4 Management Trends for 2023

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Category: Industry Insights

By Matt Rowley
Posted on

Two years ago, we explored business trends on the horizon for 2021, focusing on pandemic resiliency, worker independence, and technology adoption.

COVID-19 restrictions, lockdowns, and vaccination mandates were widespread that year. In 2023, as we navigate a business world forever changed by work adjustments spurred by the pandemic, what trends will be most significant for managers and their teams?

If you’re a current or an aspiring manager searching for best practices and changes in employee expectations in 2023 and beyond, this article is for you. Here are four current trends and issues in management.

1. Evaluating Ethical Practices

Conversations around fairness and equity in the workplace are happening much more often, and executives are taking notice. According to an analysis of S&P 500 earnings calls by Harvard Business Review, the frequency with which CEOs discussed diversity, equity and inclusion increased by 658% from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2021.

Many of the conversations focusing on fairness also center around benefits and compensation. For example, managers are facing questions like:

  • Which employees should have access to flexible work schedules, and which shouldn’t?
  • When organizations pay higher salaries to secure new talent, should their long-time workers also receive pay increases?
  • When companies offer certain benefits to specific employees, such as parents, how does that impact those employees who don’t reap these benefits?

Fairness is important, and it’s having an impact on the workplace. In a 2021 survey by Gartner, only 18% of 3,500 respondents described their workplace as a “high-fairness environment.” Those employees who worked in high-fairness environments performed at a level 26% higher than those who didn’t, and they were 27% less likely to quit.

2. Integrating Artificial Intelligence

An inevitable consideration for managers is how to integrate artificial intelligence into their operations. Some team members may be fearful of AI, but in fact, many companies have used it to help workers focus on more important, complex tasks. From automated customer service to targeted marketing to optimizing work schedules and product pricing, the number of use cases for AI is growing at a rapid rate.

3. Valuing Emotional Intelligence

It’s no surprise that top talent has their choice of where to work. With competitive salary packages and appealing flexibility on the table from many organizations, employees are also focusing on management’s emotional intelligence when committing to a workplace.

What’s so important about emotional intelligence? For managers, showing qualities like patience, active listening, positivity and empathy can go a long way toward helping employees feel valued and comfortable. When a coworker – especially a manager – picks up on nonverbal cues, they can potentially offer solutions to a situation before it becomes a problem. And finally, strong emotions in any direction can be contagious, and managers must recognize the impact they can have on their team members’ lives in and out of work.

4. Challenges With Employee Engagement

Last, but certainly not least, is a challenge that managers and leaders are working through across the globe: employee engagement. According to Gallup, in early 2022, employee engagement in the U.S. slumped to a seven-year low with only 32% of employees feeling engaged and 17% actively disengaged.

When workers are less invested in their employers and less enthusiastic about their job and workplace, it can affect productivity, morale, development, retention and more. In Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workforce Report, employees who were not engaged or were actively disengaged cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

Leaders are grappling with how to reverse this downward trend. There are plenty of ideas to improve employee engagement – prioritizing feedback, recognizing top performers, investing in onboarding programs, and more – but managers need to also acknowledge the realities of 2023. Many workers are burned out, hurting or worse, and it may take more time than we’d like before a turnaround can happen.

Business Education

In today’s business world, worker expectations and best practices are changing at lightning speed. Pursuing higher education can help you improve your skills and keep you connected to new trends in management. For example, here at Columbia Southern University, our degree programs in business and organizational leadership prepare students to face the challenges of today by exploring concepts like business ethics, managerial decision making and more.

At CSU, our associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business are online, meaning that you can fit in the coursework with your professional and personal obligations. For more information about our online business degree programs, visit our website.

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