9 Essential People & HR Goals for 2023

Over the past few years, there’s been a huge shift in the world of work. A shift in what employees want, in how we leverage technology to streamline processes, in how we build teams and hire talent.

This shift put a spotlight on People and HR leaders: companies are counting on them to help create an outstanding employee experience and an attractive workplace where the world’s top talent will strive to work in.

This is why an HR professional’s goal list looks quite different compared to a few years ago. We’re sharing our choice of vital HR goals every company should set for 2023 to ensure business growth and success in talent acquisition and retention efforts.

What are HR goals and why do they matter?

For a long time, HR managers were in charge of simple administration: collecting employee data, storing and filing paperwork, tracking vacations and sick leaves, and processing payroll.

The role of HR teams has significantly changed when workplaces became more employee-centric, so today, HR goals are more focused on building a sustainable and healthy company culture while ensuring the company can count on the best talent to support its growth.

Setting HR goals helps you align your priorities with the overall company’s values and goals. HR teams that set goals can create more realistic action plans and implement them in a more streamlined way, which increases their chance of success.

9 goals for People teams to aim for this year

Which SMART goals will smart people teams set for 2023? We’re sharing nine suggestions, and you can use each to create your own SMART HR goals.

1. Double down on employee engagement

Engaged employees equal higher productivity, more sales, and better customer rankings, which makes it clear that employee engagement strategies should be one of the top priorities for HR professionals. Increased employee engagement rates will help you create a positive work environment and improve employee retention because employees who know their purpose within an organization are more likely to stick around.

2. Build equitable employee experiences

In 2022, global hiring rates skyrocketed, and this trend will continue in the years to come. One of the main challenges of global hiring is ensuring that everyone on your team has the same onboarding experience, access to benefits, development opportunities, and more, no matter where they’re located. An equitable employee experience enables a better team dynamic and increases employee satisfaction, which makes it an important HR goal.

3. Don’t drop the ball on DE&I

Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives have become an essential part of human resources management strategies, especially in companies building global workforces. It’s not enough just to hire a diverse team anymore—the HR department needs to make a conscious effort to ensure all employees feel like they can bring their full selves to work every day and encourage everyone to participate in DE&I activities.

4. Polish up your onboarding process

A great employee experience starts long before a new hire has settled into the new job. A streamlined onboarding process helps you set clear expectations from day one, provide access to all the resources your new employee may need, and connect them with their immediate collaborators. Removing bottlenecks from the onboarding process and automating repetitive steps will help prevent early employee dropouts and enhance your hiring efforts.

5. Foster a culture of connection

In distributed teams, people often feel disconnected, especially if they have little to no means to meet up and collaborate in person. Remote work makes it harder to establish interpersonal relationships at work as there’s no face-to-face communication and in-office bonding moments like water cooler chats. This is why fostering meaningful connections among team members is an essential goal for HR teams.

6. Use employee feedback as an essential tool

For a better employee experience, workers need to feel heard and valued. You won’t know if your workforce is happy unless you ask them, so collecting employee feedback on a regular basis is a priority in 2023. Based on this information, companies will be able to tailor their benefits packages to their workers’ needs, identify issues in communication, manage employee workload better, and more.

7. Promote professional development and growth

As new skills and professional growth are one of the most important aspects of a great workplace for today’s employees worldwide, HR professionals will undoubtedly aim to design people development programs in 2023. You should focus on creating training programs and performance review processes to help employees keep track of their progress and plan for their future career growth.

8. Mind the work-life balance

Physical and mental health has become the top priority for both employers and workers, especially after the pandemic. Many companies have already introduced different employee wellness programs and offer various benefits focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In 2023, HR teams will continue to come up with strategies to support employee well-being, including embracing flexibility regarding working hours and workspaces.

9. Leverage HR tech in your hiring process

HR technology has seen a boom in recent years, especially due to the fact that it enables HR specialists to focus on core HR tasks instead of spending hours on endless, repetitive administration. In 2023, one of the key HR goals should be creating an HR tech stack that will support your company’s growth, enable efficiency and productivity for the entire team, and assist in building a positive employee experience and company culture.

Metrics and KPIs to keep an eye on

Setting KPIs always goes hand in hand with goal setting. To make sure you’re on track to reach your HR goals, you need to define 5-10 KPIs to monitor and measure (at least monthly). A reporting tool will help you do this effortlessly and then analyze the results so you can make data-driven decisions about your HR strategy in the future.

Here are some of the most relevant HR KPIs to track, divided into categories.

1. Employee performance and productivity

To inform your performance management strategy and help employees increase their productivity, you should track the following KPIs:

  • Number of sales/tasks/projects completed
  • Number of errors
  • First call resolution
  • Absenteeism rate
  • Ticket resolution time
  • Revenue per employee
  • Number of overtime hours per employee

These are just a few examples of metrics that can speak volumes about your team’s performance, but it’s necessary to adjust them to your team’s roles and objectives.

2. Employee satisfaction and wellbeing

Tracking employee satisfaction and wellness metrics is also critical to make sure your goals are attainable, especially if you have in mind that performance is closely tied to satisfaction and engagement. Here are a few KPIs to consider:

  • Employee retention rate
  • Employee engagement score
  • Employee net promoter score
  • Employee satisfaction index
  • Employee turnover rate
  • Average time stay
  • Glassdoor ratings

3. Recruitment and hiring

Finally, HR teams need to ensure the efficiency of their recruitment and hiring processes, so here are the metrics to monitor to identify areas of improvement when hiring:

  • Cost per hire
  • Recruiting conversion rate
  • Time to fill/hire
  • Dismissal rate
  • Offer acceptance rate
  • Cost per sourcing channel

How to set HR goals step by step

Whether you’ve chosen some of the goals from our list or you have your own set of objectives you’re aiming for this year, this simple step-by-step guide will help you define your goals so you can start your action plan to achieve them.

  1. Analyze overall business goals to ensure your HR goals are aligned and determine the priorities. For example, if your company aims to increase employee productivity and do more with available resources, your main focus shouldn’t be on your recruiting and talent-sourcing efforts but on employee satisfaction and development.
  2. Use the SMART framework to define your goals. SMART goals stand for S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Relevant, and T-Time-bound. An example of a SMART goal could be the following statement:
    Our goal is to reduce the employee turnover rate by 20% by the end of 2023 to reduce recruitment costs and improve team productivity. This goal is specific (reduce employee turnover rate), measurable (by 20%), attainable (you didn’t say by 100%, which would be impossible), relevant (to reduce recruitment costs and improve team productivity), and you want to achieve it within a specific time frame (by the end of 2023).
  3. Set individual goals and establish responsibilities. Whether you’re a small HR team at a startup or a huge department in a corporation, everyone should take ownership in reaching the objectives you’ve set. Once you’re clear on what you want to achieve, ensure that everyone has a project and a smaller goal they’re in charge of. Establish clear expectations and timelines for every individual-level goal and schedule regular check-ins to ensure your team is on track.
  4. Divide high-level goals into smaller ones. Objectives are easier to achieve when divided into smaller milestones, so you can set quarterly goals other than your annual ones. They will help you ensure you’re on the right track before too much time passes and it’s too late to introduce changes if a strategy you’re testing isn’t working well.
  5. Choose up to five goals at a time. Don’t go overboard with the number of goals within a year. Setting goals is a good exercise for learning how to recognize what’s a priority and what can wait. Up to five goals are just enough to allow you to achieve significant results without scattering your attention and resources.
  6. Review your goals regularly. Objectives are not set in stone. Your company’s situation may change, and you may face hypergrowth or unexpected hardships, so your goals need to stay flexible. Review them once a quarter to ensure they’re still attainable, relevant, and aligned with high-level business goals.

Achieve your HR and People goals with Gable

Is one of your goals to help your distributed team bond? Or to create an outstanding employee experience by offering your workers more flexibility? What about tracking and measuring data and insights?

Flexible workspaces are an excellent way to achieve that. By giving your employees options and more autonomy in choosing where they’re going to work, you’re on the right track to building a happy team no matter where they’re located. And for People, HR, and Workplace teams, managing a global workforce is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Explore workspaces to review Gable’s global coverage or see how Gable helps People and Workplace teams keep employees happy and engagement high.

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Andrea Rajic