March 15, 2024

The 2024 HR Trends Digest: 20+ Blog Insights in One Place

Are you tired of scouring countless "Top HR Trends for 2024" blogs, only to find yourself overloaded with an ever-growing list of trends to track? We completely understand. With so many voices clamoring for attention in the HR space, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure where to direct your attention. 

As you try to hone in on focus areas for 2024 and beyond, this research can leave you with more questions than answers. While you could read through all these blogs and analyze which trends rise to the top, that would consume an incredible amount of time you'd rather spend elsewhere. 

Fear not — we've done the reading for you! 

Drawing insights from over 20 blogs authored by HR leaders, consultants, and reputable companies, we've meticulously analyzed the landscape to unearth the most prevalent trends shaping the future of HR in 2024. We've condensed our findings into a concise list of the seven most noteworthy trends you should watch and act on in 2024. 

So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the now simplified labyrinth of HR trends. 

1. Adapting to hybrid work environments

In 2024, companies are moving on from debating the pros and cons of hybrid work. The consensus is that hybrid work has won. 

The people have spoken. Research from Robert Half found that 50% of professionals working from home would look for a new job if their company asked them to return to the office full time. And according to Monster, 28% of workers would rather get a root canal and 16% would rather be audited by the IRS than work full-time in the office. 

The profits have spoken, too. Public companies that were fully remote or gave employees the freedom to choose when they came to the office increased sales by more than 20% from 2020 to 2022. That’s four times more than the 5% increase seen by companies with stricter office attendance policies. 

Instead of contemplating how they will get more employees in the office, companies are shifting their focus to examine how to best support employees where they are. This includes: 

  • Implementing tools and technology that support employees when they’re not at the office 
  • Establishing a culture of trust and accountability 
  • Maintaining open and consistent communication and collaboration 
  • Providing training and support in a variety of formats 
  • Finding creative ways to engage and inspire employees virtually 

2. Embracing generative AI and HR technology

Integrating generative AI and advanced HR technology into daily processes is already reshaping how HR functions operate, from recruitment to employee engagement and performance management. A SHRM study found that 85% of HR professionals who have incorporated AI into their work processes say it saves time, increases efficiency, or both. 

For many, the focus will not be on how AI can replace people but on how it can enhance their work. HR leaders are turning to AI to reduce manual workloads, speed up operations, and improve decision-making. And they will do so with greater frequency as technologies improve and new use cases emerge. 

HR has incredible opportunities to use AI to create more personalized experiences for employees. For example, AI can be a triple threat when it comes to learning and training programs. First, AI can help you understand the types of programs that are most in demand among your employees. Second, generative AI can help you create those programs by leveraging existing enablement materials. And third, once those programs are available, AI can help get those programs in front of the right employees at the right time.

3. Prioritizing employee mental and financial well-being

In light of ongoing global challenges, companies are placing greater emphasis on supporting employee well-being from a mental and financial perspective, recognizing its impact on overall productivity and retention. Directly following COVID-19 in 2020, psychological and physical wellness took center stage. Now, the economic uncertainty of the past couple of years has put a renewed focus on the financial aspects of employee well-being. 

Financial stress can be debilitating for employees and hit the bottom line harder than you might imagine. One in three workers is distracted at work due to financial anxiety. And employees under financial stress reported an average of 15 hours of reduced productivity per week. This translates into $4.7 billion in losses for employers every week.  

Being able to alleviate that stress and anxiety for employees goes a long way. Employees are 5.4x more likely to feel loyal to their employer if they believe the company values their financial well-being. Offering financial well-being tools, such as earned wage access, can help you build that trust with your employees. 

To develop and nurture a healthy organization, HR leaders must take a holistic approach that encompasses physical, mental, financial, and social well-being in addition to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. This leads us to our next area of focus: diversity, equity, and inclusion.

4. Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

DEI — and increasingly DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) — has transitioned from optional to table stakes. The imperative for organizations to prioritize DEI initiatives is underscored by recent commitments made by numerous U.S. companies. Notably, over 2,200 CEOs and presidents have pledged to cultivate more inclusive workplaces, as reported by the Centre for the New Economy and Society 

Additionally, a survey of HR professionals revealed a significant uptick in efforts dedicated to DEI programs and policies over the past two years, with 54% of respondents indicating increased focus in this area. 

Organizations are demonstrating proactive measures by broadening their understanding of identity and disability, embracing pay transparency, and recognizing the impact of intersectionality on their workforce dynamics. As a result, a majority of workers (53%) perceive improvements in their company's DEI initiatives compared to three years ago, indicating a positive trajectory in fostering inclusivity. 

Ensuring diversity and inclusion also extends to overseeing AI systems. As an HR professional, taking proactive steps to minimize biases embedded within AI algorithms and cultivate a diverse and equitable environment is crucial. This may involve implementing robust training programs, conducting regular audits of AI systems, and prioritizing diversity in data collection and analysis processes.

5. Skills development and reskilling

As job roles evolve and technology advances, there's a growing need for continuous learning and skills development to ensure employees remain relevant and adaptable in the workforce. 

This also plays a critical role in talent acquisition strategies. Mercer research reveals that 77% of employers still report difficulty finding the talent they need. Investing in ways to help existing employees learn new skills and grow existing ones will be more cost effective than instinctively opening a new job requisition and starting the search for new talent. Reframing the question “What jobs do we need?” to “What skills do we need?” will prove more fruitful in filling gaps. 

Knowing when to develop and reskill existing employees versus when to bring on new talent is a skill HR leaders will need to sharpen in 2024. And as the battle for talent extends beyond recruiting, strong training and enablement programs for employees will be paramount.

6. Leadership development and human-centric leadership

According to Gallup, only 10% of people are natural leaders. Another 20% have the traits for becoming great leaders but need the proper training first. And given the increasing diversity and complexity in our workplaces, this training has never been more important. Leadership development is critical if companies want to create a culture that fosters engagement and retention and turns employees into brand advocates.  

But how do you cultivate leaders at your company when so many managers are burned out by their responsibilities? In a study by Lattice, 66% of team-level managers reported experiencing some level of burnout and faced a higher risk overall than individual contributors. 

In 2024, human-centric leadership starts with recognizing the obstacles between your managers and your company’s broader leadership goals. For the most part, the issue is not access to training and development opportunities; the issue is having time to make the most of them. Technology, AI, and outsourcing are all tools you can leverage to empower your managers and give them more time to support the people who depend on them.  

7. Navigating change management

While change is a constant, the last few years have been a doozy, proving that no matter how prepared you might think you are, something can always come along to surprise you. 

Despite this, what makes for effective change management — ironically — hasn’t changed. What has changed, though, is the need for more sensitivity around change fatigue. 

According to Gartner, 77% of HR leaders report their employees experiencing fatigue, and 82% acknowledge that their managers aren’t well-equipped to lead change. And alarmingly, only 20% of HR leaders are equipped to identify change fatigue before it causes damage. 

What happens when employees become fatigued by too much change? 

  • They’re 42% less likely to stick around 
  • Trust dips by 30% 
  • Performance drops by 27% 

Going forward, leaders need to recognize how important it is for employees — especially managers — to recognize the signs and symptoms of fatigue. Combined with the best practices of effective change management, this knowledge can help you minimize resistance to build an adaptable and open culture.

It’s time to put these insights into action 

And there you have it: The top seven HR trends for 2024 based on insights from Forbes, Gartner, HRExectutive, Mercer, and many more! 

As you reflect on these trends, consider how they align with your organization's goals and values. Now is the time to leverage these insights and weave them into your strategic planning. By embracing these trends, you can position your company for growth, adaptability, and success in the ever-evolving landscape of HR. 

In addition to providing industry insights, OneSource Virtual (OSV) delivers patented in-tenant technology and expert services that efficiently automate the administrative, transactional tasks of Workday payroll, taxes, payments, and benefits. We eliminate complexity to give business leaders the confidence they need to drive strategic change. 

Our customer-centric approach puts your goals and objectives at the center of everything we do. With over 1,000 active customers and a 95% customer retention rating, OSV is the leading exclusive provider of Workday Business-Processes-as-a-Service (BPaaS).   

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