Editor’s Note: HR’s New Normal

In some ways 2023 has been a “normal” year. However, even normal years in the current context present unique challenges and are anything but straightforward. There are still seismic shifts being felt in the wake of the pandemic. 2023 has seen numerous businesses calling time on working from home, but it has also seen businesses deciding to embrace hybrid working come what may.

The absence of a global crisis does not mean there has not been ongoing and new conflict impact on the international workforce, on markets, and businesses generally. The cost-of-living crisis rumbles on, persisting rather than increasingly difficult, and the need for thorough mental health and financial health support across has been cemented into nearly every business’ benefits package.

Will next year be “better?” Certainly, the current challenges will remain, alongside further complicated concepts around technology, AI, and employee productivity. It is unlikely, in my view, that this will be the year when humans are seriously challenged in the workplace by technology, but I am certain that there will be more discussions and hand-wringing over the balance of people and machines.

HR will remain the preserve of real people. Give the administrative work, the data, and even some of the analysis to the machines, but the actual communications, care, responsiveness, attention to detail, and final decisions must rest with people. People buy from people as the sales department says, but more accurately, people trust people. They’ll listen to each other, talk to each other, and support each other. And that is how HR will succeed within their organisations next year and beyond.

Simon Kent

Tags: EMEA November December 2023

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