As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to take stock: How did your business do in 2022? What changes do you want to make? And what new trends or ideas should you incorporate into your business strategy in the coming year?
To help with this third question, we’ve compiled a list of projections and small business trends for 2023 that are likely to be at the center of the conversation. Take a look.
1. New technology adoption
Chances are good that you’re already using some kind of technology in your business — and if you’re not yet, you’ve at least thought about it. That’s because more small businesses are recognizing that modern technology solutions can make everyday operations and back-end processes easier and faster.
But if you want to prioritize any one solution, think about adopting human resources (HR) and payroll technology. The right payroll and HR solution can automate key processes — such as time and attendance tracking, payroll calculations, tax deductions, employee on-boarding, and more — which significantly reduces your administrative burden and increases efficiency. When people operations run smoother, you and your staff have more time to devote to higher-value tasks and goals that can help grow the business.
An HR and payroll solution also gives you the flexibility and agility you need to respond to the larger market forces that impact your workforce and work environment. These tools enable you to adapt quickly to whatever comes your way — without adding undue complexity or extra burden.
2. Self-service capabilities
While you’re considering HR and payroll technology, think about a solution that features self-service capabilities. Self-service allows your employees to access their own HR- and payroll-related information, review it, and make necessary changes — all without needing an administrator to intervene.
Reducing the tedious back-and-forth with HR empowers your employees to take charge of their own data and needs. They can access and manage their information anytime and from anywhere, using mobile devices if they’re on the go or a desktop computer if they’re in the office.
As today’s workforce increasingly demands greater flexibility and autonomy, self-service capabilities are a modern technology must-have that meets those needs. Self-service also contributes to a better employee experience, which has become a priority for many businesses across industries.
Continuing with the technology theme, think about how today’s workers are now distributed across different locations — some at home, some in the office, and some in different states. They may be relying on a variety of digital tools to communicate, collaborate, and get work done. At the same time, there are also workers with disabilities who have to rely on those same work tools but may face visual, auditory, or other difficulties when using them.
No matter where your workers are located or what their individual needs may be, they all need consistent, easy-to-use, barrier-free access to the same work technology so that everyone can participate effectively and perform their jobs as expected.
That’s why digital accessibility — in all its forms — is set to become an important technology trend for small businesses in the year ahead. As you continue to rethink how work gets done and where, and especially if you’re looking to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in recruiting and hiring, digital accessibility needs to be at the forefront of your mind. And in the case of DEI, it may also become a matter of legal compliance that your HR leaders should be aware of.
4. Change management
Businesses had to navigate an enormous amount of change during the last couple of years. Workforces shrank and grew again. Workers went remote then came back to the office (and went remote again). And new laws kept HR and business leaders on their toes as they worked hard to comply, implement new policies, and communicate changes to workers.
Change management as a concept and practice isn’t just for the enterprise-level business with multiple departments and thousands of employees. All businesses, even the smallest, are faced with change and therefore have the opportunity and even an obligation to help their staff manage it.
It’s important to recognize just how much your employees may be fatigued by change and that they need effective ways of mitigating it. Since some level of change is always on the horizon, it’s worth it in the coming year to understand the impact change can have on employee morale and job satisfaction, and come up with ways to help your employees navigate it, survive it, and even become more resilient.
5. HR compliance
Last but not least, one of the top small business trends for 2023 is a greater focus on HR compliance. With all the many new state and federal laws in play that impact employment and the workplace, risk and compliance require more attention than ever.
Depending where your business is located, you may be dealing with minimum wage increases, workplace health and safety laws, rules around providing health coverage, paid leave and other mandatory benefits, and different payroll and tax laws if you have remote workers in different states. Needless to say, it’s made HR, payroll, and people management processes much more complex and therefore that much harder to meet regulatory compliance.
Next year, making compliance central to your HR strategy — if it isn’t already — is a smart move. One of the ways you can do so is by using people management solutions built with compliance at the core to ensure that tasks like paying and training employees, administering health benefits, handling workers’ compensation, storing documents, and reporting are compliant with all laws and regulations, no matter where you operate or the size of your business.
Need business support in 2023?
These small business projections and trends don’t have to be overwhelming. You can use them as inspiration and a catalyst for necessary change when you have the right support in place.
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