There is a looming privacy crisis when organisations increasingly use artificial intelligence etc to collect data on employees in order to respond more effectively to their needs. “Progressive organizations will use 2023 to create an employee data bill of rights that prioritizes transparency around how they collect, use and store employee data, and which allows employees to opt out of practices they find objectionable”, concludes marketing and research firm Gartner in a listing of nine workplace predictions for HR leaders.
“Organizations are increasingly using emerging technologies – artificial intelligence (AI) assistants, wearables, etc. – to collect more data on employees’ health, family situations, living conditions and mental health in order to respond more effectively to their needs. However, using these technologies has the potential to create a looming privacy crisis.”
A short version of the other eight predictions:
- Despite worries about a forthcoming recession and some layoff announcements, a majority of HR leaders still expect the labour market to get more competitive. Progressive HR leaders will turn to “quiet hiring” to acquire new skills and capabilities without acquiring new full-time employees. For example, they will deploy current employees to the highest priorities, which may necessitate reskilling and stretch assignments.
- More than six in 10 organizations have some sort of on-site requirement for employees whose work can be done remotely. In 2023, smart organizations will stop limiting flexibility in the name of fairness and will pursue formal strategies for more flexibility for the frontline workforce. To do this, organizations will provide frontline workers more control over their schedules, more paid leave and more stability in work schedules.
- In 2023, leading organizations will recognize the increasing pressure on managers, and they will provide support and training to mitigate the widening managerial skills gap while clarifying manager priorities and redesigning their roles where necessary.
- To fill critical roles in 2023, organizations will need to become more comfortable assessing candidates solely on their ability to perform in the role, rather than their credentials and prior experience. Organizations will take several approaches to do this, such as relaxing formal education and experience requirements in job postings and reaching out directly to internal or external candidates from non-traditional backgrounds.
- The challenges of a global pandemic, including unemployment, supply chain shortages, isolation from family and friends and divisive political fractures created intense stress. This year, leading organizations will shift from offering rest as a recovery solution and instead will support proactive rest for employees to help them maintain their emotional resilience and performance.
Diversity and inclusion
- Although organizations still prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, many employees say their organization’s DEI efforts are divisive. This pushback to DEI efforts can decrease workforce engagement, inclusion and trust. To address this fraught moment for DEI, in 2023, HR must equip managers with tools and strategies to engage resistant employees and address pushback early before it evolves into more disruptive forms of DEI resistance. This is crucial for maintaining the momentum of DEI efforts and achieving greater maturity and strategic impact.
- With more organizations leveraging AI in recruiting, the ethical implications of these practices have become more urgent. Organizations that use AI and machine learning in their hiring processes, as well as the vendors they rely on for these services, will face pressure to get ahead of new regulations and be more transparent about how they are using AI – and give employees and candidates the choice to opt out from AI-led processes.
- Intentional connections
- The rise in remote and hybrid work has meant that many new-to-the-workforce employees have had few in-person opportunities to observe norms and determine what is appropriate or effective within their organizations. Rather than forcing employees back to in-person work to establish connections, leaders need to build intentional connections among employees across geographic – and generational – boundaries.
Gartner says research shows that there are three key elements to creating intentional interactions among employees: employee choice and autonomy, a clear structure and purpose, and a sense of levity and fun.