As we head into 2023 and look at HR trends, organizations are still dealing with rising inflation, talent scarcity, and global supply chain woes. As a result, HR leaders are constantly walking that fine line between saving versus investing, and business needs versus employee demands.

Meanwhile, employees have grown weary of all the changes that came about as a result of the pandemic: In 2022, only 38% of workers said they’d change their work behaviors to support organizational change. That number stood at 74% in 2016.

So how can HR departments grapple with the ongoing volatility of the work landscape while still supporting the ever-increasing demands of employees? Let’s address the top HR trends to help organizations prepare for an uncertain future.

Flexible work is the name of the game

Gone are the days when employees were content with free snacks and a pool table in the break room. Today’s workers—especially the younger ones—want work-life balance. In fact, 92% of Millennials say flexible work is their top priority when looking for a job, and 70% of employees say flexible work schedules make a job more appealing.

Organizations are taking note: 58% of Americans now have the chance to work from home at least once a week, and 35% of surveyed employees are able to work from home five days a week.

But it’s important to note that even employees admit flexible work has its challenges. Remote workers may struggle with mental health issues, the demands of childcare and household chores, and access to reliable, high-speed internet.

In 2023, HR teams will be stretched to balance the increasing demand for flexible work against the challenges that come along with change. The most successful companies will invest in technology and programs that ensure productivity, mental health, and efficiency, while giving employees the freedom they expect.

Automation saves the day for HR professionals

Administrative work has always been a heavy burden for HR departments to bear. Paperwork, legal forms, and payroll can eat up time and leave little room for what HR is really all about: people. In fact, 57% of C-suite employees still say HR is a mainly administrative role.

Yet the most successful organizations give their HR teams the time and freedom to create strong cultures that prioritize people over paperwork—and they do it by embracing automation. Experts agree that digital tools will play a critical role in 2023, allowing HR to be more strategic and effective.

By 2030, automation and AI will be the norm for low-level tasks like payroll and resume screening, as well as compliance, legal documentation, and workplace disputes. This shift will free up at least 30% of HR employees’ time, giving them the chance to develop more agile, streamlined organizations. Legal tech companies like SixFifty are paving the way.

Well-being comes first

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the significant connections between mental health, overall well-being, and the workplace. Fifty-nine percent of surveyed employees say work-related stress has had a negative impact on their lives, and 87% of employees say their boss could take action to help improve their mental health.

HR teams are listening, and taking steps to prioritize well-being and mental health in 2023. What will this look like? HR leaders will focus on honesty, authenticity, and transparency. They’ll implement employee feedback, build trust, and create a culture where employees feel safe and valued.

Companies that take these steps will reap the benefits with employees who are happier, healthier, and more productive.

Organizational agility FTW

There’s nothing like a global crisis to make organizations recognize the need for flexibility and fluidity. In 2019, just 29% of HR leaders said their team was organized for speed, agility, and adaptability. But HR teams learned many lessons throughout the pandemic, and they’re headed into 2023 more agile than ever.

Not only will HR departments be more responsive to change, they’ll help the entire organization swiftly adapt, too. They’ll do it by breaking down silos, being well prepared for external disruptions, and by building a more diverse, inclusive organization.

These changes will usher in an even bigger shift in HR—one that moves the department from a support role to leadership. “Really developing organizational agility demands the HR function lead by example,” a McKinsey article notes. McKinsey experts say this shift requires changes in the organizational structure of the department, along with new methods and tools that save time and allow for quick adaptation.

Employee experience takes the stage

Employees are happier and stay longer at jobs where they see opportunities for growth. Yet 44% of HR leaders say their organizations lack enticing promotional opportunities. It’s no surprise, then, that 75% of employees on the hunt for a new job are looking outside of their current company. 

But HR departments can help shift this trend by focusing on employee experience in 2023. Forty-seven percent of HR leaders say they plan to do just that, by reinventing recruitment, onboarding, performance reviews, and career development to be more people-focused, rather than results-driven. HR departments will be tasked with creating higher level jobs that best suit their existing workforce, rather than recruiting externally.

Save time + HR resources with SixFifty

The role of HR is changing. In order for companies to stay competitive, they’ll need to embrace automation, offer the flexibility workers demand, and put more focus on the employee experience. They’ll need to be agile and fluid—ready to turn on a dime, come what may.

Having the right tools will be critical to success, and SixFifty should be at the top of any HR manager’s wish list.

SixFifty can help HR teams of any size better manage workloads and stay on top of legal compliance. Our document generation engines save HR leaders time and resources when hiring remote workers, creating employee handbooks, employment agreements, and more. By enlisting the expertise of Silicon Valley’s top law firm, we’ve made seamless, airtight legal documents accessible to HR departments anywhere.

Take the hassle and guesswork out of legal and HR. Try SixFifty today.