As we race towards the end of the year it is never too early (unlike playing Christmas music in the shops in October!) to consider what challenges and hot topics will define the HR landscape in 2024 !
It’s a matter of fact that workforces are ever evolving and it pays to stay ahead of the curve, so, let’s ready ourselves for the trends in 2024 that are likely to steal the limelight! In no particular order the winners are…………….
1. Continuing to Embrace Technology
No, robots are not taking over (just yet) ! But AI is undeniably playing a more and more significant role in the workplace and in how people are managed.
From AI-driven recruitment processes to advanced analytics for performance management, Chatbots and virtual assistants answering FAQs and handling routine queries to even assisting in employee onboarding.
Embracing technology is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity and the challenge lies in finding the right balance. HR need to keep an eye on ethical considerations and ensure that AI is used to enhance processes and NOT to completely replace the human touch!
2. Hybrid & Remote Working VS Return to Office
For several years now the workplace has not been confined to a physical office, flexibility became the name of the game.
With remote and hybrid working becoming a lifestyle, HR still needs to work towards managing dispersed teams, but with the pendulum beginning to swing the other way and many businesses wanting to see a greater number of people back in the office, HR will have to pedal hard to strike the right balance between the employees needs and business needs on this emotive topic (not even to mention to 4 day working week debate!)
3. A Workforce of Lifelong Learners
The days of a one-and-done approach to learning are thoroughly outdated and as such, in 2024, HR will need to place focus on continuous learning.
Not least due to the rapid pace of technological advancement which means that employees need to stay current. But HR professionals must champion lifelong learning, whether it’s up-skilling for a specific role or fulfilling a curiosity, employees must be encouraged to go on their own individual learning journeys. We often talk to people who are dialling into a webinar or listening to a podcast and bolstering their learnings on the go.
An asset to any business, these Lifelong learners make for a motivated and resilient workforce.
4. Data, Data and more Data
HR decisions are becoming more data-driven than ever before. The ability to mine data for insights is fast forwarding how HR operates.
From predicting employee engagement and employee turnover to identifying patterns in performance, data analytics is the secret weapon in making informed decisions within the business.
That being said, HR need to stay in tune with the responsibilities around gathering this data by respecting employee privacy and committing to transparency within the organisation.
5. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have been on the HR radar for some time, but moving into 2024, it’s imperative that any hang overs from thinking that it is about ticking demographic boxes are stamped out. It’s about recognising the unique strengths that each individual brings to the table, creating a level playing field and enabling everyone to have an equal shot at success and HR are still on a journey to drive this message home.
6. Culture with a Purpose
There’s no two ways about it, Company culture helps keep employees engaged and motivated. Most employees seek a sense of belonging and a sense that they can contribute to something meaningful in their everyday work. It’s an important part of HR’s mission to work with the business to keep developing cultures that resonate with the values of the organisation and its people. The question that’s been asked frequently through 2022 and 2023 is how to build a culture with remote and hybrid workers without requiring them in the office – what will 2024 bring on this very topic?
7. Holistic approach to Employee Well-being
Gone are the days when a chill out area and free fruit were the epitome of staff perks to help boost morale. Mental health and well-being have come up the inside rail and it’s time for HR to really push forward initiatives that support the whole employee – mentally, physically, socially and financially. Flexible working arrangements, mental health days, mindfulness workshops are just the start needed to enable companies to glean the benefits from a contented, productive and long term employee! With so many generations now in the workplace it definitely requires creative and flexible thinking to introduce wellbeing initiatives and benefit programmes that appeal to all.
8. Employee Experience
In 2024, it’s about the entire employee journey. It starts with the recruitment and onboarding through to the day to day and the career development – every touchpoint counts. Creating a positive employee experience involves understanding the individuals needs, providing meaningful feedback, and fostering an environment where growth and learning are not just encouraged but embedded in the company culture.
9. Candidate Experience
With our recruiter hats on, it would be remise of us not to mention TA here – Given the rollercoasting journey its been on since Covid and thinking about lots of the negative press it’s attracted (who hasn’t heard about ghosting and the recruitment black hole) – we can’t wait to see the TA teams being re-built with candidate experience at the forefront!
Finding the right mix of old and new is where it’s at!
The challenges and trends shaping the coming year will enable HR to create workplaces that not only attract top talent but also, hopefully, nurture and retain them for the long haul – Here’s to a productive 2024!