3 November 2023

What will HR look like in 2024?

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What trends are HR teams facing as we move into the new year?

HR teams have had a lot to contend with over the last few years, and this doesn’t show signs of letting up. Chris Phillips, HR director of Platform Housing says, “The pendulum of influence has swung very much towards employees, particularly their bargaining power over salaries and working conditions, and employers need to ensure they do not get pulled off-track competing for ever reducing talent pools.” 

With reduced talent pools, higher employee standards, and a huge range of extra legislation to contend with, HR teams have more hats to wear than ever. 

All these factors have come together to make the HR space a pretty stressful one for the upcoming year. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the great threat looming over HR departments, as well as some of the changes we’ll see in 2024 to account for this. 

The great HR burnout

“Staff turnover has exploded with movements like 'the mass resignation' and 'quiet quitting'. These should act as reminders to employers that their people matter, and engaged happy people matter even more.”- Jeff Weigh, Executive Coach, Ignite Performance. 

84% of HR professionals say they regularly feel stressed. 

One of the most worrying trends that the world of work is facing is HR burnout at work. More than half of HR professionals are considering quitting in the next year. Organisations will have to either prepare for a sudden massive talent gap or find ways to help their HR teams avoid burnout. 

“Having suffered with this myself, it often feels like there is no HR for HR and it can be a lonely place as we don’t want to admit it for fear of being seen as weak,” notes Natalie Ellis, Founder and Director at Rebox HR. “The emotional load presented by the role of HR is only likely to increase given the constant changes with employment law and increased employee expectations, sometimes the balance to please everyone is difficult to achieve.” 

Why are so many HR professionals showing signs of burnout? A lot of it comes down to changes in the world of work. HR professionals have a lot more on their plate, and they’ve had to learn a lot in very little time thanks to things like the pandemic and the shift to remote work. 

“Remoteness doesn’t always help,” says Graham Fisher, Senior Product Designer at MHR. “While remote work can cut down on stresses related to commutes, it can also have teams feeling disconnected from each other, and like they don’t have a support network. Providing resources to connect your team together and spaces they can meet in person is very helpful.” 

It’s not always obvious how to deal with burnout, but a crucial solution is automating key processes. As we enter 2024, more and more organisations will embrace digital transformation. When time-consuming manual processes get automated, that takes a lot of pressure off your plate! 

Ian Daykin, Senior Product Manager at MHR, goes on to add “It was always a well-known excuse of why things couldn’t change. ‘We just don’t have the technology.’ Well, I think in this day and age that would be a poor excuse because we know there's a better way. If you've got a smartphone, you can access the Internet, you can access an app! With new HR software, you can simplify a lot of processes, which will ease that burnout.” 

Ellis added that “I would recommend HR teams treating themselves in the same way they would an employee, identify the issue, seek support and most of all be kind to yourself if you find yourself in this position. Stress management workshops can be incredibly useful, as can taking annual leave. Many HR professionals I speak to fail to take their allocated time off each year and it is so important to do. Get it booked in and have a break!” 

Final thoughts

This blog is part of a wider six part series, all about the challenges and opportunities the changing world of work will have to deal with in the coming year.  

Want even more insights from industry experts where we really dig into the details? Check out the other blogs in the series and download the full 2024 guide to get the complete picture about HR, including the push towards more diverse hiring and working alongside AI!  

We’ll help you build your full 2024 roadmap, covering HR, payroll, finance, learning, data analytics and tech.  

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Your Roadmap to 2024

These insights come from our Roadmap to 2024 - spanning across HR, payroll, finance, learning, data analytics and technology. 

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