Every year, HR priorities shift along with trends in the workplace, and 2023 is sure to be more of the same. A recent report from Lattice reveals a key focus for the majority of HR professionals in the coming year: prioritizing employee retention over talent acquisition.

Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy Report surveyed over 800 HR professionals from around the globe, including teams in North America and Europe, to understand what’s on their mind for 2023. The results show a shift away from the hiring focus of recent days and towards engaging and retaining current employees. 39% listed talent acquisition as a top priority in last year’s survey, but only 17% listed it among their top 2023 priorities. Employee engagement is the most-mentioned priority this year, cited by 41% of HR professionals, and followed by manager training (35%) and learning and development (34%).

These survey answers reflect a change in perspective on the best ways to navigate a challenging labor market that is likely to remain tight for a while. HR recognizes the very real risk of losing top talent to outside offers, and their shift in focus indicates a decision that it is more effective to work on retention than constantly dealing with hiring and turnover. The numbers make it very clear: 86% of HR professionals in the Lattice survey say they’re putting more effort into improving employee engagement, and 83% say their companies are “somewhat” or “significantly” invested in retention than before.

Retention efforts will look different for each company, depending on several unique factors, but a few overarching strategies tend to be effective in most cases. Higher pay is one of the most obvious approaches, but it’s not always possible for every team’s budget. Instead – or in addition to – salary-based incentives, solutions might include better transparency (on pay and other aspects), career development opportunities, more feedback, clear career paths, and recognition programs.

No matter which routes you choose to achieve it, retention is critical for any organization heading into 2023. When employees experience a culture of purpose, appreciation, and long-term prospects, they’re more likely to be productive, effective members of the team. HR can – and should – be leading the way in the new year, listening to employee concerns and priorities and working to ensure that those needs and wants are met. With the right plans in place, HR can help create an organizational culture that not only attracts talent, but makes them want to put down roots.

By Rose Dorta

Are you a high-performing leader or believe you have the potential to tackle a more challenging role? Would you be interested in career opportunities that are seeking these attributes?

I’d love to chat with you and answer any questions that you have. Email me, Rose Dorta, managing director of Kaizen HR Solutions, here.