Events & Expos

With looming recession, workplace issues can get sharper focus in 2023, say experts

The future of workplace remains uncertain as we enter 2023. 2022 has seen workplace evolve like never before; along with bringing in a lot of uncertainties, it has also opened a lot of new doors to opportunities for employees and organisations. The year started with talent war, gig economy, massive salary hikes, hybrid workplaces and moonlighting being some of the most talked about topics, but by the time we came to the end of the year, all we could hear was mass layoffs and a sudden surge in unemployment. 

Business Today got in touch with top experts to take stock of some of the top trends organisations, and employees need to prepare themselves for in the upcoming year. 

Explaining the turmoil manufacturing workplace setup has seen in recent years, Amit Sharma, Chief People and Culture Officer, Volvo Group India, said, “The dynamism of the environment in the year 2023 and beyond shall lead to People function needing to be Super Agile and always thinking ahead of the curve in anticipating the new shifts as the lifecycle of the trends shall get much shorter. Apart from this fluidity that People Leaders shall need to manage, the other key workplace trends shall be more use of Technology, especially AI and Analytics, towards decision making.”

Equity & Inclusion: Future of the innovative workplace

Diving a little deeper into the subject and what more to expect, Sharma added, “Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has been the focus these days, but in 2023 the tilt shall be towards Equity & Inclusion as these two are the prerequisites for better workforce diversity. And final trend I would predict shall be institutionalisation and normalisation of Workplace Flexibility as it would no longer be a differentiator but a hygiene aspect. Overall, the year 2023 shall keep people leaders on their toes!!!”

Upskilling: The biggest pillar to lean on for organisations

Skilling and upskilling have been one of the most prominent subjects at the workplace for organisations to keep up with the pace of tech disruption and innovation. Sharing his insights on what will be the focus of learning and development leaders in the year 2023, Ankit Jhamb, Chief Learning Officer, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP, said, “Organisations will have to ensure rapid digital upskilling. Making sure the Digital quotient and mindsets are enabling and supporting the disruption in business value chains.”

“The time for FOMO shopping of learning platforms is gone. Hence wise and prudent investments with learning tech aligned to strategic goals, user expectations and career paths will take over. Greater emphasis on deep learning to replace microlearning. Hyper personalisation of learning experiences to suit various demographics and career tracks,” added Jhamb.

Collaboration: Essential tool for the success of digital workplaces

Collaboration among teams has also been one of the most crucial challenges for people managers since remote and hybrid workplaces stayed back even after the Covid situation improved around the globe.

“Cross-collaboration is a vital aspect which would enhance and pick up pace in the coming year. Collaborative measures that can double down output while unlocking opportunities for new innovation would be significant. As we capitalise on our existing gains and focus on our core principle of continuous problem discovery, we expect people across the board to come together and spark innovation to help build businesses for the next decades,” Ashish Kumar Singh, Chief Human Resource Officer, Meesho, told Business Today.

IT workplaces: What to expect next

With a sudden surge in mass layoffs, delays in onboarding, and variable pay cuts towards the year end, the IT sector has seen the most unexpected turn of events in the passing year. According to Vishwanath Joshi, Chief People Officer, Hexaware Technologies, on what to expect in the coming year and how the organisations are trying to keep their employees sane in these testing times, he said: “With a looming recession, one may think that a prime target for budget cuts would be employee wellness programs. Instead, we will see the opposite, and investment into employee wellness programs will increase.”

“In a recession, businesses focused on protecting existing revenue streams and cutting costs. On the revenue side, physical and mental well-being of employees, managers, and leaders is critical for uninterrupted service delivery. On the cost-cutting side, a recent survey of a career discovery platform stated that 72 per cent of employers experienced a decrease in healthcare costs due to the implementation of wellness programs. Hence, employee wellness programs are a win/win,” he added further.

Also Read: HCL Tech Q3 FY23 results: Growth at lower end of guidance, hiring to slow down

Also Read: Infosys, Wipro, TechM onboarding delay: Former HCL Tech CEO Vineet Nayar says this has happened before – BusinessToday

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