2022 was a volatile year for HR & workforce
I think organisations were struggling post pandemic to meet the customer demand surge across various sectors. Once the pandemic sort of settled in, the expectations from the customers surged back and organisations struggled to meet demands, seeing waves of resignations and surge in hiring to meet those demands. Once that demand surge normalised, we saw layoffs in those industries where there was mass hiring to meet those demands. Layoffs from companies such as Meta and Amazon are getting a lot of attention not only because of how many customers use their services, but also because the announcements feel like they’re coming out of nowhere. Consumer demand and profits boomed for online services through the pandemic, and leaders were told to grow at all costs. Amazon doubled its workforce throughout the pandemic from 798,000 workers in 2019 to 1.6 million in 2021. And once the demand surge started normalising the organisations went on to rationalise their workforce to meet targets. These layoffs are primarily contained within the tech industry.
2023: Will it be a turmoil again or peace?
Looking forward, McKinsey predicts that with voluntary quit rates 25 per cent higher than in pre-pandemic times, job openings won’t return to normal for some time as we continue to move through the Great Resignation and the mass layoffs. For instance, within the large tech industry, companies tie compensation to equity and restricted stock units (RSUs). As a result, when companies lose value – and sometimes significant value – employees’ compensation is negatively impacted. This can easily cause more employee upset, more attrition and more need to backfill and hire. I think we’ll see more consumer spending over the next year, necessitating more hires for new positions, not just attrition hires. And this is a positive for employers and employees alike.
Growth areas such as green technology, e-commerce and consumer service should be prioritised
The basic idea of hybrid work has really been normalised, but the implementation and execution are still in experimentation mode.
When one invests in the things employees care most about — like equity, growth, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) — it doesn’t just improve retention and engagement, but also achieves better business outcomes.
Diversity to be linked to upskilling & reskilling
Upskilling can support a company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion effort. Providing opportunities to build new skills can open new avenues for advancement and progression for employees, whether they’re new or in the middle of their careers. Every employee, regardless of their background, wants to feel valued at work. Various initiatives started by the government like Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, and the like will bring more people from the hinterland to the corporate workforce.
Government (central and states) agencies should strengthen and support accessible and cost-effective skill development programmes that can reach a wide section of the population. Investments in institutions such as NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) must continue and accelerate. In partnership with industry/corporate houses and start-ups, non-profit organisation’s, skill development should focus on the MSME sector as it can generate employment and contribute to the growth of the economy significantly. Growth areas such as green technology, e-commerce and consumer service should be prioritised.
33 leaders predict the upcoming trends for 2023. To find out more click here.
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