Avoiding the hurry habit – trends and why you need to slow down in 2023


Trends in communications and leadership 2023

It’s that time of year when we all talk about the latest trends in communication and business, what to expect from the year ahead and what to focus on.

In 2022, I shared some of my thinking about the latest communication trends in articles and at events. Most importantly, nothing is new.

In the process of reading and researching for this blog, I was staggered by how many different “trends” are predicted. I find it interesting that the trends are so vast, so varied, and often the same as they have been for years. Does that constitute a specific trend for the year? I don’t think so. I think we wrap everything up we can think of that should be a focus and claim it’s for 2023!

Let’s just list the consistent “trends” that should be a focus for all organisations and communicators so we can get them covered and then focus on the things that are specific for 2023.

Four consistent trends, no matter the year:

  1. Leadership and line manager communication skills – this is always on the list
  2. People, profit and the planet (CSR, ESG, whatever you call it) should constantly be there
  3. Technology and channels – keeping up with what’s happening in AI and other tech to ensure you can support how it could help solve business or communication problems in your organisation
  4. Aligning communication strategies to business strategies.

These four trends are consistent year after year and should always be on the agenda for organisations, leaders, and communication professionals.

So, what trends are a focus for leaders in 2023?

There are three specific things that leaders should be looking at to help people thrive:

  1. Creating efficient organisations – there is more focus on performance management, ways of working at different locations, and the need to reduce costs everywhere. Most of our conversations with clients are around organisational change, restructuring, and reviews; this will be more prominent in 2023.
  2. Rehumanising the workplace – distance and technology have impacted relationships at work. There is a need to look at how we help people come together, work better together (regardless of location), and bring back our ability to converse, discuss and disagree respectfully.
  3. Focusing on every element of the employee experience – whether it’s the great resignation, the great unretirement, quiet quitting (or whatever term we want to make up to scare people into a trend) these are all symptoms of chaos! The root cause is poor employee experience. Making time to look at each part of the employee life cycle is going to be more important than ever. This is entwined with making the workplace more human and the efficiencies organisations are looking for.

These are the three that stand out for me as being specific for 2023. As I was reading and researching the content shared about trends (helpful links below), I was drawn to the focus and importance of choice. As we try to navigate the awkwardness of a post-COVID workplace, people want choice, options, and the ability to discuss and feel heard. We must create space in organisations to do that.

We need to slow down and make sure there are opportunities for people to come along on the journey of the organisation. We must kick the hurry habit.

As I say to all our clients, we need to focus our attention here for a while to invest time in relationships. If we want to create an efficient and engaging organisation, internal communication is going to be key and you can find out more in my book, Influential Internal Communication. In the words of the American country music band, Alabama, in the ’90s:

“I’m in a hurry to get things done, oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun, all I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why!”

Song: I’m in a hurry

Sources/further reading:

Five workplace trends set to reshape 2023 | The top trends, challenges and opportunities for internal communications in 2023 | The jury is out on the future of work | Employee engagement and internal communication trends | What will HR focus on in 2023?

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