Conversation with Tim Ringo on HR challenges in 2023 and factors affecting engagement and productivity at the workplace
Tim Ringo, Chartered FCIPD, is an award-winning author, speaker, and executive board advisor on topics related to HR and Human Capital.
Tim is a former senior executive in Accenture, IBM, and SAP. He has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive in the HR Consulting and HR Software industry. He has architected and led some of the largest and most successful HR change programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Most recently he was Vice President, SAP SuccessFactors for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He led SuccessFactors’ HR Advisory teams across the region. In May 2021, Tim’s latest book, Solving the Productivity Puzzle was named Business Book of the Year in the HR & Management Category, by the Business Book Awards. He was also named “Most Outstanding HR Consultant & Conference Speaker 2021 – UK” by Corporate Vision Magazine
Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Max M. Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. He is also a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.
What are the HR challenges in 2023
I think there are several HR challenges and it would be interesting for HR people to judge how to handle current uncertain economic conditions. We all are aware that the recession is looming still organizations are struggling to find top talents and retain them. So, it’s kind of a dichotomy that we haven’t really seen before.
The question is if a recession does come along, will it switch our focus from retention, and acquisition to starting to reduce headcount in the organization? Overall, the situation is very uncertain at this moment, and finding top talent and acquiring that talent is really difficult at this moment.
Secondly, the digitalization of HR and the HR functions including the workforce is yet another challenge that employers are facing. Challenges toward understanding the right operating model, adoption of new technology, switch towards new processes and acquiring of skills by the workforce because going digital requires skill and employers are struggling to identify and address these HR issues.
Lastly, people’s experience i.e. working from home or technology for day-to-day operations is an important challenge. In other words, how to keep people engaged and how to provide them with technology and process that could enable them to work with productivity no matter where they are operating from.
What are the factors affecting engagement and productivity at workplaces?
There is a lack of consistent and high-quality people experience. It’s very difficult for employees to understand what’s coming next and it is challenging for employees to cope with the piecemeal structure. And it is not only about personal experience but also about the technology in use.
These days’ top HR technologies come with integrated people’s experience and it’s very useful. That’s one of the key factors. Secondly, it’s important to build an employee value proposition so that the personal values of employees can be integrated with the organization. Organizations need to get better to understand people’s values and use them for creating a dynamic approach.
The next one is health and well-being which has been accelerated during the pandemic and a huge investment has gone into this from the employer’s front. Health and well-being are broader than just providing a gym at the office.
It is more about mental health, and physical health and we should not miss the financial well-being of the employees as well. For example- in the US there is a concept of a living wage wherein people get paid for their basic necessities and then they don’t have to worry about basic necessities such as food.
When I look at the well-being of employees, I see these 3 dynamics as being of utmost importance i.e. physical, mental, and financial well-being. Last I would say the ability to move, be flexible, and develop certain skills make employees engaged and connected with their firms.
What employee engagement initiatives do you advise for 2023 to improve productivity?
I think it’s important to work on and improve the employee value proposition from the day employees are recruited and provide them with great moments.
For example- when employees come for training programs it provides a pleasurable experience, similarly, performance management discussions are also important. In simpler words, you need to treat your employees similarly to how you treat your customers. Talent management is a big part of the change in organizations nowadays.
Firms are changing operating models, technology, compliance, and processes and it’s important to put these things in place for making people feel better on the job.
Quiet quitting and moonlighting are new buzzwords now, how do you see loyalty trends for 2023?
Quiet quitting and moonlighting are just symptoms that denote the firm is not doing something right and therefore loyalty and engagement are missing. These are not new concepts they have been present for decades and employees try out things from the side as they don’t want to quit their jobs but also want to keep looking for other things.
This is a problem that takes us back to people’s experience i.e. when the employees do not feel connected, supported, and engaged, they seek other opportunities and these concepts are growing rapidly, especially after the pandemic. HR organizations or organizations, in general, are not giving a good experience to the employees and therefore employees’ experiences are not aligning with the firm’s goals leading to quiet quitting and moonlighting.
Any concluding remarks?
As a concluding remark, I would like to highlight one thing about workforce planning; having the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time. It may sound monotonous but it is going to be very critical in near future.
Organizations can never do this with 100% accuracy but some organizations that practice this concept are really high-performing firms. These firms provide such opportunities where employees want to stay in the firms as they can see their career pathway.
In the coming years, this concept is going to gain huge importance in organizations. Many universities, business institutes, and colleges have started various courses on this concept and it is going to become intrinsic in the near future, therefore, HR processes, businesses, and employers should also implement and execute it to develop a highly productive workforce.
Thank You Tim!