Chief Human Resource Officers are responsible for a wide and increasingly complex range of people and business processes and outcomes.
When the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) asked members of its Chief Human Resource Officers Board to identify their most pressing concerns for 2024, macroeconomic uncertainty (e.g., inflation, potential recession, supply chains, etc.) was cited as the number-one external worry. The magnitude of global events and their effect on business make clear that a strong, change-embracing organizational culture is imperative.
In order to respond to these external pressures, four key priorities emerged for CHROs:
- Training leaders (at all levels) to establish trust, exemplify the organization’s values, and lead in new and evolving work structures.
- Leading organizational initiatives to uncover where GenAI can increase workforce efficiency and effectiveness.
- Preparing the HR team for continued scrutiny and criticism of DE&I, ESG, and other programs.
- Improving culture health and ensuring leaders understand its direct link to financial performance.
As i4cp’s research has long shown, leaders who consistently model behavior critical to strengthening culture and purpose is a clear trait of high-performance organizations. But leadership effectiveness and change management were cited by many CHROs as their organizations’ biggest weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This gap must be addressed to improve and sustain optimal business performance, which is leading many CHROs to prioritize leadership development, change management, and succession management within the HR function in 2024.
These priorities also drew attention to creating better talent pools as a key external concern. However, most CHROs gave their organizations high marks for talent attraction, citing this as a strength. Most CHROs view their organizations’ HR structures and labor relations as strengths, and they feel confident about talent retention, workforce well-being, and their total rewards practices.
The use of generative AI (GenAI) by competitors is a chief concern of CHROs, as is anti-DE&I rhetoric and global political instability. In addition to apprehension about leadership effectiveness, organizational weaknesses most commonly perceived by CHROs are current capabilities regarding GenAI skills, agility, succession management, and change management.
How CHROs are using GenAI
The tasks most CHROs said they are currently using GenAI for are writing emails, creating presentations, developing policies, putting together case studies, scenario planning, summarizing employee sentiment in survey responses, and staying on top of industry trends.
In addition, some CHROs are using the technology to analyze performance review documentation, and others have launched FAQ chatbots to answer frequently asked questions about HR policies, benefits, and more.
Rethinking HR structure and processes will take on new meaning as the function becomes more sophisticated, tech enabled, and GenAI powered. For more information about 2024 priorities and for C-level executives, download i4cp’s complimentary 2024 Priorities and Predictions report.