The 2024 Workplace

Article contributed by Sandra Mauro, EANE

It is hard to believe 2024 is here. As Human Resource professionals partner with their organization’s Senior Leaders to set priorities for this year, we can’t help reflecting on the 2023 workplace predictions and ask, how effective were we at deciding where to focus our efforts and, more importantly, did we move the needle on the critical issues we faced? 

2023 forecasted seven key challenges.  Number one was Quiet Hiring, challenging us to look internally and determine if our workforce strengths would meet the future organizational needs. Number two was equitable flexibility for line workers, an inspirational idea to open up the dialogue for front line workers to freely express their preferences on how, when and with whom they work. 

Three through six were manager support, pursuing nontraditional talent, coping with stress and workplace civility. Number seven? Technology and the entrance of AI.  

Focusing forward on 2024, two through seven are green workplaces, civil culture, defining the new workplace, psychological safety, learning and upskilling and career advancement.  What a difference a year makes. AI has catapulted to number one. 

When we think about AI and ask what will my organization do (or not do) with this new technology, we first need to acknowledge Gen Z now makes up 23% of our 2024 workforce.  This generation literally grew up with technology at their fingertips from the time they could touch and will expect nothing less in their workplace.  Gen Z is not only tech savvy, they are highly motivated for change thinking and will quickly move into key positions with great influence over our workplaces.

Yes, the demand for faster information, revolutionary thinking and finding how and where AI can enhance – or threaten – our workplace will dominate our organizations. And equally important on every generation’s minds are the other six priorities. 

There is no question 2023 was filled with turning our organization’s energy from day-to-day survival to blazing our future path. We tiptoed through return to the workplace, fought through scarce candidate pools and contemplated solutions to quiet quitting and disengagement.

With our sights on what to implement to stay relevant in 2024, we need to collaboratively decide where are we going to focus our resources? Now more than ever, we need to keep our doors open and ask for employee ideas, buy in and commitment. Fight to align not only your operational objectives, nurture your organizational values, welcome authenticity and embrace a culture where collaboration across every department is encouraged and celebrated.

And when 2025 is around the corner, let’s reflect back together and ask again, how did we do?  After all, what gets measured gets done.   Welcome to 2024.