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2024 Priorities for Overall Well-being

As businesses continue to see the benefits of focusing on total well-being, flexible work arrangements, and data-driven decision-making, HR can proactively create a more engaged, healthy, and resilient workforce.

By Sylvia Flores

Let’s start with the obvious: The world of work changed dramatically in 2020, and some of those changes are here to stay. Now, here’s something that’s less apparent, but very important for HR leaders moving into 2024: Savvy organizations will continue to prioritize three key areas of business where HR can have a direct impact on the outcomes. These three factors will continue to be essential to enhancing employee experience (EX) and driving organizational success in 2024. They include the following. 

  1. Additional support and resources for total employee well-being. 
  2. Getting flexible work arrangements right. 
  3. Making greater use of data-driven decision-making. 

Within these overarching business areas lie four important HR trends that HR leaders can leverage to help their organizations create workplaces that are more fulfilling, more productive, and more equitable. 

  1. Underscoring healthier habits for employees. Employee health has always been an important HR consideration. However, the pandemic has underscored the need for employers to take a more proactive approach to supporting mental health and well-being. When organizations provide programs that help employees build and maintain healthy habits, they can reduce healthcare costs, decrease absenteeism, and increase productivity. One 2021 study involving 4,790 workers found that workplace weight-loss programs garnered a 2.3 to 1 return on investment and resulted in 12% lower healthcare costs—a savings of nearly $3.7 million overall. 
  2. Enhancing the employee experience (EX). As competition for talent heats up, HR leaders will need to find new ways to create a compelling EX. This will require providing transformational workplaces and benefits that go above and beyond what employees expect. For example, companies may want to consider offering on-site childcare, flexible scheduling, or mental health days to promote work-life balance. In addition, organizations will more greatly foster equity through inclusive HR practices. This includes promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through hiring processes, employee development opportunities, and company-wide policies.
  3. Expanding data-driven decision-making. The rise of big data has transformed the way businesses operate, and HR is no exception. By leveraging predictive data analytics, HR leaders can make more informed, proactive decisions about talent management. This includes forecasting trends in employee turnover, skills gaps, and workforce demographics. With this information, HR can develop more effective strategies for recruitment, training, and retention. In fact, companies that use predictive analytics to guide talent management decisions are 2.9 times more likely to have outperformed their industry peers financially. 
  4. Rethinking flexible work arrangements and remote work. Flexible work arrangements and remote work will continue to be a key trend in 2024. For many employees, the ability to work from home or other locations is no longer a perk—it’s an expectation. HR leaders can capitalize on this trend by redefining talent acquisition strategies, embracing virtual collaboration tools, and investing in geographic diversity. At the same time, businesses must ensure that remote workers are as connected and engaged as those in the office by adopting a hybrid approach that balances in-person and remote collaboration. 

HR teams have a lot to consider moving into 2024. As businesses continue to see the benefits of prioritizing total well-being, flexible work arrangements, and data-driven decision-making, HR can proactively play a role in helping create a more engaged, productive, and resilient workforce. This requires investing in employee support systems, promoting healthy habits, fostering equity, leveraging predictive analytics, and embracing the future of work. As HR leaders navigate these challenges, they will be well-positioned to drive organizational success in the years to come. 

Sylvia Flores is the chief of brand and culture for Espresa.

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