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Five ways to be a better HR leader in 2023

Updated: Jan 19

CHIEF OF STAFF FIVE: The workplace culture will continue to evolve at an unprecedented rate this year due to the ever-changing landscape caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past year, organisations weathered challenges brought by the rise of remote work, massive resignations, global talent crunch, and economic uncertainties. These have served as wake-up calls to HR leaders, who hold key roles in shaping workplace culture and ensuring that businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Here are five ways to become a better HR leader in 2023.

1. Learn from the past year

While work has piled up over the holiday break and everyone wants to hit the ground running, HR teams must first reflect upon the last 12 months and evaluate their team’s performance, including small and big accomplishments, mistakes, and things they have learned.

This guide, from Skift Meetings, can help HR leaders assess their team’s performance last year through a number of factors such as employee turnover, absenteeism, and a plan of action for underperforming employees, among others.

After the evaluation, HR teams can move forward in setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for the year that will continue to foster employee engagement and productivity.

2. Pay more attention to mental health

Employee burnout happens when they experience high-level stress, and mental and physical exhaustion from working. Burnout employees might show low energy, irritability, mental fogginess, and difficulties concentrating.

Prolonged burnout may result in lower productivity, increased absenteeism, and lead to resignation, which affects employee morale and organisational operation. This is a major finding in Chief of Staff Asia’s HR Trends for 2023 report.

Here are some practices that HR leaders can follow to overcome this problem.

3. Improve digital literacy

Digital automation and optimisation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and data analytics are among the emerging trends and competencies that employers and employees must have to remain competitive in the post-Covid world.

Having strong digital skills will help professionals become more strategic and efficient in developing, implementing, and evaluating goals. These will help companies save time, money, and resources which will surely benefit the business on the financial side.

Chief of Staff Asia’s HR Trends for 2023 also found out that AI is fast becoming a key strategic tool in the HR industry, particularly when it comes to delivering more efficient recruitment and administrative processes, as well as personnel training and employee retention initiatives. The research points out that the use of AI is one of the top three HR trends that will transform the industry this year.

4. Lobby for an increase in salary, benefits, and rewards

Competitive salaries and company benefits help keep employees motivated and high-performing. These are also among, if not the top, considerations that job applicants look for in their future employer.

While the decision does not lie in HR's hands alone, they can lobby for a salary hike, backed by an employee's skills, growth, performance, and impact on organisational efficiency and productivity.

Aside from this, HR leaders may reward employees with other perks, such as discounts from partner stores (grocery marts, coffee shops, spas, and gyms), additional vacation leave credits or personal time off, and even performance bonuses.

5. Become a leader-coach

HR leaders must lead by example in creating a healthy work environment, where everyone is engaged and empowered. Gone are the days when employees were simply told what to do. Motivating employees to do and be their best, think outside the box, and step out of their comfort zones is a proven strategy to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

One of the ways to motivate employees is to give constructive feedback. Private conversations will help HR leaders know more about employees and find solutions to support them. For employees, this can help them realise their accomplishments, achievements, and performance gaps that they need to address.

Constructive criticism should be clear, concise, and direct to the point. Here are some tips that could help HR leaders deliver constructive criticisms better.

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