Ayming’s HR Barometer 2023 reveals a shift in employment dynamics, with both a drastic swing in hiring patterns and growing support for sweeping changes to work practices
Key findings and insights from the report include:
· Motivational decline in the UK: The research uncovers a staggering fall in motivation among UK workers, with 89% of firms reporting a decline in motivation and engagement over the last three years.
· Remote working and motivation: An overwhelming majority of organisations (62%) are positive about remote working. However, Ayming argue there is a ‘Work Connection Deficit’ and people are significantly less connected to colleagues than before.
· Extensive support for a 4-day week: The research reflects the growing momentum for a four-day work week, with 64% of organisations supporting the move.
· Wellbeing still high on the agenda: Despite widespread cost-cutting, wellbeing remains a top priority, showing the pandemic has triggered a permanent shift in perceptions around wellbeing.
London, 12th April 2023: More than a quarter of UK organisations say they are likely to make redundancies in 2023, according to research from Ayming UK, the consultancy specialising in HR performance.
As the UK experiences evolving economic problems, organisations are having to tighten their belts, with half (49%) expecting to cut costs this year. These cuts are inevitably spilling into employee packages, with 29% of firms likely to reduce benefits and 27% likely to freeze pay in 2023.
However, one of the most significant impacts is to hiring practices. In contrast to the buoyant job market of the last couple of years, 37% of organisations are reducing recruitment while 26% say they are likely to make redundancies in 2023. These findings match up with the growing reports of redundancies, particularly among large technology firms.
Scott Ward, Partner – People, Performance and Development at Ayming UK, says, “These findings reflect a significant shift in the employee-employer relationship. Whereas 2022 saw employees in an unusual position of power as firms battled for talent, 2023 is seeing a reversal of this dynamic. This puts employers on a collision course with their staff. The job buoyancy of the last two years means employees expect more money and a better work-life balance. But the downturn in the job market makes it harder for those expectations to match up to the reality.”
“Whereas 2022 saw employees in an unusual position of power as firms battled for talent, 2023 is seeing a reversal of this dynamic. This puts employers on a collision course with their staff. The job buoyancy of the last two years means employees expect more money and a better work-life balance. But the downturn in the job market will create a tension where those expectations are harder to match up with reality.”
Beyond cost cutting, automation is also playing a role in the shake-up of the employment landscape, especially with the recent launch of artificial intelligence like Chat GPT. According to the research, 30% of organisations expect to introduce AI / automation that will replace jobs in 2023.
Ward says, “Artificial Intelligence is starting to have a tangible impact. Chat GPT has already been a force for disruption, but that will likely accelerate as businesses learn how to harness it. Although this might contribute to redundancies, it could equally change work life for the better, making tasks more efficient and allowing people to focus on more rewarding work.”
The need to cut costs is also encouraging a wave of innovation among HR teams. Businesses are reviewing working practices and introducing a range of initiatives that intend to help people overcome modern challenges and find purpose.
73% of firms support the introduction of volunteer programmes, 72% support providing financial guidance to help employees manage the cost-of-living crisis, 72% are in favour of offering childcare solutions, 70% support providing therapy for employees, and 63% even support helping employees onto the property ladder.
Ward says, “This makes me happy to see. Some of these benefits could have a really positive impact on people’s lives. The concept of employment is gradually changing and it’s fantastic that businesses are working with their HR teams to create programmes and support structures that go beyond the perks we found had been introduced in last year’s report.”
One of the most forward-thinking initiatives is the four-day week, which is supported by nearly two thirds of organisations.
Ward says, “You can understand why people like the idea of it. And there’s a growing amount of evidence that a four-day work week could have tremendous impact on wellbeing and productivity. But people need to be aware that there are a lot of questions on how it would work in practice. Perhaps most importantly, there will be an inevitable trade off with the flexibility that many now depend on.”