocate for the former’s cause as and when needed.

Leverage design thinking to enhance your employee experience

Traditionally, HR processes have been crafted with top-down approaches where stakeholder reviews drive process design. But this seldom results in meaningful improvements. 

Design thinking can help HR teams shift to a bottom-up approach. Where evidence suggests that employees crave for meaningful interactions and social cohesion, design thinking can be leveraged to curate personas based on data, and build intentional interactions in hybrid models to drive a sense of connectedness and purpose. Moreover, design thinking processes can enable HR to design the employee journey in cognizance of their overall lives, which is the key to achieving true employee-centricity.

Final words

With the great resignation, the nexus of power has shifted strongly towards the employees – but some of these readjustments have been a long time coming. This is an opportunity that must be seized by HR executives, by operationalizing bidirectional strategies that carve win-win outcomes for both the organisation and its employees.

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Neeraj Rana

Neeraj is a global HR Leader with experience in leading and managing HR Strategy and organizational transformation in IT, EdTech, Telecom, Publishing, eCommerce, and the Staffing Service industry. Currently, Vice President- HR at MPS Limited, he aims to leverage the platform to educate the HR community on employee satisfaction and organizational growth.

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