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2023 HR Challenges and How to Combat Them

By Erika Miller
Illustration of Carl the Yeti standing next to a huge calendar that says "2023 Challenges."

As we close out 2022, a lot of folks are reviewing and reflecting on the previous year and talking about should-have’s and should-have-not’s. But we think it’s the perfect time to start preparing for the year ahead so when Q4 rolls around, you can say “yeah, I crushed it!” While 2023 looks daunting and maybe even a little grim, we know you can do it. And to help, we’ve created this quick guide about the most common HR challenges you might face and what you can do to combat them.

Some Challenges You Might Face

Every single team is different. That means you’ll have a unique set of challenges coming your way in the next year (but we’re sure you’re no stranger to an uphill battle). With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the most common challenges HR and leadership teams will most likely experience in 2023.

Change Management

Change can be really hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s at work, at home, or anywhere else; a change in the status quo can be difficult for anyone involved. But, it’s inevitable. Over the last few years and in the years coming, there will be constant change and evolution in the world of work. You might have employees that are refusing the changes (or maybe yourself), budgetary limits, skill caps, or other external factors that are making adaptation more difficult. So, what do you do?

image with text - When dealing with change, be transparent and establish open lines of communication.

Our Solution: One of the best ways you can help ensure that change will go over a little more smoothly in your workplace is to be transparent and establish healthy, open lines of communication. Don’t blindside your employees with change, if you can, and make sure that they have the tools and help they need to be successful in making the transition. Not only will it help your team, but taking time to think through the details and strategize before bringing employees into the know will help you get your thoughts together and make change a little easier for you, too.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement has been a hot topic in recent years, and it’s no surprise why. Engaged employees are more loyal, more productive, and the list goes on. But with so many moving pieces, a less-than-exciting economic outlook, shrinking budgets, and more...engaging employees can seem like your personal office crucible.

Our Solution: While there are a lot of factors that add up to engaged employees, here’s where you should start. Employees primarily want three things:

  1. To feel recognized and appreciated.
  2. Have a sense of community and belonging.
  3. A positive relationship with their manager.
image with text - Employees primarily want three things: To feel recognized and appreciated, have a sense of community and belonging, a positive relationship with their manager.

All of those might seem kind of nebulous or maybe even difficult to attain, there are things you can do to make sure you’re on the right track. We recommend implementing an employee recognition program, investing in leadership development, prioritizing work-life balance, encouraging employee development, and more.

Maintaining Culture

We might argue that aside from economic outlook and shrinking budgets...this might be one of the most common and prevalent challenges HR teams will have to face in 2023. Culture is such an important part of the employee experience and can seriously impact employee morale, productivity, mindset, and even retention.

Our Solution: Through all the noise and metaphorical trash you’ll have to sift through over the next year, don’t forget to make culture initiatives a priority. And, if your company is experiencing layoffs like many others, don’t forget to give some extra love to those employees that are still with your company. They’re probably experiencing things like survivor syndrome, having to adjust to a new normal when their friends and coworkers are no longer around, feeling the pressures of job insecurity...and on and on and on. Focus on transparency, lead by example, and make employee recognition and culture-building solutions part of your annual budget.

Shrinking Budgets

We’re sure this isn’t coming as a surprise to you, and you’re probably already feeling this at work (and even at home), but with a recession on the horizon, shrinking budgets are an almost-guarantee. So, how do you ensure the same quality of culture, leadership, talent, etc. when you don’t have the same amount of financial support as you did before?

image with text - Culture is created through the connections you make with your team and day-to-day interactions

Our Solution: It’s time to get creative. Cutting costs doesn’t mean cutting quality! Your culture shouldn’t be built on expensive gifts, trips, or catered in-office lunches (even though those can be fun). Culture is created through the connections you make with your team and day-to-day interactions. If you haven’t started already, work on making your company a place full of gratitude and connectedness between team members. One way you can do that? Make an employee recognition platform part of your necessary budget. In the long run, you’ll save dollars on turnover, see increased employee satisfaction and engagement, and more.

Hiring The Right People

As if finding the right talent wasn’t hard’s about to get a lot harder (and way more competitive). With the workforce drastically changing recently and experiencing mass layoffs and re-entry into the job market, you’ll start to see a massive influx of candidates coming your way.

Our Solution: The task at hand? Make sure you’re hiring the right people at the right time. It might be tempting to hire the person with the most technical skills or that looks the best on paper, but take into account that culture matters. If your new hires aren’t jiving with the team or don’t agree with your company culture, it doesn’t matter how much they know about spreadsheets or how good they are on the phone. Invest time into your hiring process, introduce candidates to members of the team they might be working with day-to-day, and get a good feel for who they are as people, aside from just their technical skillset.

What Else Can You Do?

Focus On The Right Priorities

Don’t let all the noise distract you. When thinking about priorities and what-comes-first, be focused on the things that will move the needle. If needed, take some time to re-align with yourself and with your team.

Lead With Authenticity

Your employees want a human for a leader, not a robot. And guess what? Humans have feelings, surprise surprise! Always encourage and practice transparency, vulnerability, authenticity, and open communication at work. Especially when coming from a place of leadership—it can mean the world to your employees and set the tone for the rest of the company.

Use Your Network

You’ve got people all around you that want to help you and be a support network. Don’t be afraid to tap into your community of professionals (and even friends and family) to get the help you need. Maybe it’s professional or personal, but either way, you don’t have to carry burdens on your own.