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4 ways HR leaders can remain relevant in 2023

Have you noticed how many previously unheard-of towns and cities are being touted as digital nomad havens? Locals are, in many cases, up in arms, helplessly watching property prices escalate as their quiet conurbations chase a cosmopolitan dream that they didn't agree to. The digital landscape is changing so rapidly that it is making my head spin, but has the world moved to the remote gig-economy future that most predicted through 2020?
Craig Raath, executive director at 21st Century
Craig Raath, executive director at 21st Century

Whilst we ponder how the future of work could morph during our career lifetime, let’s shift to a more immediate focus and unpack four areas where we think that HR can have the most impact in 2023.

1. Tackling talent challenges

Organisations are grappling with how to stay competitive in the global war for talent amid a rapidly changing job market. In South Africa, a real challenge that organisations are facing is planning around our future talent requirements. We are in an extremely disruptive time globally and what we need to solve is how to remain competitive in the war for talent when technology is allowing organisations to fish for talent in a global pool.

This is allowing talented South Africans to earn foreign currency even if they still choose to reside in South Africa. HR leaders need to ensure that their existing workforce planning policies are still able to cater to this disruptive landscape. They also need to ensure that their policy can cope with the new job titles that are about to enter the market, the scarcity of talent and the shift in the employer-employee dynamic.

2. Elevating employee experience

Getting employee experience right has become increasingly important in 2023 as HR strives to remain relevant in a rapidly changing business landscape. With the inculcation of remote work and the impact of technology on the workplace, HR leaders must focus on creating a positive and engaging experience for employees. This is crucial in retaining top talent, improving productivity, and maintaining a positive company culture.

Moreover, with the increased focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, HR leaders must ensure that all employees feel valued and supported, regardless of their background or circumstances. By prioritising the employee experience, HR can also play a crucial role in promoting employee well-being and mental health, which has become a top priority for many South African organisations.

3. Navigating organisational design and change management

Organisations are facing new challenges and opportunities that require them to adapt and evolve. As a result, HR leaders must be equipped with the skills and tools to support the design and implementation of effective organisational change.

This requires a deep understanding of the organisation's structure, processes and culture, as well as the ability to effectively engage with employees and stakeholders throughout the change process. By getting these critical components right, HR can demonstrate their strategic value to the organisation and help drive positive outcomes for both the business and its employees.

4. Embracing technology

Technology is fast becoming one of HR’s most critical allies in the war for boardroom relevance. This year is a tipping point and HR needs to harness the power of data to enable it to leverage insights from freely available organisational information. By mining this rich repository inherent in all organisations, HR folk will be able to cost interventions, calculate ROI on those interventions and predict future behaviours and trends.

HR departments are adopting people analytics and technology at an unprecedented rate and failure to follow suit will render those organisations uncompetitive in the war for talent. This is before we embrace the disruptor that is AI in general and ChatGPT (and its rapidly improving competitors) in particular. This will have a tsunami-like impact on the HR space and the sooner HR ups their tech game the better equipped they will be to ride this wave.

In conclusion, by focusing on the aforementioned challenges, HR leaders can future-proof their careers and drive success for their organisations and employees.

About Craig Raath

Craig Raath is an executive director at 21st Century

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