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The Ins and Outs of HR: Looking to HR Trends in 2024

Genevieve Michaels

Like many fields, HR has been through a transformation in the past few years. But while some of it’s been difficult, it’s allowed HR pros like you to demonstrate adaptation and resilience. It’s also given you an affinity for looking ahead and getting ahead of trends.

So what’s coming down the pipe in 2024?

In this session of the HR Superstars Summit, Adam Weber, Chief Evangelist at 15Five spoke with Katya Laviolette, Chief People Officer at 1Password, and Dawn Mitchell, Chief People Officer at HackerOne to cover the ins and outs of HR in 2024.

You can watch the full recording of this session here.

Be the champion of optimism…

“We are optimizing for optimism. When we find those moments to celebrate and bring recognition, we make sure that we’re celebrating both incremental and big-picture wins.” – Dawn Mitchell, Chief People Officer, HackerOne

It’s been a difficult few years for everyone. A worldwide pandemic, rounds of layoffs, and broader market headwinds have made pessimism the norm. As an HR professional, you can be the source of optimism for your organization.

Pessimism and cynicism are popular because they’re easy. It’s easy to expect the worst but it’s not particularly brave. While you should acknowledge that your organization has gone through its rough patches—if that’s even the case for you—don’t let that become the theme this year. Celebrate the wins, big and small, and bring attention to what people are doing right.

…but keep people grounded

“2022 was this crazy year of hiring and growth, and 2023 was a bit of a wake-up call. In 2024, it’s not all top-line growth; we have a business to run and we’re not going to scale at all costs. Having your workforce really understand that, your mission, and your view on the business is really important.” – Katya Laviolette, Chief People Officer, 1Password

While positivity and optimism should guide what you do, you’ll also be the one that keeps people grounded. That means ensuring everyone in the business understands the business model, the product or service you’re offering, and how their role contributes to the mission. That’s done through education, content, performance reviews, and all the usual tools at your disposal. 

In 2024, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on what everyone brings to the table and get them to realize just how much growth they can create for your organization.

Infuse intentionality in everything

“As you scale, you need to be very intentional about what you expect of people when they join. But you also have to take concrete actions organization-wide to make sure those pieces of why your company was built stay with you.” – Katya Laviolette, Chief People Officer, 1Password

As organizations scramble to solve problems and keep all their numbers in the green, it’s all too easy to make snap decisions without intentionality. But while decisions like that can work in the short-term, they can erode your company’s core values over time. That’s where a skilled HR professional can come in and align everything with those values.

Your HR team can be evangelical about company culture and ensure every decision fits with where it started and where its mission is taking it.

Make big changes (but approach them carefully)

“When we retired Wellness Wednesdays, it was a big executive team decision. We opened up the thought process and discussion. We wrote out the changes. We let our extended leadership take a look at it, think about it, react, ask questions, and poke holes in it. It went through a three-month process to get buy-in” – Dawn Mitchell, Chief People Officer, HackerOne

As an HR professional in 2024, you’re in a position to make a massive impact. You can help leaders examine the foundational aspects of their organization and figure out what’s essential to keeping it growing, what’s missing, and what needs changing.

Don’t be intimidated by these opportunities but take them seriously.

While not every initiative needs buy-in from executives, VPs, and other leaders, these foundational changes do. The bigger the change you’re looking at, the more carefully you should proceed. Get feedback, be ready to answer questions, and take the time you need.

For example, you might determine that some benefits you’ve historically given to your employees aren’t as appropriate considering where your organization is now. Phasing out a benefit people are used to is a serious change, and you need input from as many leaders as you can get to do it the right way.

Ensure every bit of feedback has more than enough context

“As leaders, sometimes we’ll share something that happened, but without context people will feel lost, especially in a distributed company. If you get a piece of feedback but you don’t understand it, you need to push back and ask what the context is. If you don’t have that, you can’t take action.” – Katya Laviolette, Chief People Officer, 1Password

HR professionals know just how valuable feedback is. It doesn’t just help you perform better at your job; it’s the fuel powering many of your initiatives. It’s how you know what employees need, where leaders need to focus their energy, and how your team can best contribute to the organization’s overall goals.

But feedback can’t do any of that without context.

Whether it’s an engagement survey, a performance review, or even a feedback form for a specific initiative, encourage people to give more context than they think is necessary. That way, whoever’s on the other side of that feedback knows what to do with it.

Protect your peace

“Do less. Be more still.” – Dawn Mitchell, Chief People Officer, HackerOne

You don’t have to be everything for everyone. As the pressures to do more mount from every side, remember to really think about what gives you peace and protect it. Take your paid time off. Take a mental health day when you need one. Remember what really matters.

Balance realism and optimism

Some events in the past few years could be characterized as wake-up calls. That’s why HR professionals like Dawn and Katya are going into 2024 with a renewed focus on realism while stewarding optimism and positivity. 

Keeping people grounded in the actions they can take to help the business grow while celebrating their wins and having the courage to launch game-changing initiatives will be crucial this year.

But above all, it’s your ability to care about the people you work with that will make all the difference.