National eUpdate

January 2023

Workplace Trends & Predictions

If you're like us, you’ve been inundated this month with emails, posts, and alerts about workplace trends and predictions for 2023. Knowing you don’t have time to read them all, we created this summary using information from articles and reports by Fast Company, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, SHRM, Gartner, Udemy, and OpenSesame:

  • Employee well-being and mental health must be a top priority, requiring organizations to update policies, processes, and practices. Review the U.S. Surgeon General's Framework for Mental Health and Well-Being for guidance.
  • DEI efforts will move beyond compliance to meaningful behavioral change to ensure work environments support all employees.
  • Employee recognition programs increase engagement and preserve culture in a hybrid environment. Organizations need to review and revamp their existing employee recognition efforts to meet the needs of the hybrid workplace.
  • Hybrid work environments will be the norm, providing schedule flexibility and opportunities for in-person collaboration. Workers will continue to have leverage, and organizations that do not offer workplace flexibility will struggle to recruit and retain employees.
  • Benefits will play a larger role in recruitment.
  • Pay transparency is gaining momentum. This can benefit employers by increasing the quality of applications as job seekers can ensure the salary range meets their needs and sends a powerful message that the employer values equitable pay. Current staff will expect clarity and communications around compensation, including how their efforts are rewarded and how their contributions are helping children, youth, and families in their community.
  • Skills-based hiring will expand to increase candidate pools and recruit non-traditional candidates.
  • Providing professional development and career growth opportunities is imperative. According to research, 2/3 of workers who quit cited a lack of career growth opportunities, but 90% of them would have stayed if they had seen opportunities ahead.
  • The dual demands of leaders and employees have overwhelmed managers and amplified skills gaps. Managers are the single largest factor in an employee’s satisfaction, so it is critical to alleviate pressure on managers by clarifying their priorities and providing leadership training.
  • To be effective, organizations must address the human skills gap (communication, collaboration, change/project management, decision-making, cultural & social intelligence, etc.). These skills also help manage stress and workplace challenges.

Workforce Resources

There is no doubt that we will continue to face unprecedented challenges in 2023, but this is also a great opportunity to influence organizational culture from every position. Here are a few NCWWI resources that can help:

  • Learning & Living Leadership Tool Kit: Providing staff at all levels the opportunity to develop their leadership skills prepares future leaders, distributes responsibility, and encourages a more equitable work environment. The tool kit includes an online self-assessment and a customizable development plan with activities to choose from at all levels of the competency ladder (caseworker, supervisor, manager, and executive).
  • 6 Ways to Keep Learning: Use this flyer to show staff how they can continue their professional development for free.
  • Reflecting on Racial Equity, Inclusion & Tribal Sovereignty: Each video (one minute or less) provides a reflection question and links to a related resource for further reflection and learning. Use them to review your personal and professional efforts, share them with your colleagues and friends, and make an action plan.
  • Workforce Development Framework: The WDF describes the key elements leaders must understand to support the child welfare workforce.
  • Rethinking Child Welfare Recruitment: This brief focuses on new ways to recruit a child welfare workforce that can best meet the needs of children and families.
  • Workforce Development Month: Every September, NCWWI develops new and exciting ways to show appreciation for the child welfare workforce. Check back this summer for promotional materials and save the date for this year's Child Welfare Worker Recognition Event on September 12, 2023.

Stay tuned for more resources coming your way this year!

We are honored to support your workforce development efforts. Please contact Sharon Kollar if you have questions or need further assistance.

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