· Comment

What do employees want from HR in 2024?

Keep the human in human resources

Last year was a mammoth year of HR navigation for employers.

As well as facing skills shortages and significant changes to employment law, the basic nature of employment shifted.

Long gone are the days when employees went to work simply to survive. In today’s marketplace, they want the chance to thrive.

The Covid-19 pandemic quickly introduced different ways of working and communicating with staff.

The subsequent return to the office proved things would never quite be the same again.

While salary expectations are still high on the agenda – especially with the current cost of living crisis – employees are now looking for a much more holistic remuneration package and a greater understanding of diversity and inclusion.

Read more: Senior HR disconnected from employee money worries

Workers want an employer with a great focus on wellbeing, flexibility, opportunity and understanding, plus environmentally-friendly working practices for mindful sustainability and a supportive culture to allow them to strive and succeed.

They need inclusive and all-encompassing company policies that accept who they are and where they fit in a modern workplace.

The world is ever changing, and businesses must keep up. But despite the continual emergence of new technology, significantly – and importantly – workers want to keep the human in human resources.

The best way for a business to do this effectively is to make staff feel valued, appreciated, listened to and that their needs are being met.

One way of doing this successfully is by introducing an EVP – an employee value proposition.

An EVP is a unique set of benefits offered to workers in return for skills and capabilities. It defines both what makes a business unique and demonstrates what it stands for.

An EVP underpins your business values and can be used as a selling tool for both retention and new talent attraction.

Recruiting the right person can be challenging for any business, but it can be even more so when an SME is recruiting. This is because there might be more resource and time restrictions for the employer when carrying out a recruitment campaign.

Plus, the longer a vacancy remains open, the greater the impact on the business.

Read more: Effective EVP drives engagement and performance, study finds

To establish an EVP, it is vital to seek the views of the workforce.

Ask for feedback on the company, the brand and the culture: What is done well? And what could be improved?

Also quiz any job applicants or new starters: what attracted them to the company?

Use the feedback to consider your business’ selling points. 

Consider what other local employers offer too, including competitors, as this is handy for benchmarking activities.

Once you have this information, decide what you’re going to include in your EVP, both financial and non-financial.

You might want to offer flexible or hybrid working, free gym membership or health insurance.

Other elements may include career development opportunities, enhanced family friendly entitlements or CSR options to work with local charities.

Whatever you choose, the EVP aligns to company vision and values.

This helps the company stand out and attract talent by telling your employer brand story, showing how unique your business is, and communicating a competitive pay and benefits package.

Most importantly, it gives you a chance to showcase why the business is a great place to work and the human, approachable side to the firm.

This helps employee engagement, keeps the team motivated and makes them recommend your company to others.

Happy staff equal high-performing staff. This allows the business to become more productive.

Showing your staff that you actively seek their opinion, and you care enough to use it to shape an EVP, can be a game changer for your business.

It will allow you to retain your best talent, which keeps recruitment costs to a minimum and boosts business performance through having a highly experienced workforce.

All of this helps to shape your people plan and business strategy.

Keep the human in human resources. You won’t regret it.


Greg Guilford is CEO of HR Solutions