If Moonlighting, Quiet Quitting, and The Great Resignation kept post-pandemic 2022 a tumultuous year, the new year would see office management explore a cohesive system incorporating digital technologies with the human workforce for smooth sailing.
With trends like moonlighting, quiet quitting, and great resignation, 2022 has been a tumultuous year for the Indian workplace. The penultimate months of 2022, a year marked by uncertainty brought in more instability with layoffs in tech. In came inflation and recession fears, which led to a freeze in hiring across the board. Experts are now recommending that employees brace for a cold winter. Therefore, the initial months of 2023 will likely be plagued by concerns about the dwindling economy and recession. With the US Federal Reserve hiking interest rates, the fear of losing jobs will likely be felt across offices. But — all is not lost, just yet. Given the rising cost of inflation, workplaces are likely to offer perks to employees in order to retain them. Another silver lining for 2023 is the upcoming tech innovations. From Metaverse hiring to AI-based automation — technology is likely to make the lives of employees easier. We reached out to the HR heads of some of the most reputed companies from across India to learn from them what trends are likely to dominate the Indian workplace in 2023.
Salary hike to fight inflation
The pandemic taught us an important lesson—life is unpredictable. Does no one know what might happen the next day — a virus outbreak? A lockdown? The uncertainty is looming over 2023 already with concerns around inflation and recession. What can employers do to make their employees feel secure about their work and job in such times? SV Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte India, says “During the pandemic, employers couldn’t do anything about the business downturn or the rapid spread of infections, or the lockdown. But there were so many future-focused employers where leaders took a pay cut so that staff doesn’t have to be furloughed or have their salaries cut/promotions frozen, or where organizations extended every possible avenue of care for employees and their loved ones”. Therefore, employers must now, more than ever, make their employees feel financially secure. Smriti Handa, CHRO, and BharatPe recommend giving perks to fight inflation concerns. She says, “We recognize that the market is changing faster than ever, and we must adapt.” Employees usually initiate discussions about pay, but smart employers can try to anticipate potential concerns. To alleviate employees’ financial burdens, there are alternatives to raising salaries or awarding bonuses. “Paying special attention to employee engagement and motivation during a crisis is no less important than other forms of assistance.”
Swetha Harikrishnan, senior director of people at HackerEarth, makes a pertinent point: “There has been a lot of talk about workplace empathy since the pandemic.” Now is the time to put that empathy into action”. She adds, “Employers can allow moonlighting so that employees feel more financially secure in a recessionary market.” When trends like quiet quitting come up, employers can use that as an opportunity to have a discourse with their workforce instead of regressing to punitive measures as a knee-jerk reaction