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Much has changed within the workplace over the last several years as companies have become increasingly dispersed, more dependent on ever-changing technology, and are adapting to new, dynamic work environments. Because of this, we will continue to see more trends emerge throughout 2023, particularly in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) space.

Workplace “trends” has become somewhat of a buzzword, so how can we define it? The trends we will see in 2023 are shifts in the way of doing business that we should expect to see based around current changes to the workplace and company culture. Often we see trends appear in the form of identifiable patterns, such as datasets surrounding employee satisfaction, retention rates, etc.

Here are the top five workplace trends businesses should be aware of in 2023 and how they translate into building an effective DEI strategy.

1. Providing a top-of-the-line employee experience

The first question to consider is what makes for a truly great employee experience. This is the perfect opportunity for business owners and HR leaders to set aside time to hear what their employees have to say, which can come in the form of surveys, focus groups, round-table discussions, and more.

Some of the top areas employees across the country have reported as highly important for a current or prospective company include prioritizing appropriate work-life balance, support for growth and promotion within the company, and implementing workplace wellness programs for mental health support. In fact, 77% of workers believe a wellness program will have a significantly positive impact on company culture.

2. Enabling learning and development

Learning and development (L&D) programs are seeing drastic changes and adaptation requirements due to remote and hybrid work environments, which has a large impact on the processes of onboarding, training, and coaching. A few of the top L&D trends to expect in 2023 include:

  • A focus on upskilling and reskilling. This provides leaders an opportunity to teach their employees additional skills and expand their capabilities within the company, which is particularly important in a tight labor market. It’s important to ensure that training courses for upskilling and reskilling match employees’ learning needs and are equally accessible to everyone.
  • Data-driven learning. Learning management systems (LMSs) can be a huge help in collecting and analyzing data about learning needs, competency levels, and can make content recommendations based on specified learning goals. The use of data in L&D creates actionable insights for moving the company upward and onward in a learner-centric way.
  • On-demand learning. This type of learning is crucial for any business that functions in a hybrid or fully remote environment. Organizations need to ensure that their employees have access to learning and educational materials wherever and whenever they may need them.

3. Making time for DEI

DEI is all about creating fairness and a sense of belonging for all employees, no matter their background, demographics, etc. When employees feel a sense of belonging at work, it increases satisfaction, performance, and overall productivity. Consider these factors when addressing your DEI goals:

  • Go beyond race and gender. Other forms of diversity include culture, age, disability, sexual identity, etc.
  • Practice Fair Chance Hiring. Employers should consider an applicant and/or candidate’s qualifications and skill sets rather than any arrest or conviction history.
  • Promote psychological safety. When employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, and even making mistakes, they will show up and bring their authentic selves to the workplace.

Prioritizing DEI initiatives should not fall on one person — instead, organizations should ensure they are bringing in multiple people or groups to tackle these projects. It’s important to make it easy for employees to participate in DEI initiatives, whether it by on a council or as a volunteer to assist as needed. Circa’s whitepaper, How to Embed & Operationalize DEI in Your Organization, is a great guide to help take your DEI initiatives to the next level.

4. Providing support for employees in creative ways

Doing more with less requires creativity, but employers can show up for their team without drastically upping spending. Consider things such as:

  • Making sure employees feel heard using feedback surveys and meaningful dialogue
  • Encouraging employees to establish clear work-life boundaries (e.g., collaborating on more flexible work schedules, taking time off to recharge, and establishing mentoring or coaching programs)

The past few years have revealed that employees expect flexibility and personalization when, where, and how they work — and now, how they learn.

5. Focusing on Employee Retention

Especially in the wake of The Great Resignation of 2021 and the “quiet quitting” movement, organizations should be placing a strong emphasis on supporting current employees. Lattice’s people strategy report found that 84% of HR teams are investing more in employee retention than they have previously, and 61% are prioritizing it over talent acquisition.

A wave of recent layoffs has caused distress and lower confidence in existing employees and can result in disengagement and productivity loss. It’s critical to continue to remind employees how much they matter, how much value they bring to the company, and that they are being prioritized all throughout the employee lifecycle.

As we continue through 2023 and beyond, these trends will remain paramount. At Circa, we help organizations build a strong company culture, prioritize DEI, and accelerate their success. Learn how we can help today! 


Katie Coleman
Product Marketing Manager
Katie Coleman is a Product Marketing Manager at Circa. Based on her conversations and research, Katie produces webinars and writes articles on diversity and other employment-related topics to guide employers, employees and job seekers in their professional endeavors.

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