Three Organisational Development Trends for 2024

As we step into another calendar year, Organisational Development teams worldwide are assessing the types and subjects of learning which will be most relevant and impactful for their workforce over the next 12 months.

To assist you in doing the same, we are excited to share three areas that we believe will shape the direction and focus of many L&D budgets throughout 2024. These trends, backed by research and subject matter expertise, could help teams to thrive over what may be another challenging year of trading.

Psychological Safety

Creating a psychologically safe workplace is not about people being ‘nice’ all the time, it’s about employees feeling safe to speak up, in an environment which values and includes them. It means that the people freely input their ideas and creativity which, during a time when more and more organisations are exploring cultures of continuous improvement and seeking new ways to solve emerging challenges, is clearly something to be desired.

Responsibility for building psychological safety lies with leaders and managers, and we can support with workshops and training around, for example, developing a ‘growth mindset’, feedback and inclusion (including inclusive leadership).

Mainstreaming Hybrid Working

Incoming changes in employment law could mean even more requests (and approval) for flexible working in 2024 – particularly relevant for employers who predict another year of stiff competition to hire the most experienced and talented staff.

For managers and leaders, hybrid working changes the particulars of maintaining and maximising performance and is now the norm, rather than a response. In a recent thought piece, McKinsey & Co suggests a number of areas that leaders need to focus on to remain effective in this environment, including managing performance through outcomes, impact and ownership, building trust and togetherness (e.g. by displaying reliability, openness and authenticity) and facilitating team problem solving and collaboration.

As well as workshops that directly cover the leadership challenges of managing and building hybrid teams, we can offer workshops that support development in McKinsey’s specific areas, such as The Trusted Leader and Authentic Leadership.

Beyond ‘resilience’ to ‘organisational fortitude’

In 2023, a group of leading UK universities published a paper suggesting that organisations need more than resilience in order to succeed in an ongoing period of ‘perma-crisis’ (i.e. Brexit – Covid – Inflation –Recession?). They suggest ‘organisational fortitude’, the core components of which are:

• ‘Resolute propensity’ – accepting risks as real and then producing a shared willingness to respond with the required level of effort.

• ‘Resource reserves’ – a practical strategy for upskilling and multi-skilling staff so that demand can be met, alongside ensuring that workforce value is retained e.g. via mentoring and talent retention.

• ‘Shared values’ – all staff buying into the organisation’s purpose and mission, from staff to stakeholders.

These enable organisations to act in two ways…

Proactively – recognising threats, devising strategy and putting resources into action; pivoting to change existing plans when they are no longer fit for purpose and re-framing threats as opportunities.

Reactively – Using the value that staff see in the organisation’s purpose as motivation to act and accept the need to both change and accept increased effort.

Customers prioritising organisational fortitude could deploy workshops like Leading Change, Leading with Resilience, Motivation and Goal-Setting, Values-based Coaching, Strategic Thinking, and more.

The three areas above emerged from our research as well as our conversations with long-term learning partners and customers. Your own set of priorities for the coming year may be entirely different.

To arrange an informal conversation about the learning solutions we can deploy in support of your workforce, send us an email now

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