The HR & L&D Professionals' Priority List for 2023

7th Feb 2023

The business landscape is dominated by economic uncertainty, high vacancy rates and a need to ensure our people are appropriately equipped to weather the many challenges forecast for 2023.

At Corndel, we’ve identified the priorities for L&D and HR leaders.

A firm focus on these areas for the coming twelve months will help ensure you meet the challenges head-on and have the resources to keep your people happy, motivated and working towards your company’s goals

Priorities for

Learning and Development in 2023

Learning and development professionals need to keep training at the forefront of the C-suite’s minds at a time when budgets may be tightening. Learning and development is often one of the areas businesses first look to make cuts. Let’s look more closely at the core priorities for L&D in the next twelve months:

Relevant training opportunities
Employees find training boring and unmotivating when it has no relevance or connection to their day-to-day work. Personalisation in your training programmes can help your people access the right courses and help ensure they’re following a pathway beneficial for their career development and your business growth. Bespoke learning programmes will be essential for meeting the needs of the future workforce.

Closing the skills gap
Almost all organisations in the UK recognise a growing skills gap in their workforce. In the UK, digital and data skills are regularly highlighted as a key problem area and a report by AND Digital found 22% of employees admitted a lack of digital skills was impacting their ability to hit targets. Further, the LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2022 found that 46% of learning and development leaders believe the skills gap is widening in their organisation. Providing the right training solutions is vital for closing this growing gap.

Our Senior HR Report found leaders believe the largest future skills gaps include hybrid work management skills (36%), flexible working (35%) and data/digital skills (34%). Recognising where your organisation’s skills gaps lie will be instrumental in the L&D programmes you use.

Bite-sized learning
How training and development is delivered must adapt to how your employees prefer to learn and learn best. Flexible working, remote work, and the many responsibilities each person has mean traditional classroom-based or long sessions behind a screen away from work are not practical. More companies are developing microlearning and bite-sized modular content that can be completed alongside day-to-day work and closely ties into their workplace duties.

Futureproofing your people and business
Remote and hybrid working are now permanent features of post-pandemic working life. They are a central part of the workplace and a key consideration for L&D leaders developing programmes to suit the whole workforce. Online training is vital to ensure team members can access high-quality training to suit their needs. Furthermore, companies need to consider the provision of tools they have to manage the multiple approaches to work. Online content allows for a wide range of delivery methods, from microlearning video content to live meetings, coaching platforms and more.

Bespoke training solutions ensure L&D teams can provide the skills their people need in a meaningful way that also supporting business outcomes.

Priorities for

HR in 2023

HR is the driving force behind your people and ensures your best talent remains within your business. Furthermore, HR leaders need to ensure employees at all levels of the business are equipped and motivated to work effectively, with their core priorities for the coming year including:

Improving leader and manager effectiveness
Your leadership team must be effective and functioning for lower-level employees to perform well. Management needs access to development programmes that ideally position them to support the wider team and promote company-wide and individual growth. Newly promoted managers need a pathway to develop the necessary skills to lead and manage effectively.

Change management
Most workplaces are still undergoing a significant amount of change since the impact of Coronavirus. Companies are finding ways to balance their hybrid, remote and on-site workforce and employees need guidance and support in accepting and managing the new ways of working. Management teams must focus heavily on resilience and effective change management, which can be replicated throughout the organisation. Empowering managers with the ability to handle HR issues and decision-making helps them become more invested in actions that may have been considered solely an HR problem in the past.

Adopting a strategic approach
HR leaders should look at ways to become more strategic, developing recruitment, retention and engagement strategies that help to develop a resilient, agile and loyal workforce. Developing a strong and welcoming company culture and focusing on the employee experience is vital for tackling issues such as “quiet quitting” and high levels of recorded absenteeism.

Why start with

Leadership & Management?

Empowering your leaders with the skills to support, motivate and drive your workforce through chance helps to ensure the whole organisation is growing in the right direction. The new breed of line manages we need for success in 2023, requires the following three components:

Authenticity: Act with purpose and true self-expression for both themselves and their teams

Empathy: Show they care, respect and have a concern for employee’s well-being

Adaptability: To drive flexibility and support team members’ unique need

This combination of skills and experience leads to a truly human leadership approach essential for the agile and change-driven new line manager needed in the next twelve months.

Successful leaders have the power to transform and enhance organisations, engaging employees and driving them to deliver the best they can. With the right training and development, your leaders can set the benchmark for all employees within your organisation. Investing in leadership training encourages your management teams to drive innovation, challenge themselves and expect the same from the wider workforce. It is also vital to build and develop the empathetic and emotional intelligence skills that have become so important since COVID-19 struck.

Top problems for Leaders and Managers

Leadership and management teams face many challenges in the coming twelve months, but there are effective solutions and ways of managing each.
The top problems include:

Change fatigue: the rapid onset of changes and adapting to a more technology-led approach to many aspects of work, can be exhausting. Employees are understandably fatigued, and managers are not equipped to lead the change.

Quiet quitting: research from Harvard Business Review shows ineffective managers experience 3.5 times more quiet quitters in their teams than the best managers. Furthermore, our research shows nearly three in five (58%) employees have experienced quiet quitting, with a fifth (21%) having quiet quit themselves. It’s not a phenomenon any company can afford to ignore.

Meeting employee expectations: most people’s lives are challenging at the moment. Managers cannot ignore people’s difficulties and must respond to employee needs regarding flexibility and wellness. Communication, empathy and active listening are key.

Workplace planning: the need to respond effectively to high vacancy rates, a lack of technology and keeping up with the market.

Recruitment: finding people with the right skills, a lack of internal mobility and meeting new candidate expectations are all challenges for leadership.

Starting with leadership allows for company-wide change and should be encouraged in all departments.

Strategic, scalable skills development – powered by apprenticeships

Corndel supports corporate organisations to deliver high-quality training programmes that develop a new generation of highly-skilled professional leaders and managers and close data and digital skills gaps. Our bespoke tailoring fits around your business’ approach to work and learning and ensures your people receive personalised training that suits them and their roles. We offer solutions for all levels, from early talent to senior leaders.

Through our partnership with Imperial College, we have revolutionised leadership and management skills for the UK workforce. The combination of excellent academic prowess and high-level workplace and vocational training drives exceptional business impact. The Imperial College and Corndel Executive Development Programme is ideal for corporate organisations looking to train and develop their leaders. We also provide management, business and leadership degree apprenticeships for your early talent and rising stars delivered by Corndel College London.

Organising your priorities for the next twelve months should involve questioning your current approach, recognising where you can improve and keeping your people at the centre of all decision-making.

When considering your business' HR and L&D priorities for the next twelve months, keep these key questions in mind:

  1. What are the ingredients of high-performing employees and teams today, and how should leaders promote and measure performance?
  2. How are the best organisations enabling managers to successfully lead their teams in today’s work environment?
  3. How does the changed world of work impact how your HR department organises itself for success, and how can HR capitalise on opportunities to fulfil its potential for business impact?
  4. What can you offer to make training more relatable and relevant for your people?
  5. Have you identified your business’ core skills gaps and built a strategy to close said gaps?

Corndel Leadership & Management Apprenticeships

Find out more about our levy funded leadership and management apprenticeships.