4 HR Trends for 2024: stagflation, focus on inclusivity, more transparency and game-changer AI


Amsterdam, 14 December 2024 - This year2023 was another time of great change for the HR world. Research conducted by Culture Amp on the biggest challenges faced by HR managers revealed that these are the battle for talent, retaining employees and their engagement, balancing flexible working models, driving employee development and managing performance. More than ever, managers need a multifaceted repertoire of skills: They need to ensure the well-being of their employees while managing business goals. To give HR managers a helping hand in 2024,Culture Amp outlines the trends and developments that organisations can expect:

Trend 1: All social and political events make inclusiveness even more important
The many social issues and geopolitical events, affect and may even disrupt organisational culture. Employers are regularly expected, publicly sharing their position on a particular principle or policy. And that is a challenge. On the one hand, sharing values and norms is a good thing; it can be effective in becoming more transparent about an organisation's principles and choices about who you do business with. On the other hand, current geopolitical issues are so complex and unstable that it becomes difficult for an employer to make a definitive or comprehensive public statement without risking taking sides or being misunderstood.

According to Culture Amp, in this context, it is important for organisations to focus more on a strategic approach to inclusiveness. This helps strengthen the organisational culture from within and supports employees to deal with the consequences of internal and external issues.

It is difficult for organisations to find the right balance," explains Wesley Hendriks, Director Customer Success EMEA at Culture Amp. "But our employee experience surveys show, employees are more critical of their employer than before. For example, they are not proud of their company because it works with a certain party or organisation that people have an opinion about. The current geopolitical context will continue to cause divisions this year. Organisations can minimise this by continuing to focus on inclusiveness and diversity of the workforce, thus reducing the unrest from society affecting the workplace."

Trend 2: Not AI itself, but data-informedness is the game-changer
According to Culture Amp, there is considerable hype about the role of AI in the HR function. Arne Sjöström, Lead People Scientist at Culture Amp, says: "In reality, the biggest advantage right now is having faster access to data and its analysis to make faster decisions. The emergence of new AI tools and the developments of analytics, we believe, will mainly result in C-Level executives being data-informed rather than AI-driven by 2024.

Also, in 2024 it will mainly come down to how you empower your employees to use AI in the right way as well as how you design your organisation so that AI tools are successfully implemented."

Trend 3: Cultural "stagflation"
A gap has emerged between what employers and their employees want. Many companies have increased salaries due to the rising cost of living, but at the same time have higher expectations from their staff. At the same time, their employees also feel, they cannot give more. Wesley Hendriks: "The current situation is perceived as stagnation and decline. In the past, we also saw such 'stagflation' in Europe - stagnant economic growth and persistent inflation. The current situation is a kind of cultural stagflation."

This is reinforced by the need for greater transparency in response to higher expectations from staff, including on hybrid working. Recent RTL News research shows that a majority of 26-45-year-olds want the right to remote or hybrid working. "Due to these pressures, employers are faced with the question of to what extent they should accommodate these aspirations and wishes. Two-way communication is crucial in managing such expectations. Companies that respond to employee feedback without being defensive and take positive actions will outperform others in 2024."

Trend 4: Strategically encouraging talent retention
With the tight labour market, the search for talent will continue in 2024. In recent research by Robert Half, 68% of Dutch employers say it is a challenge to retain valuable colleagues. People cite factors such as high workload, competition and work-life imbalance as facets that need to be improved to encourage staff retention.

"Organisations must go beyond the obvious tactics, such as positioning themselves as an attractive employer that develops their employees. It is important to provide an employee experience based on strengthening the organisational culture. Organisations will have to put more effort into developing and growing their people in a sustainable way."

"Many Dutch companies say they need to understand the skills of their people to be prepared for the future, but they often do this in an academic rather than a practical way. They often communicate in terms of employee value proposition (EVP), but in reality they mainly present themselves as an attractive place to work, while they need to do more to provide the internal target group - their employees - with a better experience to strategically improve engagement."

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