To say the nature of work has changed in the past few years is both a well-known understatement and a fact that continues to challenge human resource (HR) leaders as they work to develop solutions in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Last year was an important year for HR, with several shifts in remote working, cost constraints, labor changes, and emerging technologies. As we look ahead at the new year - we asked our team what they think the biggest trends and challenges will be for HR leaders.
Dinesh Sheth, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Wegovy, Zepbound and similar new weight loss drugs seem to have magical properties in them, catching consumer's imagination and transforming healthcare due to their results. While widespread investment by employers in these drugs will not happen overnight - employers must weigh the costs and benefits of investing in these medications now because employees will demand them from their employers this year (if they have not demanded them already).
As 2024 is a presidential election year, this will bring stress, geopolitical tension, and division. Every company has a diverse culture, with people from all backgrounds, political opinions, religions, and cultural factors. HR leaders will need to continue to focus on their goals to keep company culture strong, retain their employees and continue to enhance their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives - when the term DEI itself may have become part of cultural differences. It is important to ensure employees are happy as we navigate the stress of an election and wars beyond our control.
As organizations look beyond point solutions for their employees and seek to gain flexibility and ease of management, platforms like SmartFHR™ by Green Circle Life are going to be a key tool deployed to address HR challenges.
Annie Lutostanski, Senior Vice President of Client Services
Wellness benefits are not a "nice to have" anymore, they are a must-have for all employers. Employees are analyzing the employer-provided mental health benefits, weight-loss programs, and programs for their families, and will continue to assess and compare their benefits packages with other options that are offering the benefits they want and need.
As far as health goes, one of the biggest stories will be Zepobound, Wegovy, and other weight loss medications. Employers must consider whether they will pay for these medications and the impact they will have on companies, their workforce, and their families. Our Healthy Weight for Life program offers a complementary program to these weight loss drugs that helps participants track their progress, learn healthy habits, receive encouragement from their community and reflect on the decisions they make every day. In the program, participating employees and their families learn healthy, sustainable habits and receive guidance on how to maintain their lifestyle changes, ultimately helping keep the weight off and keep costs low.
Another consideration is that a lot of people are waiting for Wegovy, and while waiting, we have had several people who made lifestyle changes that involve their families. Lifestyle changes lead to more than just weight loss, they can lead you to make memories with your family and get active together.
Bysakh Bhasi, Chief Technology Officer
In 2024, organizations will remain focused on maximizing the return on the existing HR applications in which they have invested, from a benefits aspect as well as from a healthcare cost aspect. Fortunately, SmartFHR helps organizations maximize their benefits engagement and retain employees, key factors in being leaner in 2024.
Additionally, next year, HR will be leveraging AI- and ML-powered tools, both for their applications in reporting, communicating and driving health and wellness. These technologies present opportunities to automate many HR tasks, driving productivity and efficiency for HR.
Josh Kohlmeier, Senior Consultant
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform the workplace next year. Employees are using AI-powered tools like ChatGPT to improve their productivity and automate parts of their jobs. Over the next couple of years, companies will focus on not only how they implement AI technology, but also policy around AI technology and its use in the workplace. Additionally, employers will need to consider how HR can use AI technology to drive connectedness and better analytics.
On a wellness front, motivation ebbs and flows, and most people have more success when they are connected and have a group or team that holds them accountable. SmartFHR offers the best of both worlds: you can use SmartFHR to drive behavioral change with coaching and connect with your team to drive a culture of wellness and connectivity.
Andriana Arnold, Senior Business Development Consultant
HR professionals are discussing several priorities for 2024, including prioritizing holistic well-being, including financial wellness. Building company culture will also continue to be a big priority with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Tools like SmartFHR bring decision-makers - such as HR wellness coordinators - to the forefront to help manage the workforce and its benefits.
Each new year is an opportunity to set goals for yourself, in work and in your personal life. Technology advancements will continue to shake up the industry this year, but HR practitioners must continue to focus on increasing ROI on existing investment in benefits like health insurance and retirement plans as well as helping redefine the employee experience to retain and attract talent.
One thing remains true: your employees need and want better access to and engagement with their benefits. Our SmartFHR™ is an industry-leading employee wellness platform where employees and family members can access company benefits and services on their journey for better health and holistic wellbeing. With this platform, HR staff can communicate more effectively, and clinical staff can deliver better information and guidance to improve outcomes and achieve their New Years Goals. A greater participation in health and wellness programs leads to a productive workforce with greater profitability.
Green Circle Life welcomes the opportunity to show you how SmartFHR™ can redefine the employee experience at your company - for more information, contact us today.