UKG reveals 2024 HR megatrends shaping global workplaces

UKG, a provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions, recently unveiled its forecast of 2024 HR Megatrends poised to redefine the global workplace. The detailed exposition of these trends will take place at the UKG Aspire conference in Las Vegas this week.

An international consortium of UKG's HR advocates, thought leaders, and social scientists annually congregate to scrutinise the year's progress, assess the ramifications for HR departments and businesses, and anticipate the upcoming year's influence on the workforce. From these deliberations, UKG pinpointed three pivotal HR Megatrends for 2024:

  • Transforming the employee/employer dynamic;
  • Transitioning from traditional talent strategies to innovative 'building and mining'; and
  • The imminent environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reality check.

Transforming the Employee/Employer Dynamic

Current Scenario: The definition of an exemplary workplace is not uniform. While fair remuneration and benefits are fundamental, comprising only 37% of workers' expectations, the remainder spans transparent communication, tailored flexibility, and value alignment. Catering to such a diverse array of employee desires necessitates a versatile approach.

Actionable Strategy: Employ technologies like Generative AI (GenAI) to personalise engagement on a grand scale. These tools can enhance employee interaction and provide leaders with tailored guidance, without substituting the indispensable personal touch — frequent, genuine conversations with staff to understand their evolving career trajectories are crucial.

From Traditional Talent Strategies to 'Building and Mining'

Current Scenario: The talent landscape is in perpetual flux, compelling organisations to inventively secure their leading talent. Beyond buying (recruitment), building (reskilling), and borrowing (contracting), 'mining' is emerging as a novel method — discovering and harnessing latent skills within the existing workforce.

Actionable Strategy: Seek out individuals with innate curiosity, adaptability, and problem-solving prowess. Encourage participation in initiatives like employee resource groups (ERGs) and offer gig assignments, allowing staff to showcase latent talents and contribute to diverse corporate challenges.

The Imminent ESG Reality Check

Current Scenario: ESG principles are no longer optional but a normative component of business operations worldwide. With a growing chorus for action over rhetoric, companies must substantiate their commitments to societal and environmental responsibilities, including diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B).

Actionable Strategy: Maintain transparency regarding ESG and DEI&B efforts, appoint value-aligned staff, and conscientiously rectify any historical oversights. Integrating robust ESG and DEI&B practices into every operational facet is key, leveraging communicative technologies to nurture an inclusive culture and developing metrics to monitor and adjust ESG strategies.

Dr Jarik Conrad, Vice President of Human Insights at UKG and Executive Director of the UKG Workforce Institute, commented: "The recent tumult has been unprecedented for employers and their workforce. Yet, a renewed sense of optimism in the workplace is discernible. Leaders now face a critical juncture; to forge ahead with a people-first philosophy across all stakeholder interactions is pivotal for future prosperity. As 2024 approaches, the distinction between rhetoric and action will crystallise, and it is incumbent upon leaders to steer their organisations accordingly."