Laura Wright is an HR Partner with SVC Solutions – the recruitment, training, HR and health and safety experts. Here she looks ahead and sets out her own ambitions and predictions for 2024.
It’s fair to say 2023 was not a year of plain sailing for households or the business world. Inflation stood at 10 per cent in January 2023, pushing up interest rates in a bid to cool the country’s finances and fuelling pay rise demands.
It all combined to further compound a cost-of-living crisis that had been sparked by supply chain issues resulting from a Covid hangover and the war in Ukraine. As spring arrived, supermarket bills were soar and mortgage rates topped six per cent, their highest since 2008 and the financial crisis.
Looking ahead to 2024, there is reason for more optimism as well as challenges still to be faced too. When it comes to my area of specialty, human resources, there are certainly some trends to keep an eye on that are likely to impact on both employees and employers.
Here are my top three predictions for changes we will see in HR in 2024.
AI makes its mark
2023 saw a real surge in the use of AI, but it’s likely to become even more popular and influential over the next 12 months. Using this technology effectively and professionally will require deeper understanding, particularly as we explore a balance between working more efficiently and the requirement of human interaction and insight, which will still remain essential in an HR setting. Expect an increase in the presence of AI in the workplace across a number of different business sectors throughout 2024.
With the introduction of new flexible working legislation on April 6 this year, employees will have enhanced rights to request flexible working. As this will be a day one right, this could boost recruitment opportunities for working parents who need flexibility.
It may also make it easier for some people to make the move into work and help improve the retention of workers. It will also mean changes for employers too, who may need to update policies and working practices to remain in line with the regulations.
2023 was one of the most unsettled years in recent history in terms of strike action, with a significant increase in disruption caused by industrial action. Disputes continue into 2024, but with the prospect of inflation returning to more manageable levels, there may be hope for resolutions to be found and better levels of morale within the workforce. With a General Election expected in 2024, an air of uncertainty is likely to remain.
Personally, my own professional resolutions for 2024 are to network frequently and build my personal brand. I’ve found a monthly networking group in Essex and I’m making it my mission to bring value to my existing and future clients through knowledge sharing – particularly when it comes to employment law.