Embracing the Future: Craft Resilient Workplace Strategies

workplace strategy

If you thought we’d be returning to something more “normal” after the turbulence of the last couple of years, 2023 might be a bit of a shock. The fact is, in 2023, employers are going to be facing a variety of new challenges.

In the wake of the global pandemic and the subsequent Great Resignation, workers have begun reevaluating what they want from the companies that hire them. So in 2023, we’ll have a new kind of workforce that needs a new kind of workplace. Fail to adapt, and you’ll struggle to attract or retain the talent you need for brand growth.

The good news is there are some clear pathways to developing a winning workplace strategy in 2023. Looking at recent events, surveys, and trends, a roadmap to an efficient, effective, and above all, attractive workplace is well within reach.

The key?

Empowering employees.

The wellbeing focus

In the face of global turbulence and an economic crisis affecting everyone but the billionaires, nothing feels quite as certain as it did pre-pandemic. In the US, Gallup’s 2022 report found 40% of employees were worried about the future and 56% were considering a job change due to that worry.

So, in the face of these challenges, how do you continue to attract top talent? The answer is to make work more enjoyable. As Gen X and Boomers head into senior positions (or retirement), Millennials and Gen Z will play a big part in the workplace of the future. Already, Gen Z is entering the workplace, and their demands and needs are different from any generation before them.

And wellbeing is a priority.

By creating an enjoyable workplace, the modern employee will be inspired to excel. They’ll be encouraged to communicate, collaborate, and get more creative when it comes to solutions. And in 2023, that healthier approach to our work lives is going to be a priority for many. Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report found 60% of employees are currently emotionally detached at work, and 19% are actually miserable. 

That statistic is alarming for all organisations because not only does it impact the personal lives of employees, but it also causes harm to workplace performance. And that’s not good news for an organisation’s bottom line.

However, the solution is also included in the Gallup report, where 95% of employees who were thriving were doing so because they were treated with respect. 

So company culture needs to evolve. Respect and workplace satisfaction go hand in hand. 

That’s where managers and leaders come in. Do your employees have clear, definable goals and is there a feedback loop rewarding high performers? Is collaboration a seamless process?

It’s not all about work, either. Is there time, space, and permission to socialise? To discuss things that aren’t related to work?

Employee wellbeing in 2023 isn’t just about healthy snacks and yoga sessions. It’s about psychological safety, understanding the entire needs of each individual on the team, and investing in personalised wellbeing strategies and programs that have a real impact. Not as a one-off, lip-service offer but as an all-year-round and consistent examination of employee wellbeing. This shows you care — and that will go a long way to retaining top talent.

So the top workplace strategy in 2023 is to care about your employees. Consider adopting more flexible working hours or ways of working. Shorter work weeks are a growing trend, as are workplace wellness programs and health activities. Even something as simple as offering nutritional advice can go a long way to a happier, more productive, and more profitable army of employees.


Related reading: How to Support Work-Life Balance for Employees: The Ultimate Cloudbooking Guide

Eradicate legacy tech

If your workplace is still relying on outdated technologies, you’re introducing a whole new world of problems and challenges for your team. Developing the right workplace strategy means eliminating legacy tech and adopting friction-free technologies. When an astonishing 91% of employees say they are currently frustrated with workplace tech, it’s obvious organisations need a new approach to their technology adoption and use.

The tech world and the business world evolve quickly. And if the technologies available aren’t up to scratch, employees will be far more likely to start looking elsewhere for employment.

It’s just about introducing the right technologies that meet the expectations of those who will be using them. That’s going to mean:

  • Providing adequate training sessions
  • Ensuring those using the tech understand the benefits of it
  • Allowing for a learning curve as new technologies are introduced

Another risk is doing the most basic research and then choosing a new technology without team input. You need to ensure any new technologies you introduce are solving problems and not causing them and that they fit in with how your team works. 

Goals and motivation

One key workplace strategy in 2023 will mean a shift in thinking for many employers. No longer are employees driven by the traditional five-day, nine-to-five mindset. Instead, they think in terms of meeting goals. The challenge here will be the leaders who are set in their ways, who micromanage, and demand not that projects are completed but that they are completed at the right time and in the right place.

However, if you present employee tasks as a series of projects, they will be inspired. Project goals are always more satisfying to tackle and complete than the “this is work that must be done in this way” approach. And every project that gets completed is a boost to employee self-esteem.

That sense of freedom also delivers another key benefit, both for the employee and the organisation: it allows them to be more creative when problem-solving. If employees are encouraged to think that way, the organisation benefits from new approaches and new ways of working

Of course, goals and deadlines still need to be in place. But being more flexible about how that work is completed will be a key workplace strategy as we barrel into 2023. 

Trust your team to get the work done and they’ll appreciate that trust. They will learn first-hand you trust them not just as an employee but as an individual — and that will always be good for your retention rates.


Related reading: 3 Key Drivers of Employee Engagement in Hybrid Teams


Flexibility is here to stay

Much has been written about how the pandemic accelerated remote work, and flexible working is simply an extension of that. The mistake many organisations are making is coming firmly down on one side or another. Some encourage remote work when their employees don’t particularly want it. Others go the opposite way and demand full-time in-office availability.

The solution — and one of the most important workplace strategies in 2023 — is a more flexible, hybrid option. 

Gen Z is rapidly entering the workforce, but there are a vast number of incorrect assumptions about this generation of employees that are simply dangerous. For example, it’s easy to assume that the first generation to grow up without any awareness of what life was like without the internet would always opt for remote work. That isn’t true.

In our Future of Work report, we found Gen Z is a lot keener on spending time in the workplace than most expected. They want the benefits of remote work but also access to the socialising and career development that comes with a more traditional setting. So employers must be cautious about making workplace strategy assumptions without doing their research first.

Related reading: The Future of Working from Home: Hybrid Office or Remote Work?


Financial conversations

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest worries for employees across the board is all about the economy. With inflation, a cost of living crisis, and the rising prices in supermarkets, it’s natural for your team members to be concerned about their money situation. Unfortunately, they bring those worries to the workplace.

And that directly impacts workplace performance. Motivation decreases and exhaustion sets in and employees become more distant.

Of course, if you ask those employees how you can help, the answer will be, “pay me more”. Money worries are something that’s going to drive your top-performing employees into the arms of another company. Others might even find second (or third) jobs, which means they’ll be more likely to burn out — again affecting their efficiency and productivity.

Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Burnout: Early Signs, Driving Factors and Prevention Tips


So what kind of workplace strategy can you develop to ease the financial concerns of your team? Additional pay is obvious, but it’s not a solution that every organisation can adopt. Subsidy offers will also ease the costs of living, but again, these may not be accessible to all.

However, one fact is very clear and startlingly obvious: most employees aren’t going to feel comfortable discussing their finances with their managers, colleagues, or leaders. Being able to offer any form of financial support will have to begin with how you tackle that conversation. Certainly, it can be a delicate subject.

The first thing to consider is that perhaps your employees aren’t feeling the crunch, so don’t start this approach to a more financially helpful workplace strategy by making assumptions about your team’s finances. 

Instead, set up anonymous surveys. It’s almost always the case that people feel awkward talking about their finances, especially in times of economic stress — and certainly with their employer. 

So an anonymous survey about the financial stresses affecting every member of your team is simply common sense. By developing a deeper understanding of the financial worries of your organisation as a whole, you can start to ideate and find solutions to help. And that, too, is only good news when it comes to workplace loyalty and staff retention.


Related reading: 5 Ways to Create a Recession-Proof Workplace


The workplace surveillance conundrum

Workplace surveillance is becoming a controversial topic. In many cases, employers are worried they can’t keep an eye on their employees or may be accused of invading their privacy and violating their human rights when tracking them remotely. 

While employers need to be aware of these threats and take precautions when implementing surveillance solutions, these tools should ultimately benefit employers and employees alike. 

The workplace surveillance problem is undoubtedly a complex issue requiring careful consideration by employers. When workplace surveillance is implemented within a well-defined workplace strategy, it can offer opportunities to improve workplace collaboration while also allowing employers to develop and maintain healthy boundaries between work and personal activities.

When workplace surveillance is used ethically and responsibly, employers can gain data-backed insights into the specific work dynamics of their employees. This can lead to better decisions related to workplace policies and strategies aimed at fostering an environment of improved mental health.

However, it’s also important for employers to remember that workplace privacy standards must be respected. Otherwise, this could lead to issues with trust being eroded in the workplace.

Your approach to workplace strategy in 2023

To build a winning workplace strategy for 2023, you must stay ahead of the latest research and trends. Companies are changing faster than ever and the landscape is constantly shifting. What worked last year may not work this year, so it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest changes in the marketplace. 

Workplace design will continue to be driven by a need for flexibility, diversity, and inclusion in the coming years. As we head into 2023, it’s important to consider these trends and how they can impact your workplace strategy. 

Creating a winning workplace strategy is essential for any organisation that wants to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. By understanding the latest research and trends, you can develop a workplace strategy that will help your organisation thrive in the years to come. 


You can learn more about what’s expected of organisations in our Future of Work: 8 Trends in Workplace Transformation report, produced in partnership with YouGov. Download the report and get actionable insights into what to expect from your workplace and your team in 2023.

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