Four HR Trends That Will Shape the 2024 Workplace
By Jennifer Kraszewski
It’s been a big year for HR, from quiet hiring to quiet quitting, as well as loud quitting, grumpy stayers, lazy girl jobs, the “Big Stay,” return to work and artificial intelligence. The workforce and workplaces have shifted significantly again in 2023, and these trends have set the scene for 2024. As the new year approaches, HR leaders are looking ahead to their priorities for the next 12 months. In fact, in a Pollfish survey of 1,000 U.S. human resources professionals commissioned by Paycom, HR professionals reported employee retention, talent acquisition, employee training and employee engagement as their top HR priorities 2024. As workplaces continue to navigate an unpredictable and precarious economy, these concerns form the bedrock of the biggest HR trends of the 2024 workplace.
Trend 1: Employee Retention Will Be the Key Driver of HR Initiatives
Previously, HR initiatives were driven by well-being, and while this remains essential to the workplace, employee retention will be the key driver of HR initiatives in 2024. According to this same study, talent retention was reported as the biggest challenge for 2024 by 51% of HR professionals, and 57% said it was a top HR priority in 2024. As the job market continues to shift, employers will be looking for ways to retain their staff by using data to understand their people and developing initiatives that keep employees engaged, challenged and interested.
Technology will be essential to this retention strategy, including giving employees the tools they need to focus on the most valuable and engaging aspects of their role. This applies to every aspect of the business, from physical technology like laptops to HR software that provides visibility and a sense of control. For example, Paycom’s Beti®, our employee-driven payroll experience, gives workers the power to review and correct payroll errors prior to payday, which leads to improved accuracy and payroll oversight. It also reduces payroll issues, streamlines processes and increases an employee’s confidence in their employer, which helps retention.
Trend 2: More Companies Will Address How They Attract Talent
Competition for talent was high in 2023, so employers will be looking at their employer brand and talent acquisition strategy to ensure they’re winning the war for talent in 2024. Staffing and recruitment were reported as the top challenge by 44% of respondents, and 50% of HR professionals reported talent acquisition is their top HR priority in 2024. Developing a robust talent acquisition strategy and generating interest from top candidates will help companies navigate the changing economic and technological environment in the new year. Attracting talent will include more than great benefits; workers will be looking at how companies promote work-life balance and instill stability in their organization. In great part, this stability will derive from simple and accurate HR technology incorporated into the retention strategy.
Trend 3: Employee Engagement Will Continue to Be a Challenge for Workplaces
In 2023, trends like “quiet quitting” and “lazy girl jobs” emerged from growing employee disengagement. Factors like remote work play a significant role in a lack of engagement, particularly for younger employees looking for a greater connection, purpose and direction in their careers. According to Paycom’s Pollfish survey, nearly half of HR professionals (42%) reported employee engagement as the top challenge for 2024. Considering the huge shifts in the workforce since the pandemic, employee engagement is likely to continue to be an issue as HR leaders look to redefine their workplace culture by addressing different generational needs.
Having intuitive and streamlined tools, processes and technology will go a long way in ensuring employees can focus on excelling in their careers, not being bogged down by tedious administrative tasks. A survey Paycom conducted via OnePoll revealed that 71% employees are frustrated by outdated workplace tech, and 3 in 4 would take a pay cut for software that’s twice as good as the technology they currently use. As consumers, we are accustomed to user-friendly, interactive online access to the services we use. Employees have the same expectations surrounding their experience at work.
Trend 4: Employee Training and Career Development Will Take Center Stage
Considering all the trends above—employee retention, talent acquisition and engagement—employee training and career development will take center stage in 2024. HR professionals said employee training (49%) and career development (46%) were among their top priorities for the new year, signifying a move away from DE&I initiatives (32%), employee well-being initiatives (37%) and benefits planning (23%). With new technology like AI emerging, providing skills-based training will be essential, as well as budgets for continuing education for employees. A significant part of employee training and career development will be educating leaders and managers responsible for guiding junior staff. Having comprehensive mentorship programs and performance development sessions with managers will help to motivate, engage and retain talent.
But training can quickly consume your entire job. So it’s important for HR to have the tools to create, share and track training courses to teach new employees the basics as well as reskill and upskill more tenured employees. Software like Paycom Learning provides an intuitive, scalable, mobile-friendly learning experience for customers to seamlessly make training and career development a proactive, measurable, engaging solution to easily train and upskill employees.
The Bottom Line
While the trends in HR will change, core tenets of people management remain the same. Having effective people management tools that streamline administrative processes will help HR professionals respond to work shifts and implement effective initiatives. A comprehensive HCM software that combines talent acquisition, talent management, time and labor management, and payroll will go a long way in allowing HR teams to level up in 2024 and meet the challenges of a changing workplace.
TechBuzz welcomes guest-authors from the Utah tech ecosystem to share their insights and ideas on topics relevant to our readers. Today we present Jennifer Kraszewski's fourth article in her series on HR management. Her first three article are found here, here, and here.
Jennifer is the Senior Executive Vice President Human Resources at Paycom, an Oklahoma-based payroll company that has built a growing presence in Salt Lake City. Jennifer has more than 25 years of HR leadership experience, driving transformative, business-focused human capital strategies in high-growth industries to achieve efficiencies, compliance and employee engagement. Named by Human Resource Executive magazine as one of the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers in 2020 and 2021, Jennifer is a featured blogger and hosts webinars on HR topics through the Society for Human Resource Management, HR Daily and HR.com. Jennifer is SPHR- and SHRM-SCP-certified.