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Business Leaders Optimistic for 2023 According to Paychex Survey

January 18, 2023

Business Leaders
The annual survey of business and HR decision-makers revealed HR priorities and workforce trends for an evolving workplace

Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of HR technology solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services, today released the results of its fifth-annual Priorities for Business Leaders survey. The 2023 findings—which reflect the sentiments of 450 businesses employing between five and 500 employees across the U.S.—highlight the issues top of mind for leaders in today’s complicated economic, regulatory, and labor environments.

According to the survey, 70% of business leaders said they anticipate their revenue to increase year-over-year. However, they reported that the challenges of the past three years have contributed to ongoing stress. The survey found that:

  • Inflation (72%) is the number one business concern regardless of company size. Followed by the economy (57%) and interest rates (44%).
  • Staffing (46%) is the top operational challenge, in addition to the supply chain (38%) and keeping tech current (33%).
  • Roughly half of the leaders of businesses with 10-500 employees expect attracting and retaining top talent to become more challenging in the next 12 months, with employee development, operational efficiencies, and managing the hiring process also increasingly challenging.
  • Twenty-three percent of leaders find it extremely or very challenging to maintain legal or regulatory compliance. One in four (25%) of business leaders expect this to be more challenging in the year ahead.

“We regularly conduct research such as this annual business priorities survey to identify the top challenges that are keeping business leaders up at night and the trends impacting the evolving workforce to provide solutions that can truly make an impact on the American businesses we support,” said Maureen Lally, vice president of marketing at Paychex. “The 2023 survey results confirmed that access to funds due to economic factors will continue to challenge business and HR leaders as they head into the new year. With our solutions, such as the Paychex Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Service and our HR advisory support, Paychex is well-positioned to help businesses access funding and the tools they need to succeed in 2023.”

Outsourcing HR Results in Fewer Mistakes

The report showed that leaders who opted to outsource HR administration in 2022 benefited from improved accuracy, increased productivity, more reliable analytics and reporting, improved compliance, and reduced costs. The number one benefit for the leaders who outsourced HR administration was having fewer mistakes, cited by 51% of respondents. Over half of leaders (55%) said they did not outsource HR processes in 2022, and 38% said they were likely to explore the option in 2023 for HR functions, including payroll administration, benefits, recruiting and onboarding, and maintaining regulatory compliance.

Employee Retention and Engagement Tactics

Survey respondents said they plan to optimize hiring and retention strategies in the coming year. To boost retention, companies say they will:

  • Increase pay (45%).
  • Enact policies that encourage healthier work-life balance among employees (36%).
  • Improve their benefits offerings (35%).

They also indicated they plan to prioritize communication, offer opportunities for skill development, invest in new technology, and conduct stay interviews in an effort to retain top performers in 2023.  

For more insights from the survey, please view the full research report.

Survey Methodology

The Paychex 2023 Priorities for Business Leaders survey was conducted via an online survey from August 23 – September 1, 2022, among 450 business and HR decision-makers at U.S. companies with five to 500 employees. The survey is designed to assess business concerns, people management, leadership and personal challenges, and outsourced HR among business leaders.

About Paychex
Paychex, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves more than 730,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2022, in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting and stay connected on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Chelsea Wernick

Chelsea Wernick

Chelsea Wernick began working at Paychex in October 2021 and currently serves as a public relations program manager. In this role, she is responsible for telling the story of the company’s technology solution, Paychex Flex, and supporting the overall goals of the public relations department. Chelsea is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and has a background in public relations and digital communications.

Public Relations Program Manager