In a recent survey conducted by Gartner, Inc., HR leaders have disclosed their top two priorities for 2024, According to the survey report, leader and manager development, along with organisational culture will be the top two priorities for the HR leaders next year.
The survey, which involved 520 HR leaders in July 2023, offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of human resources management.
Besides leader and manager development, and organisational culture, the survey also identified HR technology, change management, career management and mobility, and addressing key trends in 2024 are other organisational priorities for HR leaders in the coming year.
“In 2024, the HR function will be impacted by several key trends: an unsettled employee-employer relationship, persistent skills shortage, transformative technology innovations and pressure to achieve operational efficiencies,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice.
To maximise talent and business outcomes, HR leaders must address the below imperatives in 2024:
Leader & Manager Development
Organisations typically address manager issues by providing more development. A February 2023 Gartner survey of 98 HR leaders revealed that 59% plan to increase how much they invest in manager development programs in the next two years.
“Providing managers with more training or more skills does not increase their effectiveness,” said Whittle. “Instead, organisations must focus on job manageability – making the manager job more manageable is five times more effective than skills proficiency in improving manager effectiveness.”
To make the manager job more manageable organisations need to lighten the load on managers by resetting role expectations and removing process hurdles. Simultaneously, HR needs to rebuild the manager pipeline while also helping their managers build new habits that lead to desired behaviors.
Organisational culture is new to the top five priorities for HR leaders this year, largely because HR leaders believe they don’t measure culture effectively nor do they know how to truly drive culture change.
The research found that employees must be both aligned and connected to organisational culture for it to truly succeed. To ensure employees buy in and live the desired culture, organisations must undertake two shifts:
First, leaders must understand the organisation’s values and what they are trying to achieve, i.e., employee longevity, innovation, and customer-centricity. How an organisation measures culture – and what processes, policies, and budgets need to change – will depend on these answers.
Second, with more organisations adopting hybrid work models, they can no longer rely on building employees’ connection to culture via osmosis and must be much more intentional.
The rapid evolution of technology, including generative AI and its impact on HR and talent, presents a challenge for HR leaders. To navigate this landscape, HR leaders can evaluate new technologies based on four key criteria, including governance, workforce readiness, vendor landscape, and risks and ethics.
An overwhelming 82% of HR leaders agree that managers are not adequately equipped to lead change and 77% report that employees are fatigued from constant changes. Addressing change fatigue is crucial to maintaining employee engagement and performance. HR leaders can proactively manage change fatigue risk through a three-pillar approach: identifying fatigue drivers, preventing fatigue, and fixing issues through candid conversations and empathy.
Career Management & Mobility
Many employees face uncertainty regarding their career paths within their organisations. Progressive organisations are shifting from traditional career pathing to designing agile career paths that adapt to changing roles, skills, and employee preferences. This approach prioritises employee skills and experiences over job descriptions and org charts.