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2022 was full of unexpected twists and turns, strong opinions and, of course, creative new buzzwords to add to our repertoire.

We considered asking our crystal ball which trends we can expect to shape the workplace in 2023 but, instead, we decided to play it safe and base our predictions on our team’s expansive knowledge of the current market, gleaned from conversations with hundreds of professionals, employers and industry leaders.

Here’s what’s making waves in the world of work right now:

Training + development is front of mind

Career growth remains top of mind for professionals at all levels. For employers hoping to give their retention rates a boost, creating an environment that supports the continued development of its employees is essential.

This year, we’ll continue to see employers invest in their employees by offering leadership training, mentorship programs and outlets for honest conversations about growth and career goals.

The mutual benefits of upskilling

With budget constraints limiting spending for many organizations, employers are learning how to do more with less. Interestingly, this has resulted in an unexpected silver lining as more companies hop on board the upskilling trend.

Basically, upskilling is about creating opportunities for employees to advance with the organization, while also helping the company from a cost standpoint – kind of a two birds, one stone situation. When done properly, upskilling gives employees the chance to expand on their strengths, explore new areas of interest and develop different areas of their skillset.

Flexibility remains a must-have

The seemingly endless debate wages on between proponents of remote work and those pushing for a return to the physical workspace – *yawn*. Are employees more productive in the office? Is focus improved without the distraction of water cooler chatter? Personal opinions aside, it’s high time we come to terms with two things: workplace flexibility is no longer a perk, it’s a necessity, and hybrid work is here to stay.

With this in mind, employers mandating employees return to the office full-time should be prepared for pushback – and potentially turnover.

Supporting employee well-being

Balance > burnout. This year, employees aren’t working around the clock, checking emails at all hours and prioritizing work over their personal wellbeing: instead, they’re setting clear boundaries, using up those hard-earned vacation days and feeling okay about powering down at 5pm.

Well, we’re working towards that, anyway. For some employees, taking days off is still associated with feelings of guilt, uncertainty and anxiety – and that certainly doesn’t sound relaxing. Companies need to be proactively encouraging their employees to invest in their personal wellness, to spend time away from the job and, most importantly, not to let that PTO go to waste!

Social responsibility

You can’t just talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk. This year, employees expect to see corporate social responsibility in action.

Whether that’s through community involvement, partnering with local non-profits, organizing car-free days and neighbourhood clean-ups or taking a strong stance on important social issues, at the end of the day, employees want to work for an employer that they believe in.

Money talks

+ Salary expectations remain high, though seem to have plateaued after increasing steadily throughout 2022 – employers looking to hire this year should be prepared to pay for quality.

+ Expect a great candidate to be fielding multiple offers – if you haven’t yet reviewed your compensation package, now’s the time to make sure it’s up to snuff and aligned with current market expectations.

+ Make sure you’re prepared to negotiate. Most candidates know what the going rate is for someone in their position, and they’re not afraid to ask for what they’re worth!

And we talk about money, too

It wasn’t too long ago that disclosing salary details was universally considered to be a major no-no, but the times they are changin’ – and for the better.

Recently, more and more organizations have introduced pay transparency as part of an ongoing effort to narrow wage gaps and combat pay disparities – which means discussions about salary are becoming increasingly common in the workplace, and that’s something we can expect to continue in 2023.

Leaning into skills-based hiring

No degree may no longer be a deal breaker. Thanks in large part to the pressures of a tight labour market, employers are actively “de-emphasizing” educational requirements when screening potential candidates, shifting the focus from diplomas and degrees onto demonstrated skills and competencies.

Alongside this shift, there’s a notable rise in demand for candidates with excellent soft skills (or ‘people skills’, if you prefer). Companies are looking beyond the technical know-how and giving additional weight to qualities like adaptability, communication, flexibility and collaboration.

Gig economy

There’s no question that the gig economy is having its heyday. Why the popularity? Well, for some workers, picking up gigs is a great way to bring in extra income when money’s a bit tight; for others, freelancing is the perfect alternative to the conventional 9-to-5.

For businesses, working with non-employed contractors is a cost-effective way to boost their workforce during busy seasons, access highly specialized freelancers and avoid the hassle of hiring.

The growth of the gig economy has created a wide range of opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers, and digital platforms (or “gig apps”) like AmbiMi are making it easier than ever for workers and organizations to benefit.

Level-up your employer branding

The majority of job seekers today are doing their due diligence: checking out your website, scrutinizing your social media and getting elbows deep in Google reviews before they even consider applying for an open role.

With that in mind, the importance of building a strong employer brand can’t be overstated. Employer branding helps to set a company apart, differentiating it from the competition and boosting not just recruitment efforts, but employee engagement and retention, too; helping an organization hire the right people, and keep them for the long term.

Make sure you’re open to employee feedback and looking for opportunities to improve your organization from within, providing an environment where your employees feel engaged, supported and empowered.