Workplace dynamics are in a perpetual state of flux, with employee expectations driving constant evolution. As younger generations join the workforce, new technologies emerge, and the importance of work-life balance and mental health gains recognition, businesses must adapt to attract and retain the best talent, stay competitive, and keep innovating. So, what workplace trends should businesses expect to see in the coming year?
We explore the future workplace trends of 2024 and offer insights into how businesses can prepare for these trends, helping them enhance their culture and improve employee satisfaction and retention.
9 Workplace trends for 2024
Here are nine of the top workplace trends to look out for in the new year and beyond…
- Employee wellbeing
- Recruiting based on skills
- Employee mentorships
- Ongoing learning opportunities
- Automation technology
- Option for career breaks
- Diversity and inclusion
- Generative AI
- Gen Z takeover
1. Employee wellbeing
Research from Champion Health reveals that stress levels in the professional world are on the rise, with 76% of employees experiencing moderate to high levels of stress, an increase of 13% from the previous year. Stress at work can take a serious toll on an individual’s health, with 60% of stressed employees experiencing anxiety and 56% having symptoms of depression. Stress is also proven to have a serious impact on work productivity for 20% of employees, as does tiredness. In fact, 61% of employees state that they struggle with productivity for this reason.
As such, supporting employee wellbeing should not only already be a top priority for businesses, but efforts towards improving employee mental and physical health should increase in the coming year. There are a number of initiatives businesses can implement to support this, such as introducing Mental Health First-Aiders, brushing up on your diversity and inclusion policies, introducing employee resource groups, and networks. Not sure what your employees need? Run an employee feedback survey to find out!
2. Recruiting based on skills
In 2024, the hiring landscape will witness a significant shift from traditional qualifications to skills-based hiring. This type of inclusive hiring approach will enable businesses to hire more diverse talent with greater potential for upskilling, rather than simply hiring based on academic credentials. In the technology industry in particular, the emphasis on upskilling emerges as a strategic solution to bridge the looming digital skills gap.
In fact, upskilling not only aligns the workforce with the demands of a tech-driven era but also ensures that employees remain agile and adaptable in an ever-changing professional landscape. Technology takes centre stage in this metamorphosis, with businesses harnessing its power for skill assessments and predictive analytics during recruitment to help them find the best talent. So, you should make sure you’re keeping pace with all the latest recruitment tech as well.
3. Employee mentorships
Mentorships are becoming increasingly important for employees who place great value on continued learning and development. A professional mentor is on hand to provide mentees with knowledge and share their experiences to help them thrive in their role. They offer encouragement, constructive feedback, and can also help with goal-setting to help mentees reach success - whatever that may look like for them.
Cross-generational mentorships are particularly useful to foster diverse perspectives and are a must-have for your organisation. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to start integrating mentorship programmes into your onboarding process to help your new-hires get the most out of their role, improve job satisfaction, and retention. After all, fulfilled teams make better teams!
4. Ongoing learning opportunities
Surveys reveal that approximately 86% of employees believe that job training is important to them and an astonishing 74% are even willing to use their own time for training, outside of work hours, to improve their job performance. From improved self-confidence to the incentive of a pay rise, ongoing learning opportunities are highly sought-after by today’s generation of professionals and the benefits of upskilling are endless.
If you’re looking to hire the best talent and ensure they are engaged, you’ll need to consider the learning opportunities you provide your staff. Consider introducing access to online courses, in-person workshops, and on-demand resources to ensure there’s something to suit all learning styles and make sure everyone has the support they need for further education and upskilling.
5. Automation technology
Automation technology is taking over business operations worldwide. Currently, around 67% of companies use business process automation to streamline day-to-day tasks and improve efficiency. Are you one of them?
Embracing automation not only expedites mundane processes but also liberates human resources to focus on more complex and strategic endeavours. Businesses should prioritise these initiatives in the coming year to stay competitive in an increasingly digitised landscape. Those who proactively invest in automation integration and reskilling programmes not only optimise their workflows but also foster a culture of adaptability. This forward-thinking approach will future-proof the workforce and position your company as an innovator, capable of harnessing the full potential of technology to achieve sustainable growth and maintain a competitive edge in a dynamic global market.
6. Option for career breaks
LinkedIn surveys reveal that approximately 62% of employees have taken a career break at one point or another, and around 35% plan to take one in the future. These figures are representative of the growing popularity of career breaks for various reasons, such as mental health breaks, spending time with family, or travelling the world.
At FDM, we understand the value returners bring to the workplace and how hiring returners boost business productivity, but we’re not the only ones. Employers are also beginning to realise the importance of sabbatical leave and career breaks and making the appropriate changes to facilitate this. For example, some organisations are implementing policies supporting extended leaves for personal and professional growth, while others are introducing strategies to ensure smooth transitions before and after career breaks, or even kick starting their own returners programmes to encourage more hires who have had career breaks!
7. Diversity and inclusion
It’s no secret that diversity inclusion should be at the heart of every organisation, not just as an ethical responsibility but to improve business performance. In fact, Forbes states that diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better and 70% more likely to dominate new markets. Furthermore, diversity and inclusion also play a huge role in attracting top talent, with 80% of job candidates stating that workplace inclusivity plays a part in the decision-making process.
This is the year to up your focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion! This commitment extends beyond mere rhetoric, with companies holding the responsibility to actively implement inclusive hiring practices aimed at breaking down barriers and fostering equal opportunities for all. In tandem with these hiring strategies, there is a conscious and ongoing effort to cultivate a culture of belonging and equality within the workplace. This not only involves celebrating diversity but also ensuring that every individual feels valued and respected, irrespective of their background. Check out some innovative diversity initiatives you can get behind!
8. Generative AI
At least one-third of organisations have already adopted generative AI for at least one function and 40% say they are looking to increase their investments in AI too. Generative AI's popularity stems from its ability to revolutionise creative processes, automating content creation and enhancing efficiency. AI streamlines operations, automates mundane tasks, and provides data-driven insights, fostering agility and competitiveness. As businesses gear up for the coming year, AI's continued popularity is imminent.
Its evolving capabilities, from predictive analytics to personalised customer experiences, position it as a catalyst for growth. The demand for smarter, more adaptive solutions in an increasingly digital landscape ensures that AI will remain a cornerstone for businesses aspiring to stay ahead and unlock new opportunities in 2024.
That being said, businesses will also be faced with unique challenges when harnessing the potential of AI and will need to navigate this, especially when it comes to data security.
9. Gen Z takeover
The surge of Generation Z entering the workforce is reshaping the professional landscape, bringing forth a wave of digital natives with unique perspectives and expectations. As this demographic cohort becomes more prominent, their influence on workplace trends becomes increasingly pronounced. Gen Z, characterised by a tech-savvy and socially conscious mindset, is driving changes in communication styles, work preferences, and the integration of technology into daily operations. This generation also places a premium on purpose-driven work, inclusivity, and flexibility, challenging businesses to adapt to these evolving norms.
To stay ahead, businesses must proactively accommodate Gen Z in their organisational structures. This involves fostering a dynamic and inclusive culture, leveraging technology to enhance collaboration, and reevaluating your recruitment strategies to attract and retain Gen Z talent, ensuring they resonate with Gen Z's core values.
In embracing these shifts, organisations can harness the full potential of this generation, driving innovation and cultivating a workforce that thrives in the ever-evolving professional landscape.
Prepare for a year of change and growth
The workplace landscape of 2024 is set to be a challenging one with lots of twists and turns to be expected. Yet, with these trends in mind, you can start the year prepared, taking the appropriate steps to make 2024 a year of growth for your organisation.
Find out how FDM is helping organisations across the globe keep up with the latest trends, technological advancements, and diversity initiatives with our esteemed consultant services.