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Workforce Report | Word of the Year: GROWTH

January 19th, 2023

I have never really been a fan of new year resolutions, as I so often trip up around January 4th. My good intentions of hitting the gym, drinking more water and less soda, and reading more classic literary works lose their appeal once someone asks me to go shopping or to watch a rerun of National Treasure. (All Nicolas Cage comments aside, it is a fun film!)

That said, this year feels different to me. Even though 2023 appears to be starting off with some of the hangover issues of worker shortages and disruption in how and where work is actually done; this new year also brings opportunity for growth and evolution of the workplace and workforce. With intention on changing behaviors and practices that no longer serve us, we can collectively propel our business to new levels by actually doing things differently.

Some trends we are watching for 2023:

  • Global Candidate Pools are increasing the hiring potential for certain industries and roles. The remote workforce challenges that vexed so many leaders over the last few years, has become an opportunity to widen the net in a worldwide search for qualified talent.
  • Increased Demand for Short Term/Part Time Work is opening up new ways for employers to look at job descriptions and determine what can be changed. Potential employees from our emerging workforce of students and recent graduates, as well as more mature workers who have retired, can be excellent candidates to perform key functions.
  • Engaging Workplaces will become a great way to attract and retain workers in 2023 and beyond. Despite the recent trend toward remote work, brought on by the pandemic, there is a keen focus on how actual onsite workplaces can best support employees and their overall health and wellbeing. Some ideas to consider:
  • Shorter work weeks or more flexible schedules.
  • Workplace wellness programs.
  • Fitness activities that improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.
  • Nutrition education
  • Cross Training Incumbent Work Teams helps ensure stability and provides valuable flexibility across teams. Any organization without backups for key roles can grind to a halt if key personnel are unavailable. Cross-trained staff can provide safeguards for these contingencies. The transfer of institutional knowledge also can help protect against loss of productivity when turnover occurs.

No offense to Nic Cage, let us remember the words of Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility, as we approach this new year: “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”

Kelly Fuller 
Vice President of Talent & Workforce Development 
KellyFuller@columbus.org