2024: A year of change for HR

2024: A year of change for HR

Progressive leaders see HR as a partner driving change and shaping organisational culture

I enjoy reading the reports and predictions that come out at this time every year from organisations like Forbes, LinkedIn and the business press. Get past the marketing, and it is interesting to see the trends, and essential to assess them against what you and your colleagues are seeing and hearing.

Some important trends, questions and implications I am seeing for leaders and their Human Resources teams include:

  • How will Generative AI influence how HR teams increase productivity and optimise employee experience?
  • How will HR drive performance and build a better workplace?
  • How will Diversity, Equity and Inclusion increasingly become a priority in talent acquisition for many Thailand-based organisations?
  • How will better alignment of leadership and skills development organisation-wide (and how the learning experience) be essential?

Do not forget that all of this is set against a new backdrop of a generational shift and a digital transformation jump greater than they might first appear.

The questions and observations above lead me to believe that leaders will expect HR to go beyond its traditional role in 2024. Leaders will need the HR department to be at the forefront of managing and leading organisational change and empower leadership teams to navigate change successfully. Leaders expect HR to shift from hiring new talent to actively developing and upgrading existing employees.

HR will need to actively contribute to the organisation’s public relations efforts and represent the organisation’s brand positively. Business leaders will view HR as a partner, driving positive change, shaping organisational culture and using technology to enhance workforce capabilities.

This will require a change in basic assumptions because the operating model that has sustained HR practices is out of date. HR must embrace change in 2024 to thrive. For example:

HR needs to see itself differently. HR professionals must evolve and understand that their role is no longer administrative tasks. HR and business leaders must deploy their HR teams differently, and rapidly upskill them to contribute to organisational change and instil pride in their employees.

HR must go outside the organisation. The HR department must learn from marketing and navigate the digital world. The current generation of employees grew up in a digital world and they talk about their work experiences online. Consequently, the HR department will need to ensure the organisation’s voice is represented accurately in social media. In 2024, HR is not just about managing personnel but shaping the narrative and reinforcing the brand image.

HR must focus on people. The HR department must say goodbye to being a transactional department and instead become one of the core drivers of organisational success. AI and tech platforms can automate the paperwork and basics.

HR must lead AI adoption. The emergence of Generative AI signals a new era in workforce evolution. The HR department needs to harness AI to benefit the workforce. HR team members must guide and role model its implementation.

For the above to happen, HR and business leaders must make significant changes to ensure success. For organisations of all sizes, with various levels of HR sophistication, these include:

Involve HR in the strategic planning process. Ask the HR department or leader to provide insights into talent management, workforce planning and organisational development, aligning HR initiatives with overall business goals. This is the only way to ensure that HR is not just a support function but an integral part of shaping and executing the company’s strategic vision.

Invest in HR technology. Investments in modern technology will be essential to streamline HR processes, enhance data-driven decision-making and provide insights. This includes adopting AI and machine learning solutions to improve talent management and employee experience.

Promote HR rebranding. Actively promote a people-centric culture and work with HR to develop programmes that focus on employee well-being, and continuous learning. Prioritise initiatives that foster a positive workplace culture, contributing to employee satisfaction and retention.

Spot your future talent. Work closely with HR to identify high-potential employees, provide them with growth opportunities, and establish a robust succession planning strategy. This initiative-taking approach ensures a pipeline of talent for critical leadership roles.

2024 will require leaders and HR professionals to sail into uncharted waters. More than ever, new mindsets, skills and technology will be required. I believe the time of HR as a support function is quickly ending, as is the time of those not ready to make the jump to the next level.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer, Managing Director and Founder at SEAC — Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Centre. She is fascinated by the challenge of transforming education for all to create better prospects for Thais and people everywhere. Reach her email at arinya_t@seasiacenter.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa

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