CIPD Festival of Work 2024

Lizzie Buxton

Written By Lizzie Buxton

20th June 2024

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The future of work is human-centric and data-driven

The CIPD Festival of Work 2024 buzzed with innovative ideas and critical discussions on the ever-evolving landscape of HR. Here at AdviserPlus, we were privileged to be there to demonstrate how we’re innovators in HR transformation and are helping to shape the future of HR. And we’re excited to share the key takeaways that will shape the approach to building the people teams of tomorrow:

  1. The human touch in a tech-driven world

While AI and automation dominated headlines pre-festival, a refreshing shift emerged during the discussions. Experts emphasised that “teaming” trumps pure AI skills. The future workforce needs critical thinkers, collaborators and those who can bridge the human-machine divide. The focus was on leveraging technology to enhance human capabilities, not replace them.

  1. Prioritising employee wellbeing remains paramount

Mental health and overall well-being continue to be central themes. HR leaders are tasked with developing cultures of well-being, going beyond offering perks and delving into creating open and supportive environments. This includes recognising mental health on a par with physical health and equipping managers to deal with people complex matters and managing stress effectively.

  1. Data-driven HR decisions are the new standard

The festival highlighted the crucial role of data analytics in helping to create more agile, business-driven HR functions. But simply having data isn’t enough; HR leaders need to harness its power to understand the impact on employees and the overall health and performance of the business. HR is awash with data, but without the right people analytics tools to identify trends and help get to the root cause of issues impacting employee experiences, it is difficult to drive meaningful change.

  1. Building a diverse and equitable workplace is an ongoing challenge

Discussions on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) acknowledged the need for realistic goals and a commitment to continuous progress. Moving beyond performative actions, creating a culture of inclusion where everyone feels valued is key. This needs to be addressed at every level of the business, from recruitment strategies to training for everyone. Creating a truly inclusive organisation that attracts talent from a cross section of society requires commitment at every level of the business.

  1. Empowering managers is critical to success

A theme that resonated strongly was the importance of manager empowerment. Many managers, often promoted from within or because of their ability in their specialism, often lack the training and support needed to effectively lead and motivate their teams.  The festival highlighted the need for HR to equip managers with the skills to manage people matters more effectively, recognise and manage stress, build psychological safety within their teams, and delegate effectively. By empowering managers to be better people leaders, we empower our entire workforce.

  1. Post-election change

With the election date looming, the result may have seismic implications for HR. Labour is proposing some significant changes to employment law, such as extended sick leave,  more day-one rights and limitations on zero-hour contracts, which will require careful consideration and preparation for businesses. Staying informed on potential changes to employment law is crucial for proactive HR teams. Watch our recent webinar here to find out more about the impact of proposed changes.

  1. HR as a strategic partner

The CIPD Festival of Work highlighted the critical role HR plays in aligning with business goals and driving strategic initiatives. Using data effectively and leveraging technology will be key for HR to demonstrate its value proposition.

The CIPD Festival of Work 2024 reminded us that the future of HR is about being human-centric while embracing the power of technology. By prioritising well-being, leveraging data effectively, and empowering managers, HR leaders can help shape environments where their workforce can thrive.

What resonated most with you from this year’s CIPD Festival of Work?

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