Employee experience trends: Top predictions for 2023

Written by: Officevibe | Edited by: Sofia Acosta
Published on: January 6, 2023 |  Reading time: 11m

Our current work landscape presents daily challenges and promising growth opportunities for both employers and employees. It’s no secret that the aftermath of COVID-19, the adjustment to remote work, and the Great Resignation turned the global workplace upside down. The flip side is these events created the perfect environment for positive change. And there’s so much more in store in the new year.

As we move into 2023, key employee experience trends continue emphasizing flexibility, employee wellness, hybrid and remote work, and a better work-life balance. Read on to learn how you can stay ahead of the pack and keep your employees happy and burgeoning this year.

As we enter the new year, you can expect further evolutionary shifts in the entire employee experience. With the Great Resignation leaving many companies short-staffed and virtual workplaces becoming the norm, many employers need creative ways to promote talent acquisition, stop attrition, and enhance productivity.

Below, we discuss the top trends shaping the state of the employee experience in 2023, all centered around remote employees, well-being programs, and retention tactics.

1. Strengthening team connections for a positive employee experience

Last year alone, approximately 4 million employees quit their jobs. While many factors contributed to the Great Resignation, one key driver was the lack of connection.

While the world of in-person work was far from perfect, it was great for fostering camaraderie, collaboration, and culture. If your company never looked back after going fully remote, you can vouch that replicating this over video calls and instant messaging is tough. But that doesn’t mean strengthening team connections should be sidelined.

When tackling this, it’s important to look beyond having fun. Sure, a fun work environment usually leads to a positive one, but there’s much more to it that leads to strong one-on-one, team, and company-wide connections. In 2023, many organizations will embrace more digital tools that allow for easier team connection in remote settings. The improved connection can strengthen employees’ mental health while fostering a more unified, successful team.

You’ve heard it time and time again: water cooler chats are a rarity these days. But that doesn’t mean relationships need to take a hit. Learn how you can maintain connections across remote teams.

2. Prioritizing employee well-being and work-life balance

As more companies embrace employee satisfaction tactics, employees expect their organizations to prioritize their needs, whether that means reduced hours or improved employee benefits. Flexible perks are key here. Many employees are no longer satisfied with working overtime for a bigger check.

Employees want to expand their careers without sacrificing their home life, families, free time, and mental health. Many companies have adopted the flexible work schedule idea, allowing remote workers to get the job done when it’s most convenient.

All your employees have different at-home lives and schedules. Letting them choose when and how they work (with a little guidance and structure) can improve the employee experience, increase engagement, boost productivity, and reduce burnout.

3. Refining the hybrid work model

The hybrid work model is a not-so-new concept for employees and organizations around the world. However, it’s shifted a lot and we’re finally reaching a point of refinement.

In the last few years, many companies began adopting gradual tactics for returning to the office, resulting in partial in-person and digital work hours. For some, it also meant opening the horizons for hiring, which led to teams that are physically distributed across cities, countries, and even the world. More on this later.

Perfecting the distributed employee experience is challenging because every team member works differently and has different preferences.

Most companies have taken two approaches to this puzzle:

  • Staff splitting: Many organizations give their employees full decision power and flexibility. Workers can choose between in-office or remote work, depending on what will keep them engaged. This tactic can offer a positive experience for most team members, although you may never see a full staff in the office at once.
  • Digital and in-person days: Other companies prefer more organized schedules that require employees to work from home some days and visit the office on others. This hybrid model can allow your team to collaborate regularly on projects, then divide and conquer when necessary.

2023 will be the year to see what works best for your team so you can set clear, long-term policies.

4. Adopting the distributed team model

After spending so much time at home, many employees and employers have realized the benefits of remote work. Companies can expand their talent supply chain by reaching national and even global audiences. Rather than seeking local employees only, you can find industry experts from around the world ready to help your company thrive.

Balancing flexibility with connection

Companies following this model may no longer have the luxury of seeing their entire workforce at the office on a weekly or even monthly basis. If your team is scattered across the country with many employees far from the HQ, you can choose the staff-splitting method for those living near the head office and take a remote-first approach for employees who live elsewhere.

In 2023, employees will seek this flexibility and autonomy more than ever, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t see their colleagues in person at all. You’ll find it useful to host at least one mandatory in-person event to make sure you build connections and foster a great company culture.

Working from anywhere allows employees to explore new life experiences and work at their own rhythm while keeping the security and stability of their current job. The days of leaving a job because of a cross-country move are over.

Is your distributed team thriving? Collecting feedback with a distributed teams survey template can help you gauge how your remote employees feel and how you can improve their employee experience.

5. Enhancing digital experiences

The significant increase in remote work will likely revolutionize the HR technology market. Many people think of HR professionals as hands-on leaders, though much of the role involves analytics, performance management, talent acquisition, payroll, expense reports, and other tasks that can be digitalized. As companies embrace work-from-home models, HR teams can expect exciting advancements in HR technology that streamline managing tasks.

HR tech is not the only mechanism that will improve with the movement toward remote workplaces. The entire employee journey with your company will likely include more advanced technology offering streamlined workflows, integrated customer journey tools, enhanced productivity, and deep employee insights.

Digitization can improve the employee experience and subsequently the customer experience, offering comprehensive benefits for your company. For example, HR teams can have an easier time mapping careers for employees, new employees learn the ropes more rapidly and efficiently, and managers can nip team problems in the bud following a quick data analysis.

6. Providing meaningful work for improved employee engagement

Everyone wants to feel like they’re contributing to something important. Often, employees experience burnout when they don’t fully understand the “why” behind their role. Providing more meaning to the employee experience will likely reach the forefront of employee retention tactics in the upcoming year.

How exactly can you help employees understand their purpose? You don’t need to add meaning to your existing jobs, per se, as your employees already play integral roles in the organization. If their work was meaningless, their position wouldn’t exist. Instead, you want to help your employees better understand how their day-to-day efforts contribute to the bigger picture and why it’s crucial to the business’s success.

Setting your team up for success with OKRs

Meaningful work starts with the right alignment and motivation. Enter OKRs: the key to helping your employees work towards goals that will push your company forward.

Officevibe’s OKR goal-setting tool lets you collaboratively map out employee goals that awaken accountability and pave the way for team excellence.

7. Focusing more on diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are hot topics for all HR leaders and company executives entering 2023. Data from a recent McKinsey & Company report shows that organizations with above-average gender and ethnic diversity outperform competitors financially, with as much as 43% higher profit margins.

Companies with healthy diversity, equity, and inclusion boast stronger investment and performance rates, creating better company landscapes with teams built for long-lasting scalable success. When human resources departments offer equal opportunities to each new employee, teams can flourish with healthy competitive environments for optimal professional growth, reducing the widening talent gap.

The perks of having a diverse workforce are abundant, but these are the three benefits of diversity that are sure to make a world of difference in your team.

8. Improving onboarding and candidate experiences

Employee performance begins with the candidate and onboarding experiences. The first few interactions you have with potential employees are critical opportunities for shaping their motivation, passion, and skill sets. The onboarding experience not only trains employees to be successful in their roles, but it tells them how much they will care about their job from here on out.

Imagine you interview for a position with a human resources professional who’s incredibly passionate about their role and excited about your potential at the organization. In your first few interactions, your new manager clearly explains how your role will shape the company’s future. Then, you’re scheduled to meet the right colleagues at the right time throughout the rest of your onboarding process. This type of onboarding nurtures employees who want to work their hardest daily and consistently feel fulfilled.

We expect more onboarding experiences in the upcoming year to prioritize employee importance. With improvements in HR tech, employees will likely see more comprehensive and advanced training tools for optimal role preparation.

If you’re tackling onboarding from an HR perspective only, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Learn what makes a stellar onboarding plan, and how it creates ambassadors as of day one.

9. Giving employees a stronger voice with feedback

As more organizations make conscious efforts to prioritize employee satisfaction, they’ll discover the need for in-depth, helpful, and effective feedback mechanisms. Consistent and targeted feedback cultivates a better workplace environment that celebrates growth and loyalty.

You can use innovative ways to get employee feedback and uncover improvement opportunities in the following areas and more:

  • Compensation and benefits
  • Hours or scheduling flexibility
  • Communication
  • Workflows
  • Feedback
  • Onboarding
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Wellness and mental health
  • Managerial tactics

Feedback helps you understand how the team feels so you can support them where they need it most. With targeted questions and responses, you can empower teams with the programs, tools, and resources needed to succeed. Regular check-ins also show your employees that you care about their opinions and actively want to improve their experience with your company.

As we enter 2023, more HR tech departments will seek advanced feedback collection software that goes beyond a few yes or no questions. At Officevibe, we offer comprehensive employee feedback software that allows you to prioritize employee development, turn talking points into action items, foster team alignment, understand key improvement insights, and be there for your team when they need it most, no matter how busy you are.

10. Upskilling and training employees to retain top talent

As the number of open jobs rises and employers seek new ways to fill advanced roles, upskilling might become the go-to tactic in the upcoming year. Upskilling and training involve investing in novice workers and nourishing their careers in your organization. By doing so, the employee gains experience and knowledge through their position, encouraging them to expand their career and remain loyal to your company.

As digital education and HR tech advance, upskilling becomes more attainable for many smaller companies hoping to retain and improve their team. You can encourage employees to take various online courses or certifications to refine their skills and reach new career heights.

Do you know where your employees are headed professionally? Do they need guidance to figure it out? It might be time to have the career development talk.

11. Offering benefit flexibility

Another side effect of the post-pandemic remote workplace is the change in benefit priorities. When teams worked in the office daily, they cared about clean break rooms, fresh fruit, holiday parties, in-office gyms, and other luxuries that simply don’t apply to at-home work. As we reach 2023, we must shift benefit priorities to what employees care about most, which you can discover by surveying your team.

Remote employment also poses a new challenge regarding payment equity, with workers experiencing different living costs. For example, you may have one employee living in New York City paying $3,000 in rent, while other team members reside across the globe paying just $800. Many larger corporations now adopt more personalized benefit policies based on team members’ locations and benefit preferences.

12. Focusing on employee engagement in hybrid environments

Keeping teams engaged in digital environments boils down to one thing: human connection. Human connection can feel impossible when working with colleagues across the globe, but accessible software solutions make it more feasible each day.

The modern hybrid employee experience must include intuitive communication tools for optimal engagement. For your business, this may mean one-on-one video calls, group chat sessions, and unified dashboard planning systems. You can uncover your team’s preferred tech, communication, and engagement methods by collecting feedback and trying out different tools until you find one that works.

Great hybrid environments call for effective meetings for all. Follow these 17 remote meeting best practices to help your distributed team succeed.

How employees are driving the future of work

Creating a great employee experience is essential for any organization hoping to thrive in the 2023 work landscape. Companies worldwide continue paving the way for upcoming employee experience trends, focusing on employee engagement, retention, flexible benefits, and culturally sensitive, people-focused team experiences.

Regular, constructive employee feedback can help you make the right decisions to improve the employee experience, ultimately offering business success. With Officevibe’s intuitive employee engagement platform, it’s easy to gain meaningful insights into employee experience trends in your organization.