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  • Writer's pictureTroy Vermillion

The Top 7 Priorities for HR in 2023

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Human Resources leaders have the difficult task of modernizing their departments by investing in people and technology to create a positive environment while also changing from traditional HR to automation. As new employee expectations emerge, retention and hiring become more challenging than ever—but top priorities remain clear based on survey responses and research.

We've taken a closer look at the top 7 priorities for HR in 2023 and how these goals could change your strategies before it's too late.

Leadership development

With the ever-growing expectations of our leaders in this modern business environment, it is clear that what we need today are "human" leaders. They must be genuine and compassionate as well as adaptive to changing conditions; however, despite HR's efforts to cultivate commitment, courage, and confidence among these individuals, not enough obstacles have been addressed which prevent them from achieving authentic human leadership - fear, self-doubt and uncertainty being prime among those barriers.

To unleash a new generation of authentic but bold people leaders who can embody worldwide values such as trustworthiness or transparency, more needs to be done when helping potential future leaders come into their own power.

One key strategy to achieve this is using leadership development programs. These can take many forms, from one-on-one coaching and training sessions with mentors or supervisors to group workshops focusing on themes such as communication or emotional intelligence.

By providing leaders with opportunities to identify their strengths and weaknesses and then giving them the tools they need to grow, HR departments can ensure that they have leaders ready to face the challenges of 2023 and beyond.

Employee engagement

For any organization to achieve long-term success, its employees must be highly engaged with their work. While this may seem like a daunting task, there are several strategies that HR can use to foster an atmosphere of deep commitment and connection among employees.

One of the best ways to engage your employees is by investing in their professional growth. Whether this means providing them with access to training programs, mentorship opportunities, or other resources, HR professionals must ensure that every employee has the support and encouragement they need to thrive in their roles.

Additionally, keeping employees engaged means providing them with a sense of meaning and purpose in their work; HR should consider incorporating more company-wide initiatives that focus on charitable causes or other community efforts.

Diversity & Inclusion

While the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workplace are well-documented, achieving this goal can be challenging. To create a truly inclusive environment, HR professionals must take the time to understand their employees' backgrounds and experiences and make efforts to eliminate unconscious biases that may prevent them from seeing people for who they are.

One strategy that has proven effective for many HR departments is implementing diversity and inclusion training. By providing employees with essential information about how to be inclusive in their interactions and encouraging open conversations about these topics, HR professionals can help shape a culture that embraces our similarities and differences.

Additionally, it is essential to keep an eye on workplace policies—such as those related to promotions, why specific individuals are hired, or even who is chosen for leadership opportunities—to identify and resolve any potential biases.

With these strategies in place, HR professionals can ensure that their organizations have the tools they need to become more inclusive and diverse workplaces of the future. By focusing on these critical areas, HR departments can set themselves up for success in 2023 and beyond.

Change Management

Over the last few years, unpredictable economic and political climates have caused significant disruption in multiple areas of life - including within organizations.

While HR departments across industries continue to prioritize organizational design and change management initiatives, employees are increasingly resistant to further transition: Gartner's Workforce Change Survey revealed that employee willingness towards adapting behaviors decreased from 74% (in 2016) down to only 38% six short years later.

To prevent exhaustion-induced issues such as reduced engagement or morale among workers, CHROs need to help their team members cope with current shifts while protecting others' mental health through practical guidance during times of transformation.

One effective strategy for managing change is to provide employees with regular communication and updates about the organization's goals, plans, and progress. By keeping everyone in the loop about what changes are taking place and why, HR professionals can help mitigate uncertainty around upcoming adjustments - which can be especially beneficial for those tasked with leading their teams through significant shifts.

Additionally, CHROs should provide employees with opportunities for feedback, such as surveys or focus groups, which can help them identify areas that need improvement and guide future efforts.

Ultimately, HR professionals must prioritize change management to create a positive work environment and ensure their organizations remain competitive as we transition into 2023. With the right strategies and skills, HR departments can help their employees successfully navigate the complexities of tomorrow's uncertain world.

Future of Work

As the world of employment continues to undergo unprecedented change, HR professionals are tasked with preparing their organizations for an increasingly unpredictable future.

Outdated approaches involving workforce planning no longer suffice - they fail to address mounting challenges such as rapidly shifting skillsets, dwindling talent pools, and intensifying churn rates.

It's become clear we must pivot from outdated strategies which seek predictability and control to thrive amidst this drastically transforming landscape — an approach that unlocks possibilities instead of closes them off may be what propels us into a success!

To prepare for the future of work, HR professionals must first understand the current state. This means assessing the skillsets and competencies required to succeed within their organization and those in high demand throughout various industries.

By identifying emerging trends, CHROs can proactively prepare their organizations to adapt by developing targeted training programs, revamping recruiting and onboarding strategies, and implementing novel compensation models. Additionally, HR departments should work closely with management teams to regularly adapt to current market shifts while simultaneously predicting what will be needed next.

Another critical area of focus for the future of work is creating an inclusive environment that promotes diversity and inclusion across all levels of the organization. By fostering an inclusive culture and team dynamics, CHROs can help mitigate unconscious biases and encourage open dialogue - two essential ingredients for tapping into new possibilities as we move forward.

To succeed in the future of work, HR professionals must embrace change while staying focused on their organization's goals and priorities. With the right strategies and approaches, they can ensure their team members are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of tomorrow's fast-paced world.

Increasing Cost of Benefits and Rising Employee Expectations

As costs for health insurance and other employee benefits continue to rise at an unsustainable rate, HR professionals must find new ways to keep these expenses under control. One key strategy is to conduct regular audits of existing plans and identify areas that can be optimized or streamlined.

For example, this may involve reviewing claims data and plan designs with an eye toward cost efficiencies, such as adjusting funding strategies, benchmarking, or switching carriers.

The most significant expense that deserves your attention is the pharmacy benefits portion of healthcare. As HR professionals, you'll need to work with your health plan providers to get access to the data and have transparent conversations about new gene therapies and how they impact your plans.

In addition to managing costs, HR professionals must stay attuned to shifting employee expectations regarding benefits. In a recent survey, nearly 90% of respondents said they would be willing to trade some of their salary for attractive perks such as flexible work arrangements and childcare support.

As these trends evolve, HR departments must keep an eye on emerging needs and develop benefit offerings accordingly.


Talent acquisition is gaining more attention than ever, with nearly half of HR leaders prioritizing it over other business objectives. However, 36% need help finding adequate talent sources for their strategies due to the timing and uncertainty within this rapidly changing market.

Despite macroeconomic conditions, organizations must continue striving forward by implementing three key tactics:

  • Intelligence-based sourcing capabilities.

  • An equitable internal labor market.

  • Onboarding that drives engagement to achieve solid recruitment goals now and into the future.

One key element of successful talent acquisition is intelligence-based sourcing capabilities. This refers to an organization's ability to leverage data and analytics to identify the most promising candidates for specific roles.

By leveraging data insights, HR leaders can refine their sourcing practices and more efficiently identify candidates that match the skills and competencies needed for success within each role.

Another critical component of talent acquisition is building an equitable internal labor market. Organizations must offer fair and competitive compensation packages that attract and retain top talent to achieve this.

Additionally, organizations need to foster a culture of transparency and communication around career opportunities, allowing employees to accurately understand their potential growth paths within the company.

Finally, organizations must implement effective onboarding strategies to maintain a strong focus on talent acquisition in this rapidly changing market. This involves developing comprehensive onboarding programs that provide new employees with the tools and resources they need to thrive within their roles and contribute to overall organizational success.

Organizations can attract and retain top talent by investing in robust onboarding processes, even in challenging economic conditions.​


As HR professionals anticipate the challenges and opportunities of the coming years, it is clear that managing costs, adapting to changing employee expectations, and developing effective talent acquisition strategies will be key priorities for success.

Organizations can build a strong workforce that drives long-term business growth by focusing on these areas and leveraging data-driven insights to inform decisions.


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