What are the Top Priorities of Global HR Leaders for 2023?

What are the Top Priorities of Global HR Leaders for 2023?

Human resource managers have been grappling with multiple challenges over the last three years as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the workplace, created a high-decibel call for rethinking work-life balance and as demand for talent pumped up the war for a skilled workforce. While the impact and aftereffects of the pandemic linger on, HR leaders are constantly having to create their own ‘new normal’ as their organisations look to drive growth again. This will continues to be crucial in 2023 as well. 

While the brutal wave of health agony has abated, organisations continue to face uncertain and confusing times. The spectre of inflation, expensive talent and supply chain constraints have created a cocktail of “triple-squeeze” of pressures.

As a result, HR leaders need to weigh several trade-offs. While some of these are a constant tug of war in the lifecycle of an HR manager, such as cost savings versus talent investments and business requirements versus employee needs, many others have been accentuated.

Also read: Can Assessment Tools Help in Hiring Senior Management Roles? HR Leaders Weigh In The Possibilities

At the same time, new employee expectations now impact retention and attraction. For instance, over half of the employees believe flexible work policies will affect their decision to stay at their organisations and they want their organisations to take action on issues they care about.

An even greater proportion of employees say it’s important for their organisations to see them as people, not just as employees.

Also, well-being has taken the centre stage with an overwhelming majority of companies introducing new well-being benefits or increasing the number of existing well-being benefits.

Consultancy and research agency Gartner surveyed over 800 HR leaders across 60 countries and all major industries to identify their priorities and challenges for the coming year. The largest share of respondents put “leader and manager effectiveness” on their list, but many HR leaders will also prioritise organisational design and change management, employee experience, recruiting and the future of work.

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Leader and Manager Effectiveness in 2023

A common challenge faced by HR leaders is that their leadership development approach does not prepare leaders for the future of work. As a result, this is a top priority for almost two out of every three HR leaders.

The underlying fact is that leaders need a new approach as the work environment changes. The three environmental shifts of social and political turbulence, work-life fusion, and flexible work arrangements are redefining the leader-employee dynamic into a human-to-human relationship.

While the prior approach was to enable workplace boundaries, address work needs and manage standardized workflows, given the shift in work environment with social and political turbulence, increasingly visible personal lives and more variety in work patterns and norms, leaders need to enable safe self-expression at work, address life needs and manage tailored and flexible workflows.

The new imperative being the human-to-human dynamic in the workplace has pushed leaders to display human-centric leadership, defined as leading with authenticity, empathy and adaptivity. These traits have been listed for some time among the key qualities of great leaders — but they were considered nice to have. Employees today demand them.

Also read: Diagnostic Assessment Ensures Leadership Fit That Directly Impacts Business: Grant Thornton’s Ritika Mathur

Organisational Design and Change Management

Another common challenge faced by nearly half of HR leaders is that their employees are fatigued from all the change.

CHROs are, therefore, prioritizing organisational design and change management to navigate continuous disruption from digital transformations, economic uncertainty and political tensions. But employees are losing their willingness to cooperate with change.

The bigger issue is that high employee “change fatigue” and increased work friction points are correlated with a lower intent to stay with the organization. In fact, only 43% of employees who experience above-average change fatigue intend to stay with their organization, compared with 74% of employees with low levels of fatigue.

Here the new imperative is that CHROs can decrease change fatigue and support employees through periods of uncertainty with an open-source change strategy — one that is less prescriptive than top-down approaches and more collaborative, involving employees throughout the process instead of simply telling them what will happen.

Old and new ways to deal with change management:

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Organisations using open-source change strategies are estimated to be 14 times more likely to achieve change success. They see the risk of change fatigue in their employees fall by 29 percentage points and employee intent to stay increase by as much as 19 percentage points.

Employee Experience

Another problem statement is that nearly half of HR leaders believe their organisations do not have compelling career paths.

Indeed, data from a Gartner survey on employee career preferences shows that just one in four employees is confident about their career at their organization, and three out of four people looking for a new role are interested in external positions.

As a result, employees left their employers for better development opportunities at similar rates as they left for higher compensation.

Also read: 5 Ways To Boost Employee Experience With HR Analytics!


Over one-third of HR leaders say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need.

Employee recruitment teams must grapple with the reality of low supply and low retention in today’s hybrid-driven labour market.

Three strategies for more effective recruitment include leveraging labour market data to find accessible talent from new sources, building an equitable internal labour market and developing onboarding programs that promote new hire engagement through emotional proximity.

Future of Work

With over half of HR leaders saying their workforce planning is limited to headcount planning, their organisations are exposed to the risk of missing the right fodder for building the future of work.

As a result, workforce planning is disconnected from today’s reality. It is anchored on assumptions like we can predict future skills, can access enough talent to fill gaps, can fill future talent gaps primarily through buying and building and can dictate when, where and how employees work.

But these assumptions around which workforce planning (WFP) has operated, no longer hold in today’s environment. This means the strategies one is using are ineffective in today’s context.

Instead of assuming, one needs a new approach that unlocks new strategies.

Three strategies for more effective recruitment include leveraging labour market data to find accessible talent from new sources, building an equitable internal labour market and developing onboarding programs that promote new hire engagement through emotional proximity.

This includes a mix of anticipating near-term shifts in critical work itself by evaluating tasks and workflows, redeploying tasks flexibly across the organization to add slack and resilience, experimenting with innovative sourcing models and empowering both parties to achieve desired ways of working.

Also read: Technology Of 2022 Will Determine The Future Of Work – Here’s How


Workforce management is a daily challenge. In the past, it was largely tuned towards talent attraction, engagement and retention. But over time, multiple new problem statements have emerged.

Consultancy and research agency Gartner’s survey of hundreds of HR leaders across the globe streamlines what are they likely to focus on in the coming year and this does not restrict itself to conventional issues alone but straddles a whole new set.

Source: https://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/trends/top-priorities-for-hr-leaders


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