Plan now for the year ahead: 9 trends that will shape HR in 2024

In today’s business environment, HR leaders must strategically position their organizations to attract and retain top talent while achieving operational goals. The Gartner business advisory firm says these are the most significant trends HR professionals must be prepared to embrace this year.

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1. Helping cover the costs of returning to the office

Employees who once worked remotely are acutely aware of the costs associated with going to the office. Gartner analysts say employers should be prepared to share at least some of the costs, offering benefits like caregiving support and financial well-being programs.

2. Tapping AI to create opportunity

Gartner says generative artificial intelligence systems will enhance workforce opportunities by lowering technical skill requirements for many roles. HR leaders should assess GenAI’s impact on team roles, workflows, hiring strategies, and new skill needs.

3. Learning GenAI’s lessons, managing its costs

Temper enthusiasm for GenAI with risk management. Employers will need to establish rigorous policies, quality control, and employee training to navigate the potential risks associated with GenAI.

4. Exploring four-day workweeks

For some employers, the four-day workweek will become a cornerstone for improving talent outcomes and business efficiency. Organizations can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging the shorter workweek to enhance employee engagement, performance, and well-being.

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5. Enhancing managers’ conflict-resolution skills

Political, labor and economic discord will continue to strain co-worker relationships, making it essential for managers to acquire and hone conflict-resolution skills. Gartner urges HR to provide conflict-management training, mentorship opportunities, and recognition for successful de-escalation of workplace conflict.

6. Emphasizing skills more than credentials

Gartner believes employers are shifting towards skills-based hiring, in many cases eliminating traditional college-degree requirements. This approach broadens the talent pool, but it ramps up pressure to develop talent internally, finding alternative routes toward skill development.

7. Embracing climate-change protection as an employee benefit

As climate change-driven events become more common, Gartner says employers should incorporate climate-change protection into their benefit offerings. This includes commitments to employees’ physical safety, compensation, and mental-health support during natural disasters.

8. Making DEI the way we work

Diversity, equity, and inclusion will transition from standalone initiatives to an embedded organizational value. In 2024, companies will integrate DEI values into business objectives, daily operations, and culture.

9. Collapsing career stereotypes

Traditional career paths are evolving. Organizations will break stereotypes by offering flexibility in job structures, including job sharing, gig work and reduced hours, to attract and retain diverse talent.

Advice: Ask yourself how well these trends apply to your organization and employees. Arrange them in priority order, based on your readiness to implement HR systems that support them.