Common Workforce Trends in 2023 and How Human Resources Can Navigate Them

For many organizations, the new way of working following the COVID-19 pandemic-restriction era created a significant strain on human resources (HR) and how organizations manage the workforce. The first two months of 2023 have already provided insight into what the rest of the year has in store.

Based on a complex world that’s always changing, many of the below trends could remain as key initiatives for years to come. Organizations will continue to see new trends introduced as the workforce evolves, though their complexity and priorities may shift.

Talent Acquisition Challenge

Despite indicators of incremental growth in headcount, attracting and hiring talent has remained difficult since 2020. The inability to hire affects current productivity, while the inability to attract future skills is causing many organizations to pause expansion and innovation.

Possible Solution

Shift the approach to not only focus on the attraction and acquisition of new employees, but also to leverage quiet hiring.

What Is Quiet Hiring?

Quiet hiring is a strategic approach that matches internal skills and capabilities with critical roles. It provides career and development opportunities for existing staff rather than hiring from the outside.

You may also see an uptick in leveraging workforce planning and scenarios to predict acquisition of future talent skills and capabilities.

Engagement, Collaboration, and Inclusivity


Research from a Gallup survey suggests that employee engagement is at its lowest point since 2014. Poor engagement has a major impact on individual and organizational performance and revenue. Lack of collaboration and inclusivity disconnects workers, decreasing knowledge sharing, ideation, and cultural security.

Possible Solution

Create a culture of openness, sharing, and belonging. Organizations will likely continue to prioritize psychological safety and emotional intelligence, which could benefit across the multigenerational workforce and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Talent Retention


Retaining talent can be a challenge. It impacts the employer value proposition, calls company values into question, creates financial risk for the organization, and impacts organization viability and credibility.

Other areas of impact include a decrease in revenue, performance, and customer satisfaction. It also increases recruitment costs and attrition while decreasing employee engagement.

Possible Solution

Hiring the right talent, mitigating low engagement, and increasing employee satisfaction will be essential steps for many organizations to help reduce quick turnover, and quiet quitting, and minimal output.

Manager and Leadership Development


It appears that for the first time, CEOs don’t feel like their organizations have the right management skills, capabilities, and competencies to support future business demand and growth. Organizations have not committed or invested enough in leadership and development programs focused on Human Leaderships, Employee Centricity, and Talent Planning. Outside of the financial and performance implications, poor managers are a top reason for a lack of employee trust, development, and attrition.

Possible Solution

Build learning and development programs focused on human leadership and the importance of leaders being authentic, empathetic, and adaptable. Developing soft skills will improve the relationship between manager and employee to decrease quiet firing.

HR Digitization


The state of the economy has put greater focus on careful spending, making modernization and digitalization significant challenges for HR—as well as businesses and employees.

For HR, the key challenges will be balancing and prioritizing its big bets, such as:

  • Improving the effectiveness of operating and delivery models
  • Building future skills including strategic advisory and analytics
  • Improving effectiveness and modernization of programs to support outlined trends and business needs
  • Optimization and expansion of process and technology capabilities to improve cost, efficiency, and employee experience

Possible Solution

Rethink the way HR works by redefining structural alignment to the business and new HR skills. Expand technology capabilities to leverage automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to modernize processes and increase the workforce experience.

Future of Work


Not preparing for the future of work may only exacerbate challenges. According to SHRM, Future of work can be defined as a projection of how work, workers and the workplace will evolve in the years ahead to meet the shifting business needs and demands. The future of work will help to define the type of work to be done, who will do the work, how the work will be done, and where the work will be done. Many organizations don’t have clarity on approaching these scenarios or have made decisions that were unpopular with employees and jobseekers.

Failing to focus on a flexible workplace impacts organizations in several ways:

  • Damaged brand popularity
  • Decreased talent pools
  • Recruiting difficulty
  • Workforce uncertainty
  • Lowered employee engagement
  • Increased attrition

These have major performance, production, financial, and impacts.

Possible Solution

Reimagine a workforce of radical flexibility for the desk and deskless workers and make key business decisions on a four-day workweek, remote or hybrid working, or mandating a return-to-work policy.

While these issues can take time to address, doing nothing may only continue to drive a further wedge between organizations and their workforce.

Below are a few more recommendations to get you started:

Define a Strategy

Strategy isn’t an internal marketing tool. It’s a commitment to a future state that should be prescriptive, directional, and actionable.

Prioritize the Initiatives

Prioritization of activities is one of the most important aspects of moving from strategy to execution. Prioritization isn’t plotting initiatives on a fancy graph, but should include the following considerations:

  • Business value
  • Timing
  • Competing priorities
  • Resource availability
  • Resource capability
  • Budget
Build a Road map

Mapping is a terrific way to illustrate and visualize your approach. It’s also a great tool for aligning priorities.

Value Tracking

Value should be tracked as soon as the initiative starts. In many instances, value, metrics, returns on investment, and so forth, aren’t measured until after an initiative is launched. Creating value milestones allows quick wins to be measured provide clarity on progress and achieved value.

Persona-Based Design

Persona-based design is the process of documenting and illustrating stakeholders' change and experience once an initiative is deployed.

Persona-based design can help keep you on track. It’s a great tool for developing future state programs and managing change.

Strategic Planning

A strategic plan allows you to bring these steps together in a cohesive view. The strategic plan outlines each initiative, its timing, expected duration, action items, resources, budget, value, and measurement. A robust strategic plan will translate directly into a project plan for project management and execution.

We’re Here to Help

For guidance in navigating human resource challenges or more information regarding Human Capital Advisory Services, contact your Moss Adams professional.

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