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To hell with all HR Trends.
Before we dive in, as many of you know, I'm writing more than just these newsletters. I also work in various organizations, mainly in interim HR positions. Still, I also do lectures about future work and how to elevate HR departments into more forward, future-looking HR departments.
I'm giving away one one-hour session. All you have to do is click the link, and I'll draw one winner by the end of next week.
And yes, your whole HR team can enter the competition to increase your chances.
Disclaimer: I won't travel around the world for this one-hour session. So if you are located far from where I live, we’ll do it on Zoom, Teams, or similar.
However, you can enter the competition from anywhere around the world, and I'll make sure to either wake up early or stay up late if you're in another time zone!
Make sure you click the link and send it to your HR department to increase your chances, and now we dive into today's topic.
It's (soon) the most wonderful time of the year.
But beyond switching out our Halloween decorations for Christmas decorations, it's also that time of the year when we'll see the endless "Look out for these trends in 2023" lists.
Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.
I get it. It's an easy way to attract readers and clicks. It's easy to throw together a bunch of generic buzzwords - voilá - done. Here are the trends for next year. The list is not seldom built by people or companies with a vested interest in pushing forward the trends they drive. And not seldom have the creators of these lists never worked a single day within the HR function.
And to be honest, if you look back on what people talked about would be trends in 2022, no one spoke about one of the biggest buzzwords this year: quiet quitting. And the year before that, no one was talking about The Great Resignation.
This is simply because we are poor at predicting what will happen in the future. On top of that, as I said, only a few of the people who write these lists are working with HR.
Ok, I got carried away here. There are exceptions to this but reading all these lists is like listening to a broken record. It's the same stuff over and over again. And yes, I know, one could argue that I'm throwing stones while sitting in the greenhouse (Hey, hey, Swedish idiom). As someone who writes about buzzwords and trends in 80% of their newsletters, I am also somewhat guilty of pushing some of these trends. But I always, always try to nuance this in my posts.
Does this mean I believe that there will be no trends in 2023? No new areas to focus on? No new buzzwords to talk about?
As much as I love new buzzwords and trends, what we need to focus on in our departments in 2023 will be very similar to what we've focused on since I graduated from university - providing value to the organization we are supporting, making it better ever so slightly day by day.
Easy, right? Yes, that is also a generic statement, but at the end of the day, we have the right to operate within an organization. Even if it is a generic statement, it allows you to contextualize it. That matters. You know your context best and understand what you and your organization need to achieve this.
There will be a multitude of ways of achieving this. Still, you should always start and ground yourself and your organization in something basic and straightforward: how can you add value to the organization you are working for today and the following year. After that, you can start looking at various trends and tools to see if they will help you achieve what you want.
But for the love of god, don't start with a trend and try to squeeze that into your organization.
And I know, reading this, it all seems so obvious. But it is not. Someone reads somewhere about the new shiny thing, and then they want to implement the new shiny thing at all costs. And then when everything is going down the drain, they've spent a couple of million, but things need to progress. Then they call us and ask us to help. Which we do and which, of course, is a great business.
But even so, I sincerely wish organizations to focus less on the trends and tools and more on what they want to achieve. And to be true to themselves about how they are going to get there.
To summarize, will 2023s the biggest trend be to not look at trends?