The latest report on workplace predictions by The Josh Bersin Company centres around the big trends that are shaping the future, and highlights the need for companies to listen more, lead more and plan more.
‘People Sustainability’ is introduced as a new concept, combining a more conscious support for employees around physical and mental health with financial wellbeing, unified under the umbrella of long-term organisational sustainability.
Speaking exclusively to HR Grapevine, Bersin says: “2023 is already turning into a paradoxical year of business slowdown coupled with a very difficult labour market. It’s hard to hire people, employees are burned out, and most companies are still improving their hybrid work strategies.”
“Nearly every mid-to-large company now wants a “skills-based” system for hiring, promotion, pay, and employee development.”
“Companies are also coming to grips with new strategies for internal mobility,” Bersin continues, “and a much more “flattened organisation” to get things done more productively. And this impacts leadership and management skills as well.”
Better skills, stronger leadership
Many companies still seems to think skills-based strategies neatly replace competency models, but they don’t. In the competency model era, we selected competencies from a book and matched them each to a job. Today, that doesn’t work. There are hundreds of thousands of skills, each of which might trend up or down, based on technology or business shifts.
HR Leaders should use data to focus on who to hire, who to promote, and how to develop people. Bersin urges people to think “capabilities first, skills second” and assess real world data to track which skills are actually needed.
On leadership, Bersin believes it’s a year destined for action, and notes: “CHROs and HR leaders are now very much ‘at the table’ and being asked to lead efforts, drive productivity, fix the performance management process, accelerate reskilling, and improve employee wellbeing and engagement.”
“So it’s a year of “activation” and direct support of business leaders, while topics like DEI and early career growth continue to also be a priority.”
Today, leaders don’t “manage” or “direct” people very much anymore; instead they empower, train, support, align, and move people around.