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Embracing 2024 with Purpose: A Call to People & Culture Leaders

by | Dec 6, 2023

In the dynamic landscape of organizational leadership, People & Culture leaders find themselves at the forefront, orchestrating a symphony of human-centric demands, desired productivity gains, and burgeoning AI technology innovations. It’s an exciting time! And as we together stand on the cusp of 2024, despite any challenges, let us collectively choose to welcome in this new year with enthusiasm.

Celebrating the Journey to Now:

Recent trends indicate that our voice at the Executive table is resonating. We are leaning into our true strategic identity as champions of the human aspect of the business equation. We’ve intuitively known that cultivating people-first cultures of trust in our organizations is essential for tapping into the infinite power of our workforce’s creativity and unbounded innovation; and a study late last year, by Accenture affirms that 89% of CEOs now believe that CHROs are critical and central to driving long-term growth in their organizations. Employees too are requesting this humanistic view. A recent Gartner research report found that 82% of employees believe it is vital for their organization to see them as a “person” and not just a contributor to the workforce. Employers who prioritize empathy, transparent communications, inclusivity, collaboration, and flexibility will begin to see the meaningful gains, especially as Gen Z and Millennials, who look for more human-centric, purpose-driven, and socially-conscious workplaces will comprise 52.5% of the workforce in 2024 (Glassdoor).

Finding the Positives in Emerging Trends:

In the mosaic of ever evolving change, 2024 holds promise for those who embrace the positive currents. For one, the “Big Stay” phenomenon, where employees choose stability amidst economic uncertainties, provides a strategic window for People & Culture leaders to fortify relationships. Initiatives such as mentoring programs, leadership development, and holistic wellness offerings will amplify engagement and satisfaction, fostering on-going retention.

Generative AI and the Future of Work:

The advent of generative AI heralds a transformative era for People & Culture leaders. By automating mundane tasks and reports, AI liberates our human potential for creative thinking and interpersonal engagement, nurturing more meaningful assignments for employees. Linda Mougalian, SVP with ADP, anticipates that generative AI will be seamlessly integrated into work processes in 2024, reshaping expectations for how we work. McKinsey predicts that, by 2030, up to 30% of current work hours in the U.S. may be automated by AI, reinforcing the need for ongoing reskilling initiatives to prepare our workforce for this tremendous shift.

Work-Life Integration and Flexibility:

In 2024, we’re seeing the narrative shift towards “work-life fit,” acknowledging the intertwined nature of professional and personal life spheres. Employees seek personalized blends and work options that foster collaboration without sacrificing flexibility. We as People & Culture leaders are creatively stretched to craft adaptable solutions, including exploring 4-day work weeks, personalized benefits, and innovative work-life services to attract, retain and sustain top talent.

Thriving in the Gig Economy:

The continued flourishing of the gig economy offers choice. People & Culture leaders can tap into this hidden workforce of freelancers, consultants, and contractors, leveraging their unique perspectives for flexible and cost-effective solutions. This strategic approach enhances adaptability and agility in achieving organizational goals.

Seeing our Role as a Privilege:

As we raise our glasses to 2024, let us embrace the cherished role we will continue to play in shaping an organizational culture that prioritizes both humanity and innovation. People & Culture leaders, who focus with foresight, optimism, and resilience, are poised to positively sculpt the evolving landscape, ensuring that the year ahead becomes a testament to our concerted commitment to purpose-filled work, organizational growth, and the harmonizing of the various facets of employees’ lives for optimal well-being and productivity. Cheers to an amazing 2024!

Where Partnership can Serve:

Essential to our influence in these months ahead is recognizing that our organizations are looking to us. Are we leading the way in amply prioritizing and setting boundaries? Are we cultivating a pathway ourselves for work-life fit? Are we nurturing our own resilience and stamina, so that we exhibit enthusiasm and receptivity? Are we deeply listening to our people? You don’t have to go it alone. Our team here at Cornerstone brings a treasure trove of People & Culture background and experiences. We’d welcome the opportunity to support you in thriving. 

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About the Author

Mary Toland Shaw, MHR, SHRM-SCP

Mary Toland Shaw, MHR, SHRM-SCP

Talent Optimization Partner

Mary is an Executive Human Resources professional and coach, bringing 30+ years of experience gained with predominantly fast-growing software solutions companies. Passionate in guiding executive leadership teams in creating initiatives that enhance an internal sense of meaningful purpose and engagement in employees. Unlocking this human component serves as a predominant business results accelerator.