2024 HR Trends to Watch (and What to Leave Behind)

January 10th, 2023 – SkillCycle

animated gif of hr trends to watch in 2024

The start of a new calendar year is a time to celebrate successes, reflect on challenges, and prepare for the year ahead. Companies wanting to smoothly navigate the changes on the horizon are watching 2024 HR trends to help set their priorities.

“When change is expected, you need to map out how you’ll scale plans to achieve company targets,” says Kristy McCann Flynn,  CEO and Co-founder of SkillCycle. “A leaner, meaner philosophy of doing more with less won’t help you hit your goals.”

Why should you keep a sharp focus on what lies ahead for workplace and HR trends? The turmoil felt over the last few years has yet to settle in many sectors. The number of employees considering leaving their jobs in the past year increased from 19% to 26%, according to PwC.

“Companies need to accept that some changes are here to stay,” says Rebecca Taylor, Co-founder and CCO of SkillCycle. “They need to empower and enable their workforce to be able to adjust to those shifts.”

From adaptations to how and where people work to embracing HR tech trends, there will be changes to navigate. Companies that are tuned into their workforce’s evolving needs and expectations will be better prepared for what’s to come. 

In this article on 2024 HR trends, we’ll explore:

  • 3 important 2024 HR trends to prioritize (and why they matter)
  • 3 trends HR teams should move on from
  • Why learning should be at the core of your 2024 HR strategy


3 important 2024 HR trends to prioritize this year

It may be tempting to think that the most significant disruptions to the way we work are behind us. However, many underlying challenges have existed in one form or another for years and are likely to surface in your company if they haven’t already. For example, in many organizations, skills gaps have been building over time and are now a problem that can’t be ignored.

“The opportunity to fix these issues is now, and companies need strategic initiatives to do so,” says McCann Flynn. “Simply checking boxes won’t cut it.”

Identifying, interpreting, and prioritizing trends are essential first steps in building a ‘future of work’ strategy, according to Gartner. Assessing the impact of these trends will help you improve your ability to prepare for what the future holds.

There are three areas where HR teams should be putting their energies in 2024: 

Supporting hybrid and remote work

Wrestling with old ideas about presence and performance will be necessary as people continue to weigh the value of being able to work remotely. Workers have seen a new reality and are less likely to accept blanket policies that insist on a total return to the office without discussion or evaluation. 

Instead of heavy-handed approaches likely to drive away talented team members, employers must find ways to work with employees on how and where work gets done. 

Providing upskilling, learning, and training opportunities

Companies need to ensure they are proactively filling skills gaps. Beyond protecting the organization’s ability to adapt and grow, providing learning opportunities is critical to demonstrating a commitment to employees and their experience at work. 

Giving people the skills they need to hit goals isn’t a perk. It should be part of your strategy to increase company performance, so mapping skilling to organizational goals is critical. It’s also key to support middle managers with training to ensure they can confidently step into these roles and lead others.

Using AI as an enablement tool

Attention to HR tech trends will also be essential, as leveraging AI offers opportunities to streamline HR processes. Managing enormous amounts of data can slow talented HR teams down, and solutions that help reduce manual workflows can help redirect energy to where it’s most needed. 

Now is the time to recognize where AI can help your people do better work more efficiently. Explore tools that empower your teams to move from collecting and managing data to using that data in meaningful ways to drive performance.

Taking a people-first approach to these trends will help you make better decisions as you plan how your people will work, perform, and succeed as a team. In most cases, knowing what your employees value will go a long way in creating inspiring, inclusive work environments.


3 trends HR teams should move on from

Positioning your company to be ready for changes should go hand-in-hand with identifying priorities or ideas to leave behind as you enter a new year.

“Work is changing quickly now, and both employers and employees need to keep pace,” says Taylor. 

Three areas your HR team should move on from in 2024 include:

Tying compensation to performance

Employees willing to gain new skills may not be your top performers while learning, but still deserve recognition. This is why companies must consider skilling a necessary part of reaching organizational goals, and not penalize employees who are contributing by learning. The lesson here? You can and should reward learning and skilling, not just performance.

Assuming automatic loyalty from employees

If you expect workers to be loyal to your company no matter the circumstances, you may be unpleasantly surprised. Your staff want to work where they feel valued and part of a larger mission. You can earn their loyalty, but it’s not guaranteed. It’s fair to expect them to deliver on the responsibilities of their roles, but if the role doesn’t meet their needs, they may leave. 

Creating an employer brand that doesn’t align with employee needs

Figuring out what will motivate your team should come from open and ongoing conversations with the individuals who work for you. Employee incentives and benefits should consider people’s true needs, career goals, and values. Snacks and games won’t have the same impact as delivering what your people need.


Why learning should be at the core of your 2024 HR strategy

When considering how to refine your strategies to tackle developing 2024 HR trends, one common denominator you’ll notice is the need to keep learning and development at the forefront of your planning. 

“If you’re not putting your employees in situations where they can improve outcomes by learning, you’re risking your ability to perform and innovate as a company,” says Taylor.

Employers estimate that nearly half of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years, according to the World Economic Forum.

“Learning and upskilling isn’t a perk,” says McCann Flynn. “It’s part of the job you’re asking employees to do, and you need to embed it into all your strategies, plans, and budgets.”

Investing in learning and development plans delivers tangible benefits to employees and employers, making it one of the most essential components of your 2024 HR strategy. 

SkillCycle supports the entire employee lifecycle with a learning-first talent development platform. Book a demo to learn more.