Top HR trends shaping the 2024 workplace

Two employees evaluate HR trends on a shared work computer in a brightly lit office space.
  • Date posted

    Nov 22, 2023

  • Estimated reading time

    10 minutes

What does 2024 have in store for the workplace? It’s clear the professional landscape will only continue to shift beneath our feet.

The way we work constantly evolves as world events and technological innovations improve or disrupt our everyday lives. One sign of a great human resource leader, or any executive for that matter, is their ability to foresee and adapt to change.

In this article, we explore trending challenges and opportunities predicted to dominate in 2024 as well as how they will impact the way we live and work.

AI and HR tech leads to more personalized employee wellbeing efforts

Advancements in generative AI will change the future of both HR and the world. For many professionals, changes are already happening at an alarming rate. These shifts will only continue as we enter 2024.


of HR leaders have explored AI solutions to improve process efficiency within their organizations

According to research by Gartner, “76% of HR leaders believe that if their organization does not adopt and implement AI solutions, such as generative AI, in the next 12 to 24 months, they will be lagging in organizational success compared to those that do.”

Human resource leaders must work swiftly to identify where they can leverage AI to advance their company’s business goals while still enhancing the wellbeing of their employees. There are multiple ways to leverage the power of generative AI across various human resource functions. Here are a few possibilities to consider.

Drive the utilization of existing benefits with AI

Benefits administration remains one of the most crucial functions in human resources. It directly impacts the employee experience and connects workers with resources essential to their health and wellbeing.

In collaboration with tools like Total Health, AI can effectively steer employees toward the benefits and resources they need most. This enhances the employee experience and encourages more engagement with historically underutilized resources.

AI in HR recruitment and hiring practices

Talent acquisition (TA) teams also stand to benefit from advancements in AI technology. This ranges from basic use cases to more in-depth data and decision-making resources. For example, leveraging generative AI tools can help HR professionals draft recruitment emails and job descriptions. TA teams can also benefit from more advanced AI solutions that quickly analyze large amounts of candidate data and trigger the next steps in screening, interviewing, etc.

Informing professional development paths with AI

AI could positively impact the career trajectory of every employee through professional development strategies. This type of tool assesses an employee’s competencies or aspirations and uses that data to curate a diverse range of courses, workshops, and resources designed to enhance their skills.

HR teams can also leverage AI to more effectively collect, manage, and leverage skills data. This streamlines what is primarily a manual process.

Rising healthcare costs and creative benefit offerings

As inflation continues to increase healthcare prices, HR leaders must consider how they can alter their benefits strategies to adapt. While prices are rising, so are the expectations and expenses of the average employee.

Benefits administrators are faced with a difficult challenge in 2024. A tight labor market means HR teams must leverage all their assets, including a comprehensive benefits package, to attract and retain top talent. All of these factors mean HR teams must be strategic in their benefits selections.

Here are a few considerations for HR teams when examining their benefits offerings in 2024.

Slowing healthcare cost growth without cutting benefits

Employers should prepare for accelerated health plan cost growth in 2024 and beyond. And while this might usually encourage HR teams to pull back on their benefits offerings, a recent study from Mercer indicates the opposite.


of U.S. organizations offered fertility benefits in 2023

In addition to their traditional offerings, employers are leveraging voluntary benefits, ancillary benefits, and PTO conversions to attract and retain talent

Leveraging these types of benefits and resources may also help companies work toward their goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is particularly true for caregiving and fertility benefits which continue to grow in popularity among larger employers.

Corporate social responsibility and DEIB commitments

The past few years have sparked much-needed conversations around corporate social and environmental responsibility. In fact, the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) set a deadline for mandatory ESG reporting in 2024. Under this new rule, public companies are required to disclose their environmental, social, and governance practices.

This will directly impact HR teams and how their company engages with its workforce. That includes a strong focus on the “S” or “social” aspect of ESG, which includes company diversity, salaries, and an overall equitable culture.

Employers who already have a strong focus on employee wellbeing are expected to win the day. Below are a few of the factors HR teams should consider in this focus area.

Diversity, equality, and belonging

HR teams play a pivotal role in fostering diversity, equity, and a sense of belonging in the workplace by implementing comprehensive strategies that address various dimensions of diversity. This includes actively engaging in inclusive recruitment practices, implementing diversity training programs and mentorship opportunities, offering accessible workplace designs and accommodations to support individuals with disabilities, addressing the gender pay gap with regular salary audits, and more.

By seamlessly weaving together these efforts, HR teams can create an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered, ultimately contributing to a more diverse and equitable workplace.

Recruiting a multi-generational workforce

The workplace is more age-diverse than ever before. According to SHRM, there are currently five generations working together: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. Recruiting a multi-generational workforce is essential for HR teams to bolster their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

By actively seeking to build a multi-generational team, HR teams not only enhance the overall workplace environment but also reinforce their commitment to fostering a culture that respects and values individuals from all walks of life. One way HR teams can achieve a more age-diverse workforce is by leaning into flexible work arrangements that meet diverse employee needs.

Employee mental health and wellbeing

Mental wellbeing is a fundamental aspect of holistic health and happiness. By addressing it, HR teams can create a more equitable and supportive environment for all employees. Access to counseling services, mental health days, and stress management programs are excellent steps toward building a stigma-free culture that prioritizes employee mental health.

Fortunately, the American Psychological Association reports positive trends in employee mental health recourses. According to their 2023 Work in America Survey, most workers received acceptable mental health resources from their employers—a trend that is expected to continue into 2024.


of workers said it is very important to them to work for an employer that values their emotional and psychological wellbeing


of workers are very satisfied with their employer’s mental health and wellbeing resources

Regularly assessing the effectiveness of these resources, gathering feedback, and adjusting strategies demonstrates HR's ongoing commitment to fostering a workplace where every employee feels valued, supported, and able to prioritize their mental health.

Return to office debates and the future of hybrid work

100% remote work is becoming less common as COVID-19 concerns and restrictions ease. The trend toward hybrid work environments is on the rise. For many, this partial approach to office work and remote work is the perfect mix of flexibility and in-person collaboration.

According to a survey of 1,000 company decision-makers, 90% of companies will return to the office in 2024. This number is largely attributed to the hybrid work option with many companies agreeing to less than five days in the office per week.


of companies will ask that their employees return to the office in 2024


of companies require at least three-quarters of their employees to work in person


of companies say five office days per week will be required

This widespread adoption of the hybrid workplace indicates a shift from work-life balance to work-life fit. It focuses on providing flexibility while also balancing post-pandemic business needs.

Here's what Brian Elliot, founder of Future Forum, had to say about the trend, “I think the concept of spending five days a week in the office is dead. That top-down, one-size-fits-all approach can lead to a lot of resentment among workers.”

It’s important that managers and executives feel prepared to lead in a hybrid workplace. Below are a few key considerations for HR teams as they explore a hybrid work option.

Focus on employee wellbeing initiatives

When employees work from home, their work life and their personal life tend to blend. HR leaders and managers must be prepared to identify this as it’s happening and have strategies in place to address the problem. That includes conducting regular check-ins and leveraging technology to connect with employees who are not physically in the room.

It’s a precarious balancing act. When done correctly, a remote or hybrid work environment can support health and wellbeing by offering more flexible time to spend with family, reducing the need to commute, and offering benefits to employees with disabilities who are more comfortable at home.

Preparing leadership and managers for hybrid work

The world of work is changing. Leadership must prepare for the shift and rise to the occasion. HR teams can help their managers set the tone for a successful hybrid work environment by offering clear guidelines. This includes setting clear roles, outlining tangible goals with regular milestone check-ins, and being intentional about team collaboration for those managing hybrid employees.

When HR teams set clear guidelines for things like hybrid meetings and work-from-home options, it fosters a truly inclusive workplace that benefits both the employee and the employer.

Career wellbeing and leadership engagement

Regardless of where an employee is in their career, a focus on professional development is essential. Career development, including mentorship initiatives, is a key aspect of every wellbeing strategy. Without them, companies will fall short in 2024.

According to Gallup Workplace data, the top issue driving employee turnover is connected to internal mobility.

The number one reason for leaving an employer is a lack of career opportunities. There may be many underlying reasons for the decision, but ultimately employees who leave no longer see a future at your organization.

This finding only strengthens the significance of career wellbeing in any holistic employee wellbeing strategy. That goes for managers as well as their direct reports. Here are a few considerations for organizations as they explore this 2024 HR trend.

Engaging and empowering leadership

Mid- and senior-level leadership plays a pivotal role in the health, happiness, and holistic wellbeing of an organization's employee population. Without their enthusiastic support and buy-in, it’s difficult to successfully launch any internal operation—including career wellbeing or development initiatives.

Their involvement sets an example, motivates employees, and fosters a culture of wellbeing. All of this culminates in more favorable engagement and productivity results. That’s why our clients are provided with a tool kit and additional resources to help engage leadership with their holistic wellbeing program.

Empathy as a top leadership skill

The idea of psychological safety at work is nothing new. However, the commitment to empathy as a valuable leadership skill has just taken off in recent years. This trend will extend into 2024 as employees continue to expect more from their employers.

In fact, employees with an empathetic manager, one who listens to their work-related problems, are 62% less likely to be burned out. This highlights the power of empathetic listening and its impact on employee retention and productivity.

Managers will require the right resources to help them build and apply this skill. Personality assessments can help improve empathetic communication across job levels and even different departments. One such resource is the science-backed NavigateYOU powered by Principles assessment, which provides team leaders with the insights they need to analyze and adjust their communication styles as necessary.

2024 HR trends conclusion

Change management is an essential skill for any leader, but especially for human resource professionals. These experts are on the frontlines of employee engagement and have a hand on the pulse of overall organizational wellbeing. Trusted insights and dedicated support are essential to navigating change.

At Navigate, we provide HR experts with one-on-one support and the technology they need to move into the future of wellbeing.

Share your goals for 2024 to find out how Navigate can help improve your organizational wellbeing.

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