The goal of 2023 Megatrends is to make informed predictions about the future of work and help you and your people prepare for what’s coming next.
Global issues like economic instability, climate change, violence, and political unrest are compounding the challenge. Resilient organizations have learned that they must pay close attention to emerging trends so they can adapt and maintain business continuity during times of uncertainty. Taking care of your people has never been more challenging — or more critical.
This anxiety is significantly impacting their lives as well as their ability to do their best work. As always, vulnerable populations—the poor, the elderly, and children — are disproportionately impacted, but these impacts are increasingly being felt by rich countries and wealthy individuals.
40% of young people in 10 countries are hesitant to have children, in part because they think “humanity is doomed.”1
There is a wide spectrum along the employee’s continuum of needs, and employees across income levels are increasingly concerned with foundational physiological and psychological needs, such as safety and security. In a 2022 Deloitte study, 68 percent of employees and 81 percent of the C-suite said that improving their well-being was now more important than advancing their career. Yet the vast majority are facing significant obstacles when it comes to achieving their well-being goals — and these are largely tied to their jobs. The top two things limiting people from improving their well-being were a heavy workload or stressful job (30%) and not having enough time because of long work hours (27%).2
Organizations began to realize they needed more adaptable business structures in place to withstand the enormous amount of turbulence we face today — be it economic turbulence, changing employee expectations, or turbulence from unprecedented global impacts like pandemics, war, and climate change.
The average lifespan of S&P 500 companies was 61 years in 1958. In 2026, it’s expected to be 14.3
Stats like this are long-term proof that organizations must continually adapt — or become extinct. The most successful organizations are those that not only survive during unexpected challenges, but thrive, and weather the tumultuous chaos to become stronger. Challenging times can be incredible opportunities for both people and organizations able to adapt and take risks. Organizations must learn to adopt a growth mindset and continue moving forward rather than reflexively falling back into pre-pandemic patterns and behaviors.
Whether because situations are different, their values are different, or both, the percentage of Gen Xers on the board is positively and significantly related to firm performance, market-to-book ratio, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
Gen Xers accounted for 51 percent of leadership roles globally, and 68 percent of Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 CEOs in 2018.4
The “Gen X effect” is the idea that more organizations will prioritize ESG and DEIB investments because Gen X executives and board members are statistically more likely to lead them in that direction. This new generation of leaders will lead based on their priorities and insights into what is not only best for their people, but also best for the organization.
Revisit last year’s megatrends to see where the global HR focus was centered and how much progress your organization has made in tackling their biggest HR challenges.
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1 The Unseen Toll of a Warming World, Sarah Kerr, Noah Throop, Jack Healy, Aidan Gardiner and Rebecca Lieberman, New York Times, March 9, 2022. Found at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/03/09/us/mental-health-climate-change.html..
2 The C-suite’s Role in Well-being, Steve Hatfield, Jen Fisher, and Paul H. Silverglate, Deloitte Insights, June 22, 2022. Found at
3 Why You Will Probably Live Longer than Most Big Companies, Stephane Garelli, IMB Research & Knowledge, December 2016. Found at https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/why-you-will-probably-live-longer-than-most-big-companies/.
4 DDI Global Leadership Forecast 2018, DDI. Found at https://www.ddiworld.com/research/global-leadership-forecast-2018.