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.

quiet hiring

The trend in HR over the past few months and in the coming months has one thing in common: “quiet”. Last year, “quiet quitting” emerged as a concept, and unfortunately, it will continue to haunt us. This year, “quiet hiring” will dominate. It’s also the first of nine “future of work trends” for 2023, according to Gartner.

“Quiet hiring” refers to filling vacancies without publishing or advertising them externally. Instead, more emphasis will be placed on referrals and internal networking.

A logical consequence of a very tight labor market and the desire to reduce recruitment costs and duration.

The key question is: how can you ensure you don’t let the “quiet hiring” train leave the station? By focusing on skills – both hard and soft – to better understand potential internal recruitment opportunities.

in the field

According to retired United States Marine Corps General Charles C. Krulak, the future of an organization depends on the privates in the field, not the generals back home. Throughout his career, he offered valuable insights on leadership that can easily be applied outside of a military context.

In a company, the employees who interact with prospects and customers play crucial roles. Similarly, hiring and recruiting managers are gatekeepers who decide who joins the company. When these managers lack a mutual understanding of the required hard and soft skills for a job profile, they risk “deploying” the wrong employees.

Top-down enforcement of principles from the C-suite to employees rarely works. Instead, employees closest to the customer should have sufficient autonomy to make decisions.

next best employee

Your next best employee is likely your current employee, said Ryan Roslansky, the CEO of LinkedIn recently. Furthermore, he said that if you focus on building skills and insights into the skills of your current employees, there is a great chance to help your top talent find other roles within your company, instead of leaving. According to LinkedIn data, an employee who has moved internally has a 75% chance of staying after two years, compared to the paltry 56% for an employee who has not experienced internal mobility.

The key concept here is an insight into skills, both hard – and soft skills. These “people analytics” building blocks are often lacking today, but fortunately, they exist and can be practically applied and leveraged.

Misalignment is the root of all evil in recruiting

Misalignment is the root of all evil in recruiting, according to Chris Bruzzo, Chief Experience Officer at Electronic Arts. To address this, they created alignment meetings, which all hiring managers must attend and present at before recruiting for a new or backfill role.

At these meetings, a number of key questions are asked, below three are highlighted:

  • Was the hiring manager’s criteria realistic?
  • Were the job ads written to attract a diverse talent pool?
  • Are we learning what works and what doesn’t work?

If you never change your hiring process, it could be considered pretty insane; expecting a different result but doing the same thing. Jobs are often “sold” to candidates in an unrealistic way, meaning the expectations to perform in the job aren’t aligned with how it was initially presented.

Properly aligning professional expectations at the start has the potential to remove the root of all evil from recruitment.

too long

How long before you realize you’ve made a hiring mistake? The short answer is, always too late.

Very successful businesses and their employees have made costly hiring mistakes, and some are willing to admit it, but how long does it take for the company to recognize a bad hire? How long does it take for the employee to realize?

According to research, one out of two employees is looking for a new job within the first year of employment due to a mismatch in expectations. In a commercial context that would translate to, what I’ve been sold, is not what I’ve been promised.

Imagine how much money companies could save, and at the same time, how much well-being could be boosted if hiring mismatches were to be avoided up-front.

satisfied but not engaged

Satisfied employees are not necessarily engaged employees. Vice versa, engaged employees are not necessarily satisfied employees.

Satisfied employees could be happy with their paychecks, the fact that the company is close to where they live, and enjoy their colleagues’ company. Even satisfied employees could be mentally disconnected from their job, while doing the bare minimum. Meaning satisfied employees aren’t necessarily engaged with their actual job, hence less productive.

Inversely, employees who are engaged with their job could be dissatisfied with the company, their managers, and their salary.

Ideally, satisfied employees are engaged, and vice versa. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.