Why management training, skills will be top tech priorities for 2023

Consulting with HR leaders has provided technology providers with a unique vantage point: These vendors, which provide solutions to organizations, know that today’s HR and IT leaders who serve the function are trying to solve a long list of EX-related challenges, including the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, the need for skills and what they’re learning from active and passive employee listening. Solution providers also realize that HR leaders continue to address challenges that have accelerated to near-crisis levels in regard to recruitment and employee retention.

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And a new priority has emerged: upskilling managers and supervisors. A recent Gartner survey of 860 HR leaders found that 60% of respondents stated that leader and manager effectiveness is their top priority for 2023. The same survey found that other top priorities for HR leaders next year are organizational and change management (53%), employee experience (47%), recruiting (46%) and the future of work (42%).

To delve a little deeper into 2023 HR tech priorities, we asked experts at leading HR technology vendors what they’re hearing about the coming year. Here’s what they had to say.

Ashley Goldsmith

Chief people officer, Workday 

Ashley Goldsmith, Workday
Ashley Goldsmith

The intersection of employee and organizational health will be a top priority in 2023. As we emerge from the pandemic and navigate an uncertain economic environment, the companies that get ahead will develop programs and policies that are centered around creating an agile, resilient, and high-performing workforce. The questions every CHRO will face when making decisions are: What do employees want, what does the organization need to deliver results, and where can we find alignment between the two? The companies that thrive will make investments in initiatives that both support employees and drive business outcomes—bringing out the best in their talent.

Kamal Ahluwalia

President, Eightfold AI

Kamal Ahluwalia, Eightfold
Kamal Ahluwalia

Soft skills are just as important, and often moreso, as hard skills. The ability to adapt and learn a new way of conducting your role is more valuable given how fast the speed of business evolves. Technology that can look past the resume and identify traits such as leadership or learnability is essential right now.

Upskilling is critical for employers and employees alike, [meaning] individuals who want to grow and advance and organizations that want to retain their top talent. Companies that invest in technology that makes it easy to do so will come out ahead in any economic scenario.

Learn more: Upskilling will be on the agenda at the 2023 HR Technology Virtual Conference that takes place on Feb. 28 to March 2. Register here.

Yvette Cameron

SVP, global HCM product strategy, Oracle

Yvette Cameron, Oracle
Yvette Cameron

When I talk to HR leaders, the biggest thing on their minds going into the new year is managing talent, whether that’s finding new talent with the skills they need or retaining the workers they already have. Employees around the world have started focusing on their own wellbeing and expect more from the companies they work for, including more flexibility, career opportunities, and ways to take care of their mental health. HR leaders realize that they need to improve the employee experience to attract and retain the workers they need to achieve their business goals. As a result, they are turning to technology to help automate manual tasks, build better connections across the organization, and provide customized suggestions for how workers can advance their careers.

Paul Rubenstein

Chief people officer, Visier

Paul Rubenstein, Visier
Paul Rubenstein

Here are two things the HR industry needs to acknowledge for 2023: First, it’s expensive to make people decisions without quality data; and second, we need to up the ante on what good looks like for listening to and communicating with our employees.

Visier and the People Intelligence Alliance, a business community that promotes data analytics, analyzed 3,000 North American organizations with no or low ability to use people analytics and were able to identify $1.8 trillion in economic opportunity. This can’t be ignored, especially in the current state of the economy. People data steps in to give managers relevant, data-backed people insights to elevate the quality of decisions related to hiring, compensation, and promotions. Going forward, CEOs will judge HR on its ability to connect everyday talent decisions with the larger company’s talent strategy. This requires HR to put decision-guiding data into the hands of people managers and employees, not just HR. HR leaders need to quickly close any investment and capability gap around delivering people analytics or risk losing the chance to connect deeply to business outcomes. (People analytics will also be a key topic at the 2023 HR Tech Virtual Conference from Feb. 28 to March 2. Register here.)

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Additionally, business leaders need to strive for a new level of authenticity and transparency in their communications with employees at every level of the organization. Pay transparency is just one example of how a changing social contract with employees impacts HR’s communication strategy. Employees will also look for things beyond performance ratings as an example of how their work connects to collective achievement. 

A new openness and sharing of productivity data, organizational clout (not hierarchy) and impact on the ecosystem of customers and suppliers will be part of the “performance dialogue.” This communication will be two-way, as listening strategies go beyond surveys and begin to use the rich digital footprint that each of us leaves to passively understand sentiment as well as understand how organizations are connected. This requires a smarter, transparent use of technology by HR in 2023.

Gretchen Alarcon

VP and GM, ServiceNow

Gretchen Alarcon, ServiceNow
Gretchen Alarcon

Over the past few years, organizations have been challenged with responding to hybrid work, macroeconomic pressures and evolving employee needs. It’s crystal clear now that people strategy needs to support the business strategy. With this in mind, 2023 will be a pivotal year for HR technology with leaders laser-focused on helping employees learn and develop their skills, so they can help the business grow. This starts with manager enablement and requires technology that brings learning experiences together, making it simple for employees and managers to access training, development plans, and more—from wherever they may be working.

Registration is open for HRE‘s upcoming HR Tech Virtual Conference from Feb. 28 to March 2. Register here.

Phil Albinus
Phil Albinus is the former HR Tech Editor for HRE. He has been covering personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and executive editor for a number of financial services, trading technology and employee benefits titles. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children.