2 Cents: People-first approach a priority for HR in 2023

With people key for organisational success, attracting and retaining the best talent is on the agenda of every HR and business leader heading into 2023.
By: | December 6, 2022

To suggest that Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has created global headlines is perhaps an understatement. After months of wrangling, Musk’s first act upon gaining ownership of the social media platform is to announce that half of Twitter’s global workforce will be laid off.

With a potential global recession on the horizon, Twitter is the latest tech company that has announced layoffs and hiring freezes, joining the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Meta. Is this indicative of more job cuts to come across multiple industries, or will 2023 continue to be an employee’s market?

In the US, for example, unemployment edged up to 3.7% in October 2022, sparking fears that the wheels have already been set in motion for a debilitating recession in 2023. However, at the same time, 261,000 jobs were added in the same month, surpassing the 205,000 Dow Jones estimate.

While it may be near impossible to predict the direction the employment market is heading towards in 2023, perhaps less ambiguous is how organisations are likely to prioritise a people-first approach.

If events of the last few years have taught organisations anything, it is arguably that the key factor for organisational success lies with their people. Attracting and retaining the best talent, clearly, is on the agenda of every HR and business leader heading into 2023.

Days after dispensing with the services of half its workforce, Twitter has reportedly reached out to an unspecified number of these employees, claiming that they were either fired erroneously or are “too essential” to the changes that Musk wants to make to the company.

Even if external circumstances dictate that employees are no longer looking to quit their jobs as readily as they did at the height of the Great Resignation, what can organisations do to ensure that they keep their best employees?

Prioritise their people, would seem to be the obvious answer. Speaking to Human Resource Executive, HRM Asia’s sister publication, Susan Tohyama, CHRO of Ceridian, said, “I want our organisation to continue its focus on talent, leadership development, career development for employees and more.”

In the HRM Magazine Asia November/December 2022 issue, we also spoke exclusively to Suyin Enriquez, Vice President, International HR, Ceridian, who discussed a wide range of topics, including how organisations need to find the best way to deliver a great employee experience both in person and virtually.

For flexible work to be successful, she added, employee experience must be a top priority because no organisation can be successful unless their employees feel motivated and engaged.

In many ways, employees today are looking for more than just a job, at least in the most traditional sense. Factors that will contribute to employees feeling motivated and engaged will continue to include, but also transcend renumeration.

Besides focusing on pay equity, organisations must also prioritise issues such as employee wellbeing, DE&I, and ESG. For those looking to mandate a rigid return to office in 2023, it may be worth considering if offering employees the flexibility to choose how, when, and where they work might be more beneficial for the organisation.

Increasingly, employees are also looking for opportunities to development and advance their careers. According to a recent report by McKinsey, 40% of employees are leaving their jobs due to a lack of career advancement. Organisations that are not investing in L&D are not only risking losing their best employees but are also missing the opportunity to equip their workforces with the skills needed for the future of their organisations.

Last but certainly not least, organisations will be looking to utilise technologies that can help them increase efficiencies and streamline processes, while putting their people first.  For those of you based in Asia and would like to gauge how well you are doing in this space, we cordially invite you to join us in Singapore next May for HR Tech Festival Asia 2023.

Taking place from May 10-11, Asia’s largest HR technology and workforce management event returns in-person for its 23rd edition, bringing together Asia’s biggest HR community, global influencers, and industry experts to learn, collaborate, and inspire.

As a new paradigm of people and work begin to emerge, join us at HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 and be part of the discussion on how Asia’s HR community can address the people and technology challenges of 2023.