7 HR Trends For 2024
In the past years, we’ve seen some great changes in the workplace as workers and those who have less advantages are seen and valued more. Laws and policies have helped in this, along with some important cultural shifts.
As the new year approaches, you should keep an eye on these seven trends that may continue, change, or emerge, and what they mean for HR:
1. AI Use Will Continue to Require Policy Updates
Steve Lovig, our Senior HR Consultant, predicts that “AI will continue to be an important and confusing issue, requiring new policies along with informative guidelines for its use (or a statement of Non-Use).”
As the popularity and use of AI increases in the workforce, HR will need to keep up with creating policies to use AI wisely in a way that protects the company, people, and their information.
2. Remote Working is Becoming Non-Negotiable for Some Workers
Since the Pandemic and the spread of remote working, we’ve seen a shift in people’s preference to work from home and spend less time at the office. Part of this is because workers want to achieve a work-life balance and part of it is to reduce the commute time (or time spent showering, grooming, and donning business attire!).
Steve Lovig warns, “The remote worker experience is not going away. Creating or keeping a fully remote or a hybrid work environment available for employees will determine a company’s success in landing top talent. It’ll be either the 1st or 2nd question asked by a candidate considering a new job. Companies FORCING employees back into an office environment on a full time basis will suffer from a lack of quality candidates.”
Jennifer Preston, HR Consultant at Flex HR, similarly notes, “Working from home or hybrid opportunities are still a crucial piece to attracting and retaining top talent. Many companies tried to reinstate back-to-work policies in 2023. I believe there may be a shift back to allow more hybrid opportunities especially for the top, high-performing talent. It may become more of an earned perk.”
3. Worker Pay and Benefits Will Continue to Rise to Keep Up with Inflation
Jim Cichanski, Founder and CHRO of Flex HR, foresees for workers in 2024, “We will continue to see benefit costs go up. We will see average raises right around 5%.”
Steve Lovig advises, “employees will be leaving because of compensation. Fringe benefits like additional PTO, employee’s birthday off with pay, and more paid holidays will help retain some employees, but your employees can’t pay their bills with another paid Holiday! Your company will lose Top Talent if the company does not significantly increase the employee’s take-home pay! The economy is hurting employees directly in their ability to purchase daily essentials. We’re not talking about affording extravagant coats, shoes, and excursions; Consumer Prices of basics are increasing at well-over 3%:
● Beef, and other meats up well over 4%
● Chicken is up 3½%
● Dairy up another 4%
● Fast Food and other Restaurant purchases are more than 5% higher than this time last year.
● Overall food prices are increasing almost 6% from last year.
Today’s Top Talent can easily garner a 10 – 15% SALARY increase by going to a new employer.”
Jennifer Preston predicts, “With rising insurance rates, companies may be looking to offer more and/or different perks to supplement benefits programs: wellness programs, fitness memberships, parking or transportation assistance.”
4. Companies will Seek to Balance DEI issues with Worker Abilities and Experience
DEI has become such an important issue in the last years, and is here to stay.
However, Jennifer Preston sees a shift on the horizon: “While DEI is important, I believe companies are recognizing that the pendulum shifted too far. Hiring highly-skilled, qualified, top talent should supersede hiring to achieve diversity metrics. Abilities, skills, experiences, and past performance should be a driver for recruiting rather than the diversity metrics a candidate may attain. With affirmative action being eliminated at universities, we will see more of this in corporations.”
5. More Changes to State Laws on Leaves, Time off, and Wages
Jim Cichanski knows, “More states will implement their own laws on leaves, time off and wages in the Human resources arena.”
To be aware of these changes and laws, the best place to go is usually an official state website, Cichanski advises. Other places on the internet you find information about the state worker and wage laws may not be the most accurate or up to date.
It is imperative that HR stay up to date in this realm and give guidance to companies about how to stay in compliance or prepare for upcoming changes.
6. Unemployment Will Stay Low
Though inflation continues, the good news for 2024 is, “Unemployment will continue to be very low,” according to Jim Cichanski.
As of the last update to state unemployment rates in October of 2023, the rates have been near their historical lows. For example, Alabama was at 2.3% when the lowest it has ever been was 2.1%. Similarly, Florida was at 2.8% when the lowest they’ve had was 2.4%.
Thus the need to keep employees happy in order to retain valuable workers is key.
7. A Shift from “HR” to “People and Culture”
Creating a better Company culture has been such a focal point this past year that Flex HR’s Jamie Sieja says, “there has been a big concentration on a thriving company culture, which has arisen out of the pandemic and returning to work – whether in person or remote.”
There has also been a focus on meeting individual employee needs, and thus HR might be undergoing a bit of rebranding as these subtle shifts take shape. “It is also crucial to consider that if your company is working from home or on a hybrid schedule, it is equally as important to creatively find ways to bring employees together and boast culture efforts,” Jamie Sieja adds.
Join Us for HR Boot Camp!
If you’re looking for a great way to brush up on these topics and ensure your business is practicing its HR efforts correctly, join us for our one-day boot camp in February. Our HR experts will speak to these trends covering:
- Remote and hybrid work
• Artificial intelligence at work
• Important updates for employee handbooks
- HR and payroll technology optimization
• Workplace violence prevention
• Employee retention best practice
In partnership with SHRM Atlanta. For their attendance, participants receive 4 SHRM PDC/ HRCI CEU.