Top HR Challenges in 2024 (And How to Solve Them)

Top HR Challenges in 2024 (And How to Solve Them)

Tackle 2024's HR challenges with our guide on employee retention, attracting talent, new HR tech, empowering managers, and trust in flexible workplaces. Stay updated in the dynamic HR field.

Top HR Challenges in 2024 (And How to Solve Them)

As we get ready for the start of a brand new year, it’s time to savor everything we accomplished in 2023—and to start getting ready for the challenges ahead. 2023 was a transformational year, in many, many ways, and 2024 promises even more rapid and widespread change. Considering the challenges ahead also gives us the chance to seize the opportunities this new year will bring for organizations and the human resources field as a whole.

So what will the most pressing challenges—and the biggest opportunities—be for strategic HR teams and HR leaders in 2024? Here are our five top predictions, plus potential solutions for your organization.

1. Retaining Employees  

The Great Resignation isn’t over yet: employers are still struggling to retain employees, and that trend will continue into 2024. With unemployment still at near-record lows and demand for skilled professionals still very high, the labor market remains tight. Retaining younger workers is particularly challenging right now. A majority (53%) of Gen Z and millennial workers say they’re very or somewhat likely to leave their jobs by the end of 2024.

It’s also a challenge to retain top performers, who have plenty of employment options and can easily find a new role if they don’t enjoy your employee experience. And one of the big potential drivers of attrition is the push to return to the office: 42% of full-time employees would switch jobs or industries to work remotely, and 37% would for a hybrid work schedule.

Solution: You can’t afford to ignore the employee experience in 2024. Creating a work environment where employees have autonomy, flexibility, career development opportunities, and strong internal mobility will all help boost employee retention and employee engagement.

Consider more flexible policies on remote work and hybrid work too — if you’re requiring all employees to be in the office five days per week regardless of their role, you might be driving your top talent into a more flexible company. These shifts are also positive for employee engagement, which has an ROI you can’t afford to ignore in 2024.

2. Attracting Top Talent

The other side of the Great Resignation is that now many companies have lots of open roles to fill in 2024. Hiring the best people to fully staff your company will continue to be a challenge as employees are empowered and discerning — they are looking for more than a paycheck, they want a great company culture as well.

Employees are also increasingly voicing their displeasure with long, drawn-out, opaque hiring processes on platforms like LinkedIn too. Building a strong employer brand will be more challenging than ever, but also more essential, as employees can be selective about where they apply to work.

And this HR trend looks set to continue into the new year. In fact, talent shortages are so endemic that companies are increasing budgets for new employees: 51% of employers plan to increase starting salaries in 2024 to attract more highly skilled workers, and 46% are adding new perks and benefits.

Solution: Having an efficient and streamlined talent acquisition and recruitment process will be more critical than ever so that you can source and hire the people your organization needs.

But it doesn’t stop there: HR professionals must create a streamlined, thoughtful candidate experience so that potential employees have positive initial impressions of your company. And that extends all the way to onboarding and beyond so that new hires build a strong connection with your company right away, and stick around for the long haul.

3. Navigating New HR Technology

The amount of new HR tech tools and systems that have popped up in the last year is exciting — and also often overwhelming. And that overwhelm has left leaders feeling a little lost. Gartner research found that 56% of HR leaders say their current HR technology and strategy don’t match their business needs for right now or in the future.

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Plus, the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT has increased the anxiety about how, when, and even why HR teams and orgs should be using this potentially thrilling (but also potentially problematic) technology. Yes, AI can possibly improve the employee experience, but it also makes employees anxious for their jobs, and that anxiety will likely only increase in 2024.

Solution: With budgets for tech under more scrutiny in many organizations, HR departments will need to determine what the organization’s priorities are and invest in the HR systems and tools that align with those goals. Plus, buying the newest tech isn’t a guarantee of ROI: you’ll also have to ensure users have the training and know-how to adopt and regularly use the technology too.

4. Empowering Managers

Managers occupy an interesting and stressful position in the typical organization: they’re responsible for a team of people, but they’re also often denied decision-making power. And in the wake of the pandemic and low staffing levels, their responsibilities have grown out of control: 75% of HR leaders say their managers are overwhelmed by the growth of their job responsibilities.

Those responsibilities don’t just include productivity and performance management, but also change management in fast-changing times, checking in on employee mental health, and attempting to create better work-life balance for their teams (often while their own suffers).

Solution: Empowering managers to be better coaches and stronger advocates for their teams benefits both employees, who crave career development, and managers themselves, as that sense of purpose and power is good for their engagement.

Instead of promoting people into management and letting them fend for themselves, HR departments in 2024 need to create and run thoughtful, purposeful manager training and development programs so they can handle all the tasks on their plates. Knowledge is power, so don’t leave your managers to their own devices next year.

5. Building Trust in Flexible Work Environments

Despite the increase in return-to-office mandates, offices are still only about 50% full as of September — the rise of hybrid and remote work is not going to fade away anytime soon, even if employees are coming into the office a bit more often. And that means employers, managers, and HR departments need to learn to trust that employees are still, in fact, working productively when they’re not at their desks in the office.

This is a big task, make no mistake — it’s a hard shift for many leaders and managers to make. It’s much easier to be assured employees are on task when they’re directly in front of you. But micromanaging employees with task-tracking software, excessive check-ins, or demands they sit in the office five days per week is just not going to build an organizational culture of trust, autonomy, and engagement. Only about 50% of employees currently trust their company, according to Gartner research, and low-trust environments are bad for engagement, retention, and productivity.

Solution: This shift may require a cultural change, which isn’t easy. But treating your employees like the competent, hardworking professionals they are, no matter where they work, is essential.

You may need to train managers to adjust to a hybrid work management style — how can they support and also evaluate employees effectively in your current working environment? Leaders may also need to adjust how they measure outcomes instead of performance based on who is in the office.

2024 HR Trends, Challenges, and Solutions

HR teams and leaders are going to be faced with some significant challenges in 2024 — but all of them have potential solutions. Yes, some of them may require a larger cultural shift within your organization instead of just updating some policies, but we live in a fast-changing world these days, and developing a flexible and adaptable organization with high levels of employee engagement and trust will serve your company in 2024 and beyond, whatever the years ahead of us bring.


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