· News

HR predictions for 2024

We asked HR professionals what will happen in the world of work next year

As a new year approaches, we asked people professionals what their top four predictions are for 2024.

It has been a year of great change, with AI taking HR by storm and a series of geopolitical crises taking hold internationally, while employees were hit by the cost of living crisis.

Will next year be as turbulent? 

Here are some expert predictions on how HR may change in 2024.

Tiger De Souza, executive director of people and culture at Samaritans

1. Better hybrid work

“Organisations will move away from prescriptive expectations on where you work and how you work. Instead, they will invest in building managers' capability and confidence to rethink their approach to leadership in a hybrid working world. I see more trust, empowerment and productivity on the horizon for those that do.”

2. AI and the employee lifecycle

“Further exploration of the role that AI can play to improve different aspects of the employee lifecycle, with resourcing probably being the area with the most exciting breakthroughs.”

3. Wellbeing focus on benefits

“Wellbeing will continue to rise up the agenda and more organisations will review their employee value proposition with a wellbeing focus on benefits. It will become a critical string in an organisation’s bow in the war for talent.”

4. Beyond performative 

“I feel patience is stretching beyond breaking point on performative EDI actions and 2024 will be the year that organisations which genuinely mean it will stand out from the crowd with tangible, considered actions to meaningfully address workplace inequity.”

Read more: A third of day lost to performative work, study finds

Nadia Alaee, people officer at Deel

1. The right to disconnect

“With more of our activity moving online, inboxes are overflowing, Teams and Slack, you name it, are constantly pinging, and diaries are filling with back-to-back calls. The ‘always-on’ mantra won’t feel sustainable for much longer, so we expect to see a rise in the use of ‘aeroplane mode’ at work.”

2. Side hustles 

“Remote work has seen employees working in silos, so for officeless workers, expect more side-gigging. White-collar workers will explore weekend job industries like hospitality to offset the insolation of fully remote work, providing them with a diversified income and a creative outlet.” 

3. Working nomads

“More people are moving throughout the year or applying for visas that allow nomadic work. A compliant, clear remote work policy will be necessary for companies enabling hybrid or distributed arrangements.”

4. Reinforcing culture remotely

“With remote work making a stand, even for those companies with back-to-the-office or hybrid mandates, HR and the C-suite will need to strategise to continue to engage their workforce and maintain a strong culture. Similarly, for companies operating remotely, there will be an increased intention to bring people together, communicate, and create a strong, bonded workforce.”

Read more: Managing remote work when employees become hermits or nomads

Dr Tracey Leghorn, chief business services officer at SUEZ UK

1. AI for personalisation

“There is potential for AI to profoundly change the employee experience – some for the better but if not governed well, perhaps for the negative. AI systems can allow for more personalised experiences in the workplace. The ability to gather and analyse data will also support more evidence-based decisions for innovation, change management and workforce planning.”

2. Sustainability as a necessity

“Our HR professionals need to incorporate sustainability and social value thinking at every stage of the employee lifecycle. This is a necessity for all roles in all businesses looking to be competitive in the coming years.”

3. Collaboration across departments

“There is ongoing discussion about how strategic HR can be and where HR needs to be positioned in order to be effective. When HR is on the board, this sends a strong message about where the business sees these functions. Collaboration between departments is key to long-term business resilience.”

4. Rewards of social mobility efforts

“Social mobility is a key area that HR can influence when it comes to social value in the workplace. For businesses that prioritise this, there can be incredible benefits.”

Read more: Rethinking your rewards: Four key focuses for 2024

Nick Ulycz, chief people officer, Aldermore Bank

1. Skills shortages

“The economy is expected to grow slowly in 2024, which could lead to increased competition for talent. This will be particularly challenging for the financial services industry, which is already facing a skills shortage in areas such as cybersecurity and data analytics.”

2. Election uncertainty

“The general election could result in a change in government and new policies that impact the banking industry. HR directors will need to be prepared for the potential for change and ensure that their organisations are adaptable and agile.”

3. AI accessibility

“AI will become more accessible and scalable, which will have a significant impact on HR.

AI is already being used by many companies to automate tasks and we can expect to see AI being used in even more areas, such as talent development and employee engagement. HR will need to invest in training and development to ensure that their employees are able to work alongside AI effectively.”

4. Financial wellbeing

“Soaring living expenses and persistent inflation will compel businesses to increase support for employees. HR should invest in financial literacy programmes, financial wellbeing coaches and resources on how to manage household budgets.”