Gartner has put forward nine significant predictions that H.R. managers must acknowledge to successfully position their organisations for the future both in attracting top talent and driving results.
The predictions arise from factors including generative AI (GenAI), trials in implementing a four-day working week, and shifts in traditional professional routes, says Emily Rose McRae, Senior Director Analyst for the Gartner HR practice.
One critical suggestion is that the cost-of-work crisis is reaching a critical point. Employees now have a keener understanding of what they allocate to get to work after prolonged periods of remote or hybrid working.
Employers seeking to attract and retain talent in 2024 will need to address these costs directly, possibly through perks like caregiving benefits, housing subsidies, and pets-allowed allowances.
One uplifting forecasted trend is that AI is apparently creating, not lessening, workforce prospects. GenAI is believed to decrease the level of technical skills necessitated for many roles, generously expanding the roles for which candidates can qualify.
Many roles greatly impacted by GenAI will be remodelled with new duties such as interacting with GenAI tools. Employers are encouraged to partner with HR to determine how GenAI investments should alter their team's duties and workflows.
A shift to a four-day workweek (4DWW) is also predicted to become a reality. Adopting a 4DWW will allow organisations to enhance talent results, including employee morale, performance, and well-being, as well as business outcomes. This includes abolishing inefficiencies and spurring talent attraction, retention, and a competitive edge.
Managerial acumen in employee conflict resolution is predicted to be a new imperative. Conflicts amongst employees are anticipated to be at a record high in 2024 due to geopolitical crises, labour strikes, climate change, DEI pushbacks, and impending elections for half of the world, remarks Peter Aykens, Chief of Research in the Gartner HR practice.
While implementing GenAI carries potential benefits, companies are warned to handle the risks it presents, such as data management, file classification policies, and the high-quality control and judgement required when utilising GenAI tool outputs.
Skills are projected to surpass degrees as the primary requirement for job descriptions. Companies are gradually rejecting the 'paper ceiling', and instead leaning towards 'skills-based hiring', with comprehensive apprenticeship, in-house university and business school programmes.
Addressing climate change is anticipated to feature in future benefits packages, including physical safety assurances, compensation for impacted employees, and mental health support. Moreover, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce is expected to become an embedded part of organisational culture rather than a siloed concept.
Finally, traditional career trajectories are expected to give way due to economic cycles, wars and natural disasters, technological developments, and business model evolutions. Employers are envisioned to break free from traditional career stereotypes by offering flexible work arrangements and disregarding step-by-step progressive career trajectories.