The coming year is shaping up to be very different from previous years as far as workplaces are concerned. The challenges of hybrid working or full WFH, coupled with advances in AI and other big tech plus global skill shortages, loom ever closer on the horizon. Factor in the global economic downturn, higher energy costs, rising inflation and squeezed budgets too. What this all means is that the need for effective leadership in 2023 which engages fully with the existing workforce has never been more important.
The Rise of AI in Addressing Talent Shortages
Supply chain issues and economic uncertainty will continue to hinder the hiring process for many businesses. It is possible that rather than try to hire new talent, businesses may have to instead reorganise and/or re-train their current workforce. They can do so to fill skill gaps and meet growing demand. To this end, the accelerated adoption of AI and machine learning will become the norm. Data sharing, digital technologies and smart algorithms will become part of the automation of end-to-end processes across multiple agencies.
Data Breaches May Become a Bigger Problem
Cybersecurity will continue to become even more crucial in 2023. However, cybersecurity specialist recruiters report an estimated 3.1 million positions waiting to be filled globally. Therefore, the hiring and retention of cyber talent is bound to become ever more competitive. This is particularly within the public sector.
According to statistics from gov.uk, 39% of UK businesses reported a cyber-attack in 2022. These are mainly from denial of service, ransomware or phishing attempts. This was down slightly from 2021 when 41% of cyber attacks on UK businesses were successful.
The sheer scale of attacks coupled with the cybersecurity skills gap means not only that companies are going to have to look at offering new recruits and existing staff greater incentives to join or stay but also that team leaders and managers must up their game to prevent the steady leaching of talent by improving working conditions and by fully engaging, developing and leading more effectively the workforce they have and the talent they need to recruit.
Diversity Will Become Essential
It is clear that as the cybersecurity skills gap is steadily increasing the onus must be on training, recruiting and retention of staff in this area. Plus, accelerating training programs throughout the education and higher education systems. Training of the current workforce must trickle down to junior level as well. This is in order for managers and leaders to better understand the capabilities of existing workers and how these can be quickly deployed into different areas of the business as needed. What is clear also is that workers must be encouraged to develop diverse skills such as design, marketing, communication and even psychology. That way, they can support businesses in staying ahead of rivals and threats from cyber-attacks.
Working From Home Will Present the Greatest Challenge for Leadership in 2023
As home and office morph into one and the same, this will present problems. Issues surround not only around data security and employee motivation but also effective leadership and the potential for burnout.
Leaders dealing with the coming challenges must remember to lead themselves by practising self-care. They must also create a good example of sound leadership.