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HR Trends for 2024 your managers need to pay attention

Human behavior can be very malleable - social, political, and economic factors can affect what employees want from their careers and ultimately impact productivity.

HR leaders, perhaps more than other departments, are subject to constant change and need to be equipped with insightful tools that can help them identify trends and navigate them easily.

In this blog, we will discuss what trends the office of the CHRO needs to focus on, and the tools that will become key to navigating the evolving world of human resource management.

Keep reading to learn more about potential trends for HR leaders in 2024.

Employee engagement is becoming a key focus

One trend that has become a year-on-year struggle for HR departments is ensuring that existing talent is engaged to do their best work – but the solutions are out there.

‘Quiet Quitting’ has been a huge issue for HR, even before lockdowns, but it shows little sign of going away. Gallup reported in 2023 that at least 77% of the global workforce is “doing the bare minimum” and that “low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion”.

HR departments need to focus on ensuring that employees are engaged with their work and organizational culture.

Empowering people managers with data insights will have a huge impact on employee experience

A recent study from UNLEASH, in partnership with Unit4, has made clear that empowering people managers with data tools will be a key focus for HR leaders and will pave the way to improved engagement rates.

In their study, they found that only 25% of HR and business leaders feel sure that line managers have the right tools to enhance employee experience. This worrying statistic is exacerbated by the fact that 63% of organizations surveyed relied on exit interviews as their main method of gathering employee data and feedback.

People managers have a large effect on how employees feel about their work, but many managers currently have limited access to data on employees and need digital tools to manage performance and development effectively. 

Without data insight into the employee experience, people managers will struggle to identify and resolve issues and put the right development plans in place before it gets to an exit interview.

A study from Harvard Business Review reported an improved employee experience increased revenue by more than 50%, and profits by nearly as much. This should empower HR leaders to liaise with the rest of the C-suite to ensure that employee engagement is a key focus for 2024, to reduce the effects this has on profits.

Talent shortages continue to be a problem

Whether it’s a global shortage of qualified accountants, or from any other department, there is a shortage of talent across the world for most organizations, and HR departments need to focus on talent strategies that attract, retain, and optimize the productivity of current talent.

Korn Ferry reports that “by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people. […] Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.” It goes without saying that executive interest in solving talent shortages will be a key priority for 2024 and beyond.

This will be resolved in several ways, from creating an employee experience that stands out from the crowd to re-skilling, rather than purely focusing on external recruitment.

Click to read Unit4 HCM product brochure Gated 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a tool

Most organizations are now considering the benefits that AI can deliver. For the office of the CHRO, there are many considerations:

Re-skilling and upskilling – employees’ jobs may change to work alongside AI technologies, and HR will need to identify gaps and roll out training to address any shortfalls.

Resistance to change is common but it will be up to HR to foster a culture of transparency to support hesitant employees. 

AI raises some concerns about data privacy, bias in algorithms, and the impact on job roles. HR must therefore ensure that they comply with all ethical and legal standards.

Moreover, AI relies on large volumes of data so HR must work closely with IT and legal departments to ensure that data handling complies with regulations.

ESG reporting compliance requires a cross-functional response

Environmental, Social, and Governance reporting compliance is a growing concern for organizations, and one responsibility that will fall on HR departments, as well as other key business functions.

Dresner reports that a cross-functional response will be key, and this relies on the integration of datasets across HR, finance, and other areas of the business. Moreover, advanced reporting capabilities from AI will be a huge help in satisfying this growing compliance requirement – all of which exist in Cloud ERP systems.

In 2024, HR leaders need to ensure that their department is fully collaborative where ESG reporting is concerned. There will be executive interest in ensuring cross-functionality as ESG reporting will begin to affect partnerships and investments in the future.

Optimization of talent and compensation strategies

Those employees who are engaged to do their best work, and as plans are laid to ensure this is true of all employees, HR departments need to ensure their compensation and retention strategies are effective.

HRRI’s 2022-23 survey found that 42% of organizations describe their approach to compensation as ‘underdeveloped’, with total reward packages not currently being understood by employees (62% seeing this as a challenge), but also a large focus on package personalization and transparency (40% see this as a challenge, respectively).

Succinct data-gathering techniques, and integrated data across an organization’s functions, are once again the solution here – it’s likely many organizations aren’t currently empowered with the right data to optimize compensation packages for engaged employees.

Gallup reports that 51% of currently employed workers said they are actively searching for a new job. Moreover, losing an employee could cost up to twice their current salary. With talent shortages and an increased need for engaged employees, this will be a key area of executive interest.

Accommodate hybrid working conditions

The modern working environment has been subject to constant change in recent years.

While some employees discovered they were more productive from home, and organizations realized there are cost savings to gain from remote working environments, as well as some employees being keen on returning to the office, HR departments need to be prepared to be flexible about working conditions.

With a large focus on retaining and engaging employees for 2024, employers need to focus on accommodating hybrid working environments. This means ensuring employees have the tools they need to work remotely, but also presenting opportunities to work in person and unite teams where possible.

This can be key to attracting talent who have grown accustomed to a certain way of working or want to break out of a certain way of working. 

How Can Unit4 help your HR department in 2024?

Unit4’s HCM and Talent Management solutions provide a single source of truth for your entire employee experience helping you collect employee data, improve engagement, accommodate different working environments, and empower teams with development tools. 

To see for yourself what Unit4 can do to transform your approach to human resource management in 2024, check out our dedicated product page or book a demo.

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