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HR Planning for 2024: Business as Unusual

Friday December 15th, 2023

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 30 seconds


For some, the end of the year is a time of relaxation—but not for business leaders and HR teams. As we head toward the end of the year, businesses are feverishly working to put a bow on 2023 while preparing for next year. What can they expect in 2024? If the last few years have been any indication, they can count on one constant: change.

To help teams and leaders prepare for the turning of the calendar, industry analyst, advisor and influencer Steve Goldberg joined isolved’s Vice President of Solution Strategy Geoff Webb and Vice President of Brand & Customer Marketing Amberly Dressler in a recent webinar.

Navigating and Embracing Change

Many individuals and organizations are resistant to change. Why? Because it’s human nature to associate uncertainty and risk with discomfort. Think about when cars were introduced—you had an entirely new piece of machinery to learn and understand to operate while riding a horse is pretty straightforward. An automobile is infinitely more effective and efficient than a horse, but it took a period of discomfort, even if it seemed like a risky proposition.

The same can be said of adopting new HR technology and processes. One of the core functions of an HR department is to make the invisible visible, which includes identifying and surfacing risks. If people and processes aren’t aligning, and there are monumental risks to culture which lead to a revolving door for the hiring department, it can significantly disrupt the flow of business and hurt the bottom line. So, in this instance, not adopting a new way of doing business is a risk. Which is a powerful message, when communicated correctly.

Communicating the Need for Change

For decades, HR professionals have known the strategic value of their function. After all, HR activities affect every person in the organization and set the foundation for every company. However, during those decades, HR was often viewed as a mere functional part of the organization. Process payroll, figure out benefits and hire new people. Fortunately, the tide has turned—83 percent of HR leaders say their department is viewed as a strategic part of the organization. HR teams have their place at the executive table—but there’s more work to be done.

Let’s take one aspect of the HR lifecycle, onboarding, and see how to better present it in a strategic light. On an operational level, the process includes filling out the necessary forms to meet compliance requirements, selecting benefits and hammering out logistics. Strategically, the process can add infinitely more business value. Getting new employees up to speed is an opportunity to immerse them in the culture, identify the leaders in the organization, while setting clear expectations and putting them on a path to success. And HR teams have the data to back up the importance of this strategic initiative—49 percent would consider leaving a new job due to a poor onboarding experience.

Technology’s Role

If the need for change is fundamentally understood and communicated, the next step is to tap into the technology necessary to make the transformation. But just like in the paradigm shift from horses to cars, there will be initial resistance and fear of adoption. The best way to alleviate this trepidation is easy-to-use, intuitive technology that will give employees confidence instead of dread. If employees need weeks and weeks of training to perform functions they already performed like clockwork, the implementation is likely to fail. If new software is going to be introduced to the workforce, it shouldn’t be hard to master.

The value of the technological addition or change should be evident to everyone across the organization, from executives to interns. Technology investments that directly align with the real world and actionable objectives are instantly digestible, whereas changes for changes sake are almost certainly going to be rejected out of hand. If they ask, “What’s in this change for me?”, it should be instantly evident that the adjustment is in everyone’s best interest.

Planning for 2024

At the end of the day, there is no crystal ball to tell us what to expect in 2024. However, organizations can better navigate the unexpected by being agile. Through organizational agility, companies and teams can proactively respond to change and uncertainty, rather than being passive and reactionary. By doing so, organizations can transform changes and risks into a wide range of opportunities.

To learn more, watch the webinar here.

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