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6 Must-Know Workforce Management Trends for 2024

These 6 workforce management trends will shape workplace success in 2024. Use them to guide everything from employee development to hybrid work policies.


By ActivTrak

Colored blocks with arrows up and to the right to signal the benefits from workforce management trends.

It’s never been more important for business leaders to prioritize workforce management. How well you manage people, processes and technology is directly tied to operational performance and financial success. And now, with the state of the workforce in a constant state of flux, the rules are changing fast.

How do you adapt workflows in the age of artificial intelligence? What kind of work environment should you support when people have so many different opinions about managing remote teams? Is employee satisfaction still possible in an era of constant career switching? 

These are the kinds of questions business leaders will need to answer to remain competitive. To help, we scoured the latest findings to identify six emerging workforce management trends. Consider this your guide for shaping the future of work at your organization — starting today.

As technology evolves and employee behaviors change, so should your workforce management strategies. These six prominent trends will continue to reshape what works and what doesn’t  in 2024.

1. Upskilling is becoming a must-have 

Is your company having a hard time attracting top talent? Most are. Across industries, the global talent shortage reached a 17-year high in 2023, with nearly four in five employers struggling to find the skilled talent they need.

In response, many are turning to skills-based hiring. Organizations are foregoing degree requirements in favor of unconventional approaches to fill positions. Nearly three-fourths of employers used skills-based hiring in 2023, up 17% from the year before. 

Looking ahead, upskilling and reskilling current employees will be just as critical. Just because you find the experience you need today, there's no guarantee those skills will evolve as your company scales. In fact, employers expect 44% of employees’ skills to be disrupted in the next five years. Proactively training employees in new skills will empower them to succeed in different roles as your organization’s needs evolve.

Long deemed essential for employee engagement94% of employees say they’d stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn — this type of growth and development is now critical for workforce management. In 2024 alone, approximately 40% of workers will require up to six months of reskilling. 

2. Remote work will become a key competitive advantage

Remote work and hybrid work have been a hot topic since the pandemic. But in 2023, the number of companies offering flexible work arrangements hit new records. The percentage of companies with structured hybrid work programs increased from 51% at the start of 2023 to 62% around November. Just 38% of companies now require employees to report to the office full time.

Flexible work may shift slightly in 2024, but it isn’t going anywhere. If anything, remote work will play a critical role in the race to secure top talent. Though the landscape is changing, various studies indicate increased demand for remote jobs still outstrips supply. Nearly half of job candidates are looking for remote positions, but a much smaller percentage of job postings offer it. And among employees who currently work on a hybrid schedule, 36% would prefer to work from home full time.

3. AI and automation will free employees to focus on big-picture projects 

It’s no secret that AI and automation are reshaping the workforce management landscape. But big changes are still on the horizon, and 2024 is shaping up to be a defining year for generative AI. According to a recent study by Deloitte, business leaders are planning to make significant investments in AI tools 2024. Nearly 80% expect generative AI to transform their organizations within three years, and 88% are excited or fascinated by the latest developments.

So, what will AI do for businesses? McKinsey Global Institute predicts generative AI will help automate 30% of hours currently worked within six years. But don’t expect it to reduce headcount. Instead, AI frees employees from manual tasks to focus on big-picture projects. For example, marketers who use generative AI save at least three hours on each piece of content they create. Sales reps and customer service agents save more than two hours a day by automating manual tasks and generating responses. However, they’re not working less. Instead, they’re devoting those extra hours to strategizing, problem-solving and improving cross-departmental collaboration.

If you’re still on the fence, now’s the time to start exploring AI. These technologies can streamline administrative tasks, provide valuable workforce insights and guide important decisions. When used with workforce management solutions, AI-powered predictive analytics also make it easier to identify potential skills gaps and project staffing needs.

4. Career paths will be more dynamic

For decades, organizations have relied on institutional knowledge from long-term employees acquired over years with the same company. But in 2024, people are more likely to not only switch jobs, but change entire career paths. 

In one recent survey, 83% of Gen Z workers say they intentionally job hop to diversify skills, build career capital and find environments that align with their values. More than 40% plan to stay with their current employers for just two years, and only 35% are willing to stick around for three or more. Across generations and industries, the average employee tenure is just over four years. This trend means employers should either accept shorter tenures as the status quo moving forward, or put greater emphasis on retention through dynamic career paths that provide development opportunities without having to change companies.

5. Emphasis on the employee experience will increase

Given other trends in flexible work, career switching and the demand for more upskilling opportunities, it’s no surprise to see business leaders investing in the employee experience. Many are experimenting with four-day workweeks, taking steps to support work-life balance and loosening restrictions on remote work to improve e employee satisfaction.

But rather than flying blind, successful companies are turning to employee experience management software to get actionable insights to guide decision-making. As pressure to attract and retain top talent continues to increase, leaders can’t afford to guess. Employee experience management software provides concrete evidence of what employees want and need to feel satisfied and flourish within your organization.

6. Organizations will step up cybersecurity and compliance

As flexible work arrangements increase in popularity, there’s also a greater risk of data breaches and compliance issues. While you may have a secure network in the office, employees’ home setups may not have the same level of protection. Furthermore, there’s also a risk for human error to unintentionally lead to issues.

From stolen credentials to employee account takeover attacks, 74% of all breaches involve some form of human error — and AI is making it even easier for hackers to trick people into sharing private data. 

For this reason, companies across industries are opting to step up security in 2024. One of the best ways to prevent breaches and compliance issues is by implementing user activity monitoring software. By tracking employee activity in real-time, employers can set up warning systems and be notified immediately when a potentially risky activity occurs. This provides an opportunity to remedy the situation immediately before it can escalate.

Streamline workforce management with ActivTrak

Staying ahead of the latest workforce management trends is crucial for companies looking to thrive in today's dynamic business environment. While these six trends are far from the only changes likely to occur in 2024, they represent the most important areas to track.

Whether it's embracing remote work, leveraging generative AI or prioritizing the employee experience, successful organizations will proactively adopt new strategies. Workforce management is no longer an administrative function — it’s now a strategic driver of business success. And with the best workforce management software, you can track key metrics to guide every decision. Whether you’re planning for a big change in the size of your workforce or simply want to get ahead of the trends detailed above, ActivTrak provides an enterprise workforce management solution to suit your needs.

Request a demo to see how companies like yours use ActivTrak’s workforce management solution to track trends and stay ahead of the curve.

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