In my conversations with C-Level leaders and staff at all levels, I have developed some insights into what we might expect in the workplace in 2023, when January rolls in.
Generation Z and Millennials
Generation Z and Millennials now make up over half of the U.S. workforce, and that number is only growing. And new generations have different expectations for the workforce, bolstered by an increase in working from home and a growing number of companies offering unlimited vacation days. They are looking for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace as this is not just an acronym to them. The oldest of Gen Z is now 25! Be prepared for another shift in employee wants, needs and desires. When acted on, can secure you talent for years to come.
As I recently wrote, they want more “experiential” learning, with less traditional work set-ups, and no more 9-to-5 hours aka the linear workplace.
Investing in your talent
I’ve been clear for years that Investing in your talent works. Conferences, training, mentoring and workplace “job fairs” that allow staff to learn about other opportunities in the organization can slow attrition. Money alone is not sufficient to keep staff.
According to McKinsey and Company, employees who recently left due to a lack of career development and advancement potential reported that:
- They could not achieve their career goals (65%)
- Did not have advancement opportunities (63%)
- Did not feel an investment in their knowledge, skills, and abilities by their organizations (59%).
In other words, employers must treat their employees as though they have come to stay. Invest in developing them and show them a future in the organization or watch them leave.
Culture, culture, culture
Culture, culture, culture: The workplace of 2023 will be even more diverse and multicultural. Imperative for success will be inclusive leaders who understand how to leverage all of this diverse talent. Training leadership to understand how to do this effectively and communicate even better will be essential. According to hownow, 95% of people who are thriving at work report being treated with respect all day. While 87% of people report smiling and laughing a lot.
I mention this in my keynotes and training. Sometimes, it lands and sticks. Other times, some attendees & audience members think that I am being too dramatic. Yes, I have the stats and research to back me, but I also have thousands of participants sharing their experiences throughout any given year. I listen, I absorb, and I do my best to flush out not that which I want to hear or replies supporting my ideas, but dialogue presented in Q&As and discussions with many different levels of staff and industries.
Mental health. The remainder of this decade will see a growth in workplace acknowledgement and support of employee mental health. In part, driven by Gen Z and Millennials, this focus towards staff well-being will continue to grow in 2023. As I mentioned in a previous article, “quiet quitting” and the “Great Resignation” have even gotten the attention of the White House, with more programs being enacted to assist both workers and employers.
According to SHRM, the Society of Human Resource Management, employers enhanced their mental health and well-being benefits for employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and are poised to continue expanding these offerings in 2023, new research shows.
Workers will persist in their fight for greater flexibility. Gen Zers are 17% more likely to apply to remote work than other generations. Boomers are a close second at 15%. Gen Z and Millennial managers have a higher percentage of remote workers.
According to Forbes contributor Larry English, Gen X workers have been climbing the ladder for some time now. For many, success has coincided with being visible through facetime with company leaders and clients, showing up to the office and being seen working hard and long. It’s difficult for them to translate these experiences to a mostly virtual work environment.
The bottom line from my perspective is clear. Employees are powerful, their talent is needed and they continue to enjoy the power to sway organizational decisions with respect to health care, salaries, flexibility, culture and mental health.
The workplace in 2023 is changing and organizations that listen well, react in a positive way and support their staff will see increased retention and productivity plus have a better chance at growing their business too.
What do you think? I’d welcome your thoughts/comments.