Happy New Year and welcome to 2023!

I hope everyone has had the opportunity to connect with the people important to them and get refreshed!

I find this time of year interesting it always has a feel or energy about it. This year is no different and the energy I am feeling is very positive and optimistic in the small to medium business community, both in Australia and the United States. 

I understand the economist’s view of early 2023, but they certainly haven’t spent much time around our client base and community. The wattsnext Group (in its 16th year in 2023) has had three record months, our team is growing, and our clients are thriving! 

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

As we have the unique opportunity to service fast-growth small to medium businesses across all industries, we get a great snapshot of trends and what is happening. Below are my top 5 HR business predictions for 2023, based on what we have been seeing: 

  1. Retention: now Covid is in the rear-view mirror, you must focus on your key people. Not necessarily the highest paid or ranked, but your loyal and key warriors make your business tick!
  2. Toxicity: over the past two Covid years business owners have put up with poor behaviour and unfortunately, that has been and is about to bite you hard if you have not dealt with it. 
  3. Attraction: there has been an incredible shortage of talent, this is starting to improve as employees gain confidence, immigration improves and restrictions become a distant memory, but this will remain a challenge in 2023. 
  4. Culture: still the most misunderstood concept in business (in my opinion), but education around its importance is improving. The smart operators are again investing in the frameworks that underpin their culture.
  5. Flexibility: ignore this at your peril, this is no longer a ‘nice to have’ or necessity to help cope with a worldwide pandemic, managed well and with an open mind, it could play a big part in conquering 1-4 above!

The last two years may well be the toughest we experience in our lifetime. But I choose to look at 2023 as a new, exciting beginning!  At the wattsnext Group, we have been preparing for months and we wish all of you continued prosperity and fun this year!

Author: Ben Watts
Ben is a veteran in the HR space- a forward-thinking leader specialising in functional business structures and people performance techniques. With twenty years’ experience managing large ASX listed corporates across multiple industries, Ben adds depth and expertise to our clients' strategy solutions, genuinely providing a commercial result for their investment.