privacy isn’t what you get

Employee privacy is a joke. A terrible one at that. If you ever got to spend time in large corporations, specifically the departments where they set up large HR (integration) systems, it won’t be long before you realize how careless data is being thrown around, on test, development, and production environments.

Interestingly, GDPR brought about law and order in the wild west of privacy-sensitive employee data, but arguably, not nearly enough. Moreover, employees are almost never aware of how their data is being mistreated, but for how long? As consumers become — rightfully so — more demanding with regard to sustainability, employees will follow suit, becoming more vigilant about their data. Gartner dubbing “tackle employee data privacy” as the seventh future of work trend for 2023 might speed things up.

The only way for companies to truly create added value for their employees in their human resources ecosystem is by treating their privacy with the utmost respect and never compromising it.

diversity pushback

What if companies want to focus on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) but face resistance from employees? According to Gartner, 42% of employees feel that DEI efforts cause division, and two out of five feel alienated and are simply resistant to those efforts.

This resistance from employees – sometimes intentional and blatant, sometimes unconscious and subtle – obviously hinders efforts to promote inclusion.

In short, enforcing a top-down policy to promote diversity creates fertile ground for creating a counterproductive effect. Reducing resistance, partly fueled by fearful feelings (of the unknown), bottom-up increases the chances of increasing diversity and inclusion.

mental wellbeing

Almost everyone agrees, but almost nobody does it: promoting mental well-being within the organization. Lack of mental well-being can be considered a pandemic in itself, it is sometimes said. One in two Belgians says they have experienced a depressive state at work. According to Gartner, addressing employees’ mental well-being is the fifth future trend in the field of work in 2023.

However, it recently emerged that most companies do consider the mental well-being of their employees important, but do not want to invest more in it. Besides investments, there is often also a lack of insights that can improve mental well-being. Standalone initiatives such as a yoga session or an off-site team day can certainly contribute, but the effects are often fleeting.

When mental well-being is encouraged, other aspects such as engagement, productivity, and physical health also improve.

The path to better mental well-being is challenging. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are several things that can be rolled out broadly that most employees will benefit from. Coaching is an essential aspect in this regard. Whether it concerns collaboration between colleagues and (direct) managers or substantive challenges regarding a task or assignment, employees feel more appreciated when they can turn to someone for this.

In such coaching trajectories, there is often a lack of the right analytical insights as a starting point and a shared language to make those insights practically visible. In evaluation meetings, one often sees that people fall back on two topics: “small talk” and salary. Issues that matter, such as (hard and soft) skills, are rarely discussed.

Stimulating employees’ mental well-being requires a skills-based approach to looking at individual job content and collaboration with team members and leaders.


“She quit because the style of her manager was exclusively micro-management,” A statement I heard during a conversation last week. Unfortunately, manager mismatches are common when it comes to lack of well-being and engagement. Consequently, they are often the direct cause for employees to quit their job.

The third “future of work trend for 2023″ according to Gartner is; alleviating pressure on managers.

When managers don’t know their own preferred management style, coupled with the way their employees prefer to be managed, relieving the pressure is almost impossible.

Organizations will need to focus on innovative ways to narrow the management skills gap, but the methods that were successful in 2019 may not be suitable for the workforce in 2023. Without the right people analytics building blocks to gain insights into the strengths and weaknesses of managers, coupled with professional preferences of employees, again, it is almost impossible.