Employment trends

Key trends in attracting and retaining employees in 2023.
As we begin the new year, employers are grappling with numerous challenges such as the cost of living, staff wellbeing, hybrid working and economic headwinds.

Hybrid working has a number of benefits for staff and businesses – it can boost productivity, improve employee wellbeing, help to retain staff and reduce premises costs as not everyone needs a dedicated desk in the office. However, some team members may be refusing to attend the office and others may be abusing their flexible working arrangement and not performing to the expected standards.

To manage such issues, employers should have a written hybrid working policy which sets out clear expectations of staff when they are working from home. Managers should ensure that they regularly catch up with remote workers and any performance issues should be recorded on a regular basis, in a format that is set out in the hybrid working policy.

Employment contracts should also clearly state any expectations around attending the office on “connect days”, etc. so that everyone is clear on what is required.

Cost of living and staff wellbeing are issues that are often interlinked. If your people are stressed or have worries about whether they can cover their electricity, mortgage, heating or other bills, their performance at work will likely deteriorate. We all acknowledge that employers don’t have an endless supply of cash to increase wages in line with inflation, however, many businesses have put assistance schemes in place for their employees who may be struggling with the cost of living.

Economic headwinds are another key trend for 2023. Large international tech businesses are cutting back and thousands of jobs have been lost at firms such as Twitter, Meta, Coinbase, Amazon and Snapchat. Businesses in other sectors may start to struggle as the economic environment worsens due to high inflation, higher borrowing costs due to increased interest rates, the global semi-conductor shortage and other factors that are affecting the UK and the wider global economy. 2023 looks set to be a challenging year, but it may also present employers with an opportunity to rethink their strategy and change course accordingly.