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In order to keep up with the changing expectations of organizations and employees in today’s market and economic conditions, HR professionals must be able to adapt.

Moving into 2024, HR leaders will need strategies that integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into everyday operations, meet employee requests for greater pay and flexibility, and comply with evolving compliance standards. Organizations will benefit from prioritizing their employees.

Below are 6 HR trends to help professionals meet their organizations’ and employees’ needs in 2024.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI gained worldwide popularity in 2023 as it streamlined operations, workflows, and improved customer experience. It’s likely AI will continue to play a vital role in business’ operations, and even help HR professionals make employment decisions, complete daily tasks, and evaluate data.

As AI becomes more prevalent, employers will have to prioritize ethics and compliance-related issues associated with AI. For example, how data will be used with AI, who will use the technology, and how to remain in compliance with changing laws and regulations. Furthermore, AI continues to provide potential issues of transparency, privacy, and potential discrimination.

2. Skill Gaps and Skills-based Hiring

Skills-based hiring evaluates candidates based on their skills rather than experience or education. Despite having 6.3 million unemployed individuals (as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), employers still struggle to find talent with the right skill set. This year employers may refocus their hiring efforts and hire based on skill rather than traditional qualifications.

Employers with strong learning and development programs may hire a candidate based on how they fit within the organization and choose to train them on a specific skill set later. This allows employers to find skilled candidates instead of trying to mold candidates to a set job profile.

3. New Compliance Rules

New compliance rules will impact organizations in 2024 including new benefit laws, retirement plan options, and paid time off. A new rule is also expected to take effect in 2024 which addresses how to implement exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees for the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It might also provide clarity for classifying exempt employees and increase their salary levels under the FLSA.

Employers also need to stay up to date with expanding pay transparency laws and take proactive measures to avoid potential litigation. As more states embrace pay transparency, more employers will likely be affected by these regulations, which can be challenging for employers with employees in multiple states.

4. Return to Work

In 2024, proactive employers should focus on balancing in-person requirements with employee needs. Although many people have embraced the flexibility of working remotely out-of-office, employers are increasingly requiring employees to return to the office. This has caused employee backlash in some organizations and many employers worry that pressuring employees to return to in-office work will only cause a higher turnover rate or even damage their reputation.

5. Employee Engagement

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, employee engagement and happiness have dramatically decreased. A study from HR Bamboo found that employee happiness has declined by 6% since 2020. The drop continued even more rapidly with a 9% decline since January 2023. This trend, often referred to as “the Great Gloom” suggests a strong connection between employee engagement and economic and societal conditions. High inflation has also forced many organizations to implement cost-cutting strategies, like layoffs or increased workloads, that also can increase stress, decrease morale, and contribute to a negative workplace environment.

Employees’ needs shift with the economy, and employers will need to emphasize driving employee engagement to meeting evolving employee demands. This may include a new focus on communication, psychological well-being, and fairness.

6. Competitive Compensation

Employers estimate that difficulties with recruitment and retention will continue into 2024. In response, many employers will provide competitive raises to combat the increasingly high cost of living. U.S. employers are planning an average salary increase of 4% according to the latest Salary Budget Planning Survey. Employers are also embracing benefits, such as workplace flexibility and comprehensive health care coverage to improve employee experience and increase retention.

Summary

HR professionals can stay ahead by monitoring trends that will impact the workplace in 2024. As employee expectations continue to evolve, employers who enhance their workforce strategies will have a competitive edge when supporting and attracting today’s workers.

Contact us here for more guidance on these topics and other workplace trends.