Organizations have always had to plan for uncertain futures, but the complexities of navigating a changing workplace seem more formidable in 2023 than ever before. Now, companies are looking at uncertain global economic conditions, dramatically changed employee expectations, and new business models in some industries.


“The pandemic moment was the tipping point for HR leaders, asking more of the function and forcing a sort of conspicuous, almost wartime leadership that may have surprised a few cynics.” Workplace Trends 2023: Brace for Mutual Impact, Visier

What Can HR Expect To Face This Year?

As we start 2023, here are 7 topics that human resources professionals can expect to face during the year.

1. Managing the In-Office, Remote, or Hybrid Work Experience

The transition to remote work that was already developing accelerated dramatically at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Since that time, employees have made space in their homes for work, developed new ways of working, and have come to enjoy the flexibility and other benefits of remote work.  

While research is inconsistent in terms of exactly how many employees want to continue to work from home, nearly all of the research shows that the percentage is significant, 32% of US employees said they have already quit a job due to being forced to physically be in an office setting.

Companies’ responses to this employee preference have been quite varied. On one hand, Elon Musk famously required Twitter employees to return to the office or get fired, while Spotify opted for a program called “Work from Anywhere” that allows employees to work from home, the office, or a hybrid of both. 

Whatever their company's policy about remote work may be, hr leaders have 3 challenges to overcome:

  1. if the organization returns to a 100% in-office policy, turnover might increase as unhappy employees seek work elsewhere.

  2. fully remote workforces face issues with collaboration and employee recognition from managers. promoting company culture with off-site workers requires making changes to the old ways of doing things.

  3. managing a hybrid workforce likewise means that hr must reconsider policies, provide training and development to keep productivity and employee engagement high, and possibly even reconfigure workspaces or teams. 

2. Data Gets More Important (And Better)

Data is everywhere in today’s world, and HR is no different. Increasingly, HR leaders are using data to make better-informed decisions and to meet regulatory requirements.

“Effectively using analytics and technology are going to be essential for the future of the HR function.”
Rebecca Ray, executive vice president of human capital at The Conference Board, quoted in Human Resource Executive.

The Forbes Human Resources Council noted ways that data can help improve the HR function, including improving retention and enabling unbiased decision-making. They also cite benefits like predicting hiring needs and reducing costs.

Data has become more important for regulatory purposes as well.

  • Responding to investor demands, the SEC in 2020 mandated that companies should include information about how they use human capital in annual reports. As organizations have begun to incorporate these human capital disclosures, HR leaders have been an integral part of the process. In 2023, expect to see even more involvement from human resources departments in gathering and reporting this data.

  • HR leaders find themselves increasingly called upon for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting requirements for multinational corporations. While ESG has been of interest to socially conscious investors for some time, customers and the community have taken note, and many employees note that they want to work for organizations that are committed to ethically sound ESG practices.

    In short, “people analytics” have never been more critical for HR departments.

3. Resignations, Retention and Recruitment

In the wake of major employment disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, several companies experienced the so-called “Great Resignation.” As employees resigned for a myriad of reasons, human resources professionals faced challenges finding replacements in a tight labor market. In a study published in early 2022 by All Voices, 53% of HR professionals felt burned out. 

While the pace of resignations may have slowed, 2023 looks to be another challenging year. Considering that the average cost to replace an employee is twice their salary, companies are looking for new and innovative ways to keep employees.

this includes 3 challenges:

  1. providing manager training for dealing with hybrid or fully remote workforces.

  2. priortizing employee development by helping them obtain "future" skills.

  3. continually seeking input from employees.

When recruiting new employees, HR professionals continue to find it necessary to think like marketers to attract top talent. Social recruitment has become a necessity in many industries, as old ways of hiring prove to be ineffective today.

4. Pay Transparency and Non-Financial Benefits

In a marked shift from the past, younger employees feel more comfortable discussing financial compensation openly, and the Internet makes it much easier for anyone to find compensation data online. At the same time, more and more states and cities are passing laws regarding pay transparency.

Pay transparency creates a big challenge for HR as they work to meet the legal requirements while contextualizing the now-public information for existing employees, who may find the new transparency de-motivating.

Additionally, employees have begun to place more value on non-financial compensation, which will require human resources departments to understand what rewards are desirable. Many organizations find that this is an area where having an employee assistance program can be extremely helpful, as this allows them to expand the range of benefits they can offer. 

5. Focus on Effectiveness Versus Efficiency

Even as workplaces continue to evolve, “24% of HR leaders say their leadership development approach does not prepare leaders for the future of work.”

Rather than focusing solely on maximizing efficiency, the leaders of today need to be human-centric. Here is the equation: 
                           Authentic + Empathetic + Adaptive = Human Leadership.

Making the switch from efficiency to effectiveness may require training and development for leaders throughout the organization, and HR should expect to play a significant role in that area. 

HubSpot Video


6. Change Management Becomes Even More Critical

The biggest trend for human resources in 2023 is managing all the change that has been happening - and continues unabated. From COVID restrictions to employee turnover, changing work environments, and economic uncertainty, employees have needed to adapt more than ever over the past few years, and HR has often been at the forefront. 

Having to adapt and make changes to processes or routines can be challenging for some employees even if they view the changes as positive. Even for employees who are happy to see their organization evolve, too much change can lead to “change fatigue,” resulting in lower productivity and high turnover.

HR plays an important role in helping employees anticipate and accept change, as well as in helping them adjust after the fact. Open communications, clear rationales, and a willingness to provide employee assistance through an EAP can all help employees adapt to their new circumstances.

7. Adapting to a Changing World

If the past several years have taught anything, it is that we must be prepared for the unexpected. Some HR trends for 2023 will likely be a continuation of recent developments, but it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen.

HR professionals, as always, need to stay alert to the many factors that influence their companies and their employees. 

When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work/life balance and increase your happiness. The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.

Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you.  Visit or call 866-648-8326.

The Ulliance Employee Assistance Program can address the
following issues:

• Stress about work or job performance
• Crisis in the workplace
• Conflict resolution at work or in one’s personal life
• Marital or relationship problems
• Child or elder care concerns
• Financial worries
• Mental health problems
• Alcohol/substance abuse
• Grief
• Interpersonal conflicts


Elon Musk Orders Twitter Employees Back to Office Full Time, San Francisco Chronicle,

How to Promote Culture in a Remote Workplace, Washington Post,

HR and the Great Resignation: Who’s Leaving, Hiring Outlook, and Strategies for Retention,

 HR’s Emerging Role in Required Human Capital Reporting,

Nine Benefits of Embracing Big Data in Human Resources, Forbes,

The Top HR Trends and Priorities for 2023, Gartner,

What the Growing Focus on ESG Issues Means for CHROs, Human Resource Executive,

Work From Anywhere, Spotify,

Workplace Trends 2023: Brace for Mutual Impact, Visier,