It's still a few months away, but 2023 is set to usher in a variety of HR topics related to everything from returning retirees to the “Great Renegotiation.” The future of HR is always shifting, but now is the time for HR professionals to take stock of fomenting situations and prepare solutions to business challenges coming down the pike.
One of the biggest trends we anticipate for 2023 is an influx of people returning to the workforce. Some of them are retirees coming back for a second lease on work-life; an estimated 1.5 million retirees reentered the U.S. labor market last year, according to an analysis by the job-search platform Indeed.
For many, retirement didn’t turn out to be what they had envisioned. Although finances were a primary motivator for these returning employees, many were also seeking the sense of fulfillment that comes from being part of something. According to a survey by senior care platform Home Instead, 44% of retirees returned to work to “fight boredom” — another 22% said they wanted to keep their minds sharp.
If 2021 marked the start of the “Great Resignation,” 2023 is shaping up to be the “Great Renegotiation.” During the 14-month period from January 2021 to February 2022, nearly 57 million people left their jobs; a 25% year-over-year increase in resignations. But not everyone was quitting permanently.
While some had new jobs lined up or were able to quickly find new work elsewhere, others took a temporary break from work to care for children while schools were closed. Additionally, many service workers began seeking higher-paying opportunities with better benefits.
As the workforce continues to change and evolve, human resource planning will have to follow suit.
Act Now to Address Small Business Challenges
As the workforce evolves, the best piece of HR advice is to make sure you’re ready for these changes.
If you’re welcoming back folks who had previously retired, the good news is that they already “know how to work.” They can quickly learn the ins and outs of your company, they’re motivated to show up every day, and they likely have a wealth of knowledge they can pass on to younger employees.
For these employees, the desire to come back is not just about working toward a raise. There are a number of perks — think flexible hours or benefits upgraded at no additional cost to the employee — that can show these workers you truly value them as people.
There’s also a big ROI as it relates to returning employees. You already know them and what they can do, so you don’t need a lengthy hiring process. What’s more, these folks will need less in terms of onboarding and training, which means they’re often more productive compared with new hires.
To keep everyone happy and healthy, it’s vital to provide easy access to preventive care for employees and their families. When workers know they can afford the care they need, it reduces stress and anxiety — which improves focus while on the job. And when your employees feel their best, they do their best work.
Taking Notes From Trucking Industry Struggles
To see how expanded benefits can play a role in attracting talent, let’s take a look at the trucking industry. There has been a trucker shortage for years now, but COVID-era challenges (e.g., travel restrictions, concerns about safety in the workplace, supply chain disruptions, and burnout) led to a major increase in resignations. Across the industry, turnover hovered around 90% during this time.
In turn, this situation has affected other industries and initiatives. While an increase in infrastructure spending means there are a number of projects planned around the country, the construction industry relies on truckers to deliver heavy equipment and materials.
To encourage drivers to return to the workforce (and to retain those who haven’t left), some trucking companies have created “driver’s advocate” positions to negotiate with drivers on pay and benefits. A major retailer like Walmart recently increased driver pay to six figures, and other companies have gone so far as to start offering luxury amenities at truck stops.
No company or industry is immune to these interdependencies, with problems in one sector cascading elsewhere in fascinating — and frustrating — ways. By mirroring trucking’s benefits-focused solution to retention woes, other companies can clear these hurdles as they crop up.
How Paytient Helps Businesses Help Their Employees
Even at large companies with thousands of employees, hiring isn’t just a numbers game. To get the right talent in the right positions, you have to create incentives beyond just salary. A benefit like Paytient can go a long way toward solving common HR issues.
Paytient empowers employees to pay out-of-pocket healthcare costs upfront without incurring interest or fees by facilitating manageable, incremental payroll deductions. Employees suddenly are able to seek care when they need it without relying on loans or credit — which saves workers time, stress, and money.
Although most employee benefit plans fully cover preventive care and annual checkups, Paytient makes it easy to afford follow-up care with specialists. This is an especially salient benefit for returning retirees, who tend to have more health concerns than younger workers.
Paytient also can be used to pay for treatments like physical therapy or chiropractic care. Returning to our trucking example, access to these services — which often are not fully covered — can be a high-impact benefit for workers in physically demanding jobs.
When companies make employees feel valued by offering benefits that address their needs, those employees are more likely to stay. Based on our client data, employees with a Paytient account have a than those who don’t have Paytient.
As we navigate the Great Renegotiation, there’s no shortage of lessons to be learned. One of the best ways to prepare for the months — and years — ahead is to give employees compelling reasons to stay. Salary might get folks in the door, but a truly thoughtful benefits package can make sure they remain there.