What a year! As the year draws to a close and we’re ready to step into 2024, it’s time to reflect. The landscape of Internal Communications and HR continues to evolve with technological advancements and changing workplace dynamics. As we read in our last year’s predictions for 2023, we saw the rise of AI, personalised comms and omnichannel delivery. But what trends will shape the digital workplace in 2024 and beyond? How will technology increasingly help businesses to empower their people and as a result achieve their goals? It’s clear that businesses need to embrace emerging technologies in order to remain innovative and competitive. Here are our predictions across workplace technology, internal communications and HR which will hopefully help to inform your digital workplace strategy for 2024.
Gamification is growing in popularity as it enhances performance and engagement. According to Zippia, Inc. 90% of employees stated that gamification improved performance significantly. It is expected to expand various HR capabilities through its integration such as a boost in employee productivity, higher job satisfaction, an effective reward system, which in turn can boost company revenue.
Continually motivating employees can be a huge challenge. Gamification can introduce game elements to make the tasks more interactive and engaging. Elements such as leaderboards, badges and point systems are being integrated into daily tasks to drive competition among employees and to foster a sense of achievement and therefore improving productivity.
An emerging trend in Gartner’s HR Technology Employee Experience Bullseye Report 2023. Modern organisations, especially those scaling rapidly, struggle with efficiently managing HR tasks such as recruitment, onboarding and payroll processing. By automating these traditionally time-consuming tasks, organisations ensure consistent, error-free HR processes while freeing up human resources.
We enabled healthcare provider, Sevita to run their HR operations more efficiently with Oak’s HR Help Desk. We replaced their discontinued HR portal with an integrated HR ticketing system. Their interactive ‘I have a question’ page gives employees one location to ask HR or IT a question, should they not be able to find the answer in resources on Sevita Source.
“Not only did Oak enhance the employee experience, but managers also saved countless hours answering questions and tracking down resources for their team members. Oak has paved the way for more efficient HR operations and has saved valuable time and effort. The ‘I have a question’ page resonates with our workforce and has received an impressive 39,072 unique views since it was launched. The ease of raising tickets and its accessibility is also evident with a remarkable 53,702 tickets filed. “
Liz Flynn, Communications Director, Acquisitions and Special Programs at Sevita
Remote work management
Gartner predicts that up to 39% of global knowledge workers will work hybrid by the end of 2023. The shift to remote work has introduced unique challenges to employee engagement, including feelings of isolation, blurred work-life boundaries and difficulties in team collaboration. Our research found that half (50%) of remote workers feel more isolated and lonely working from home. Although many businesses are returning to work, hybrid work will still continue and these challenges will still continue. Remote work management tools address these issues by offering virtual office environments that simulate physical workspaces, offering a sense of community and belonging.
Two of the main challenges working from home are isolation and lack of communication. The current tools that businesses are using to connect with their staff just aren’t cutting it. That’s why organisations are looking for new solutions to engage their employees.
Responsible use of AI
You are probably sick of hearing about AI. A key trend of 2023, but should not be overlooked for 2024. ChatGPT hit 100 million monthly active users in 2023, making it the fastest-growing application in history. Vendors (including Oak and the launch of Aria) have worked quickly to build generative AI into their products to save internal communicators and HR professionals valuable time. Other uses of AI to emerge in 2023 are more use of AI generating content that are targeted at different audience groups on different channels, AI summarisations, AI search and AI-powered analytics.
Authenticity in internal communication is in high demand. Gallagher states ‘authenticity is what employees truly want.’ They’re increasingly looking for genuine and transparent experiences - something that makes them feel good about their place of work. How can this be achieved with AI and will the progress of authenticity in internal comms be threatened? Internal communicators and HR professionals need to find a balance between AI generated content with a commitment to storytelling and tone of voice. They need to clearly define what tasks they will depend on for AI and which they won’t.
📖 Recommended reading: 5 ways AI can save internal communicators time this festive season
Diversity and inclusion
A significant percentage of workers face discrimination in the workplace based on age, race, gender or identity. In Oak Engage’s Toxic Workplace Report, employees reporting incidents based on age (24%), gender (21%), race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origin) (14%), pregnancy or maternity leave (11%), disability (10%), sexuality (9%), religion or beliefs (8%), being married or in a civil partnership (5%), and gender reassignment (5%). This affects employee performance and prevents employees from being true to themselves at work, hindering innovation, creativity and teamwork. Advanced software solutions avoid this by auditing company communications and practices for unintentional biases.
We’ll be looking more closely at what 2024 will hold for internal communication, HR and the digital workplace more closely at the start of the year, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime find out more about Oak and how we can help you embrace technology. Here’s to a great year.