HR Happy New Year 2024!
Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference
CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors
About this episode
HR Happy New Year 2024!
Today, we explore the dynamic landscape of work in 2024, from individual goals and resolutions to our 15-year anniversary celebration with exciting future plans. The discussion covers workplace diversity, universal languages, and the transformative impact of AI on compensation structures and smart home trends.We chat about Pantone’s color of the year, labor market trends, workplace culture, along with a closer look at ongoing conversations around fair compensation in the evolving workforce landscape. Join us as we navigate the multifaceted dimensions of the workplace in 2024.
Thank you for joining the show today! Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!
This episode of At Work in America is sponsored by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Are you ready to drive growth and tackle the challenges ahead in the new year? With insights from 600 business and HR leaders, Paychex has just released its 2024 Business Priorities Report revealing the strategies you need to succeed. With rising interest rates and inflation, along with struggles to keep top talent and develop leadership, it can be tough out there. But the report reveals that a whopping 98% of companies are planning to use artificial intelligence to tackle these issues—and that’s just the beginning. Packed with insider tips on improving employee benefits to automating workflows, this report is your strategic roadmap to success. Get ahead of the game and download your copy today at paychex.com/awia. Business success this year is just a click away.
Welcome to At Work in America, sponsored by Paychex. At Work in America digs in behind the headlines and trends to the stories of real people making a difference in the world of work. And now here are your hosts, Steve Boese and Trish Steed.
Welcome to the first episode of the At Work in America podcast for 2024. Is that possible? I feel like should we should have already done the first one? I’m not sure. But my name is Steve Boese. I’m joined by Trish Steed, how are you today?
I’m fantastic. How are you?
I am well. The notes tell me I should say Happy New Year. I feel like it’s a little late in the year to say that. I’ll say it anyway. It’s a little bit into the new year. I want to ask you about your kind of resolution goals kind of thing for 2024. But before I asked you that, I’ll ask a simpler question, which is what’s the the farthest into a year it’s socially acceptable to to greet someone or wish someone a Happy New Year? What would you say?
I think that is an excellent question. And I would say probably like January 15 is the cutoff, two weeks, right? Because I actually sent a note now that you’re saying this, I think I sent a note yesterday to someone in email and said Happy New Year. So yeah, the 15th Cut it.
It was on my mind, too. I was doing the same thing. I think yesterday sending an email to someone who I had not, you know, emailed with at all yet this year. And I thought, boy, it feels a little bit late to be wishing a person happy new year. So I think I switched it up to you know, hope your year is off to a good start, you know, that version of it.
We could change it up. We could just say Happy New Year from like now till June and see what happens.
Yeah, we could. Do you make a you resolution or an intention or goal? I know you’re a goal oriented person, but a specific new year’s goal?
I normally don’t, I don’t because I don’t know that I even like I have sometimes the memory of a gnat. And so I don’t know that I would remember exactly what I said. I will say this I to things. I like to have more of a word because I can seem to remember one word better. My word for this year is unbothered. And then I am unbothered in, here’s why. So my sister as one of the Christmas gifts this year, cross stitched a little saying for me, I’m gonna read it. It says one day, she remembered it wasn’t her job to make everybody happy. And she lived happily ever after. And so you know, it’s a cool gift when someone makes something for you. But the more I have read this, like every single day, it sits right by my bed. I kept thinking, You know what I do that I constantly, which is probably why she made it for me. I constantly worry about keeping everyone else happy. And if something’s not going exactly as planned, it’s my job to jump in and fix it. And so that’s why I picked unbothered because I really need to just let all the other adults in my life, figure it out.
Figure out your own stuff. You’re on your own basically. Okay.
Truly, I’ve only been doing this now for a couple of weeks, right? Christmas was three weeks ago, roughly. And I already feel like the sense of like, calm because, you know, my kids are, they’re twins are 20. Right? And things come up and I’m like, wow, that’s that’s awful or sad or whatever, annoying. And now you need to go and handle that. So it’s been kind of an eye opener. So unbothered. What is your word? Do you have a word?
No, with I did a podcast reporting couple months back with our friends at UNUM. And that was one of the questions that they were asking various folks that they had guests on the podcast, we recorded it out at HR Tech. So it was a few months ago. But I said at the time, I thought the word of the year was empathy. That was the word I picked. And it was a little bit more about a bigger trends that perhaps we’ll talk about a little bit on the on the show today or as the year starts to unfold, which was I got the sense of, we were you know, pandemic was obviously a huge disruption to everybody’s lives, certainly personal lives, work lives, schools, businesses, you name it, right? Every institution around right was disrupted immeasurably by it in sort of the second half of last year. That’s kind of the feeling was okay, it’s kind of finally over even though I know it’s not over and people are still getting sick and don’t message me. I’m aware that COVID is still a thing, but the major disruptions right the light that change And just to our lives are largely done right, or at least, mostly done. And so I thought, hey, maybe now we’re gonna get back to, or even earlier in the year, I thought we’re gonna get back to some of the things that were really important either pro or the pandemic or during the pandemic.
And so I thought well being and taking care of people, taking care of workers, taking care of each other, etc, etc. Like we were maybe a little bit optimistic we were getting like sort of return to some of that. And I was kind of worried because I felt like we spent all last year talking about artificial intelligence, right? Especially in the tech space, which is where you and I spend a lot of our time. So for me, I thought empathy was a good choice, because maybe it’s a wishful thinking thing as well, because I’m a real big tech person. But you know, the technology doesn’t really accomplish anything on its own right. And so I thought, reminding all saw, including me that this is a people business, right? We’re in a people business, the companies that we work with are in that business, too. And so that’s why I picked empathy. And it was more about that. That was a very long answer to a short question.
That makes sense. And it was coming up at a lot of different events in the fall, right? That was just kind of a theme that kept popping up empathy, which is now that you’re saying that now I’m feeling really shitty about my, my use of unbothered, which is like, the opposite of empathy?
Yeah. And that word was a little bit more. I don’t want to say that it was my personal Steve Boese his word kind of frame, I probably give a different answer to that. But you’re not going to be more empathetic this year?
I think you should say you’d be more empathetic and bothered.
Not sure I can be a couple of things. Trish, we’re gonna get into some some other topics, we’re sort of a little bit of a look back on 2023. Some look ahead stuff for 2024. No guests today on the show just wanted to let people know that who are listening, we are going to certainly do guests in 2024, like we have for 15 years on the show, by the way, Trish, our show hits its 15th anniversary shock in a few months. So we’re going to note that, of course, we’ll do something special for the actual anniversary. But we’ll also do some other new things during the course of the year, and maybe bring back some older things as well, that we’ve enjoyed doing over the years and people have hopefully enjoyed listening to so we’re excited about that. So on this show Trish and I want to talk a little bit about like I said, some of this stuff from last year, some of our plans for this year, some of the things we think will be important, some of our plans for our show and for our business to, we’re happy to share, and also to maybe acknowledge some of the really cool things that have happened along the way. So Trish, I know we must thank one cool thing for sure is our ongoing partnership with our friends at Paychex, who are wonderful, wonderful people. Maybe we should take a moment and just thank them.
That’s right, I definitely want to thank them. And before I even do that, I want to give a shout out to them. Because, you know, once again, right at the end of last year, Tom Hammond came on the show. So if you’ve not listened to his episode, go listen to that it’s the perfect time of year to be thinking about, actually your technology and specific things you can be doing to prepare for the new year. So whether it’s payroll benefits, HR, he really came well prepared this year more than ever, even in a great show. So we want to thank them for their continued sponsorship and just friendship and support of the show and everything we’re doing.
They are one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Are you ready to drive growth and tackle the challenges ahead of the new year with insights from 600 businesses and HR leaders Paychex has just released their 2024 business priorities report revealing the strategies you need to succeed. With rising interest rates and inflation along with the struggles to keep top talent and develop leadership, it can be really tough out there. But the report reveals that a whopping 98% of companies are planning to use AI to tackle these issues. And that’s just the beginning. It’s packed with insider tips on improving employee benefits to automating workflows. And this report is your strategic roadmap to success for the year. So get ahead of the game and download your copy today at paychex.com/awia. Business success this year is just a click away.
Yeah, that’s cool. I love how Paychex is constantly doing research. Sending out reports updates all the compliance stuff all the like you said the show we did with Tom with all the year end checklists and steps you have to do to get ready for your begin a company’s probably rolling out W twos right as you’re listening to this and all the support that oh my gosh, the way they process those it’s a whole nother story. Listen to the Tom Hammond show.
The speed and ease of which they do that now is mind blowing. So, yeah, you’re right. And you know, what can I tell you? We’ve been, you know, they’ve been doing these reports for a number of years, it is always valuable. And it’s something you’re not going to just read today, you’re gonna go back and read it, maybe once a month, right? Put a little tickler file there to go back and kind of check in on your own organization. Right. So it’s definitely something they do not just for their own clients, right. They do it for all of us, which is really nice.
Yeah, so great stuff. So some of the things we want to do today, Trish, I mentioned our show’s hitting the 15th anniversary coming up in a few months. Some things, especially for new listeners, and I’m remiss, because I didn’t do this in the end of the year, but let me see every so often just I’ll get a message from someone who, basically along the lines of oh, I just discovered the podcast, right? I get those probably once every month or so from listeners.
I got one of those recently.
They are just discovering this, right? Like we’ve been doing this forever. Yeah. And I think people new entrants into HR certainly are people who are transferring into HR maybe from some other some other field and wouldn’t have been inclined to find this little show. But so I will, I will write up a kind of guide for new listeners soon. I’ll do that and put that on the website. But the church, the first episode we did on this humble podcast, was back in 2009. It was so long ago, I did not at the time, even call it a podcast, I don’t call it anything really, we probably didn’t adopt get together, adopt the word podcast for a couple of years after that. I don’t know how many episodes that are, we stopped counting at 500. There’s over 600 Now, and maybe probably closer to 700, we’ll probably hit 4 million downloads this year, at least. I mean, I’m sure if we can’t, if we were able to count them all up. It’d be more than that. But officially 4 million this year, which is exciting. Over 100 countries are represented. If you look at our downloads, say over the last year, and enriched, and we’re doing more Live episodes, we sort of got back to that it’s something we had done in the earlier years of the show, Trish you and I at events, and we’ve done a little bit more of that this year. And I expect we’ll do some more of that in 2024, as well. So more to come on that. Trish, it’s been fun to continue to do this full of different logos, a couple of different color schemes along the way, a couple of different websites, right, so and now on the network, of course, and maybe you could talk to some of this because I know you’re super proud of some of the partners that we work with. And some of the other shows that that gets syndicated on this feed. Of course, it’s not just us. It’s it’s our friends, Sarah Morgan and the Play by Play guys, and Mervyn Dinnen. And more. So, anyway, just your thoughts on looking back over 15 years this?
Well, you’re right, it’s gone through many iterations. But I think it’s all been, you know, positive growth forward. And you’re right, we now have I mean, when you consider the vlog and the workplace minute, I think it’s like nine shows, under the umbrella, which I know when you started this in 2009, that was not the intent. But I think that that’s a testament to both you and your sort of ability to be agile, right? Through all different business circumstances through all different jobs. When I joined on in 2013, which I can’t believe is, you know, now 11 years ago, it was January of 2013. So I, you know, I started out as a fan, and I’m still a fan. And I think that’s why it works. Because, you know, you and I often come at things with different perspectives, which is really good. We’ve had shows where we’ve argued we’ve had shows where we, you know, agreed on things. And I think that’s what keeps it interesting that we’re not afraid to give our real opinion. And we try and just be very genuine. And I think the guests that we bring on, are in that mindset too. So that you’re you’re hearing sort of cutting edge thoughts of what’s going on. But it’s things that you can relate to. And I think that’s what keeps going.
And we have to sort of go back to your unbothered word a little bit, we have gotten over the last couple of years, for sure, to a place where what’s show is like we’re doing what we want to do with it. What’s interesting to us, and then hopefully and interesting to a big audience as well, or a audience. And sometimes, honestly, I don’t really even care how much of an audience there is, if I think the topic is worth talking about. And luckily, many of the things we do talk about here on the show are do resonate with the broader community that we’re speaking to. And so I’m happy about that, too. But yeah, like, in the old days, I might have jumped at saying, oh, you know, pick on anybody, so I won’t name anybody but, you know, software company, XYZ is just releasing version, you know, 12345 have some products, you know, the CEO wants to come on and talk about it. Like we don’t really do those anymore. And in the past I would have probably oh my gosh, that CEO wants to come and talk on our pie. Yeah, that’s we would have done on it for sure. So we’re doing really much, much less of that. We’ll say it that way. I think I’m doing the things that resonate a little bit more for us, I think personally as well.
I think that like anything, you will see more success, if you take charge of your own situation, right. And us talking about something that’s not in our hearts is not going to be as interesting. It’s just not. So you’re right. I never focus on how many people might listen to something. We you and I both we get pitched a lot of things. But we’ve kind of gotten away from that, too. For the most part, we go out and pursue who we want to talk to, versus how it used to be maybe 10 years ago, where it was, you know, several 100 pitches a month coming in. There’s still some, there’s still hundreds of toes are still there. Yes. But I’m just saying like we’re much more selective. So I like that I in You know, as a listener, that if you’re hearing it on the show, it’s because you and I really believe in whatever we’re talking about. So yeah, we’ve got some exciting shows coming up. Obviously, the Oscars, I want to at least mention, the announcements aren’t even out of who it’s going to be. I’m already making my guesses. But yeah, that’s a show that we get tons of feedback on every year. We do the workplace, maybe Hall of Fame. I know we have to get one of those probably this quarter. So yeah, lots of fun stuff, too. It’s not just all business.
Yeah, those are some of my favorites. As I look back, and some of those things obviously will continue. The Oscars show the workplace movie shows, we just did Barbie a couple months ago, which was a really good, great movie, but a good conversation that we had. The stuff we have in the works, Trish will be can say this, it’s fine. I can even know I don’t know, it’s it is scheduled. We haven’t recorded it yet. But we have the CEO of Autism Speaks coming on the podcast soon. And we’ve done a number of shows about autism and neurodiversity over the years. Those are some of my favorite shows, for a variety of reasons. And I’d encourage anybody to go back and check some of those out. And then the things we’ve done that had been really human interest stories, and I think about the Special Olympics athletes we’ve had on the show, the show we did with Aaron Smith, we’ve done two shows on Second Chance hiring, I’d love to do another one this year, Josh, but we’ve done two shows, specifically on Second Chance hiring, namely giving people who were formerly incarcerated, getting them back into employment opportunities, right, and the challenges around that and the opportunities that they have, and organizations that work with those communities. And I’ve loved both of those shows. I like the shows that kind of speak to creating or illuminating opportunity for folks who may have, have had some challenges finding opportunity, right. And that, that cuts across a really wide spectrum of communities and people and we’ve done a lot of those. And I don’t know, I would I would do probably every other show on on that if we could schedule it.
Yeah, I love all those that you mentioned, and the ones for me that really have been resonating lately, or the ones maybe in the last year where we’ve really tackled, maybe benefits that aren’t available to everyone just yet. And it’s things that are important, whether you’re newer in your career, or whether you’re, you know, mid career or even ready to retire. So we had recorded one on menopause, which we had never even touched on that topic. We I know we have one in the works with the CEO of a company called MIDI mid AI. And it’s going to be great. And it talks about all the things that you can actually do. And the reason I’m excited about shows like that is because I know I’ve mentioned before, I’m a migraine sufferer. And I have literally tried everything and it actually impacts your work. You cannot work when you cannot function. Right? You can’t even think when it’s something in your head. And I started working with MIDI, which we’ll talk about another show but it like migraines are gone, gone. So I think to bring resources like that to people to just as things to explore that you might not have heard of, because it can actually help your workforce. It’s not even just a personal thing. It’s sort of like, you know, if you’re if you’re running a company, you would want your workers to have resources.
Rght, yeah, yeah, absolutely. So we got a lot of that stuff coming this year. There’ll be plenty of that some new things, some new we’re going to experiment with some probably a couple of new titles during the course of the year. Probably a couple of new contributors on the network as well. Chris and I haven’t sat down to talk about that yet. But we will shortly cherish a couple things though. We’ve done this kind of year and year begin show a number of times over the years, we usually do it a little bit closer to New Year’s Day. And one of the things we traditionally talk about church is the Rose Parade, which is your favorite thing I think on Earth than the theme of it. So I’m going to I’m going to toss over to you to talk a little bit about did you watch the Rose Parade? What was the theme and kind of what what give me your Rose Parade commentary.
Alright, I’ll give you the 30 second version. So if you are really into the Tournament of Roses Parade, which I am I have Since since I was a little girl, I am yet to go in and see this in person. But I really think next year is my year, I’m gonna go okay to do it. And to get out there and do it. I have cousins out in California who are like, come out, well, we’ll take you, we will go. Anyway, the theme, though, to me is always been interesting. I’ve written about it, I went back and looked since 2012, and how it can apply to the work world. And so this year’s theme, it was really interesting, it was called celebrating a world of music, the universal language. And at first, I thought, Oh, wow, how am I going to tie that to work? So if you go to the blog, just Trish de.com, there is a whole article, so I won’t go into the details. But it got me thinking about what are universal languages and is that important to us as employers and employees. And it is important there are so many times where we talk about people not feeling included, people don’t feel like they belong in the company that they’re a part of, or the department they’re a part of. And so especially when we’re talking about, you know, we’ve really been pushing diversity for the last 20 years, at least, now that we are starting to actually see truly more diverse teams, sometimes we don’t know how to communicate with each other, right, in a way that’s effective. And so I think music is certainly one way to do that, right? And you can incorporate that quite nicely into the workplace. But when I really dug in, it’s, um, you know, other sort of universal languages, right? Regardless of where you are in this world is math, mathematics is one, music, body language, food, because people always bond over food, right? You don’t have to you and I have seen that in action, right? We’ve been to many countries where we do not speak the language, but we go for a business trip. And we wind up, you know, wind up sitting down with a large group of people and having a meal. And by the end of the meal, everyone’s hugging and, you know, like we’ve we’ve figured it out through food. And the last one is love. And I think that those are just some universal languages that maybe we should spend more time thinking about that in the workplace instead of always, like you kind of mentioned last year was all about AI and automation and machines. So maybe this kind of ties to your empathy word a little bit, we need to think a little more about the universal languages, not just the uncommon languages that we all have.
Yeah, no, I think so. I think that makes a lot of sense in that it’s nicely Trish to the one of the other things we wanted to least mention another one of our you love the Rose Parade, it’s sort of on your list every year to look out for and to talk about and think about. I love the Pantone color of the year announcement every year. I’ve been writing about that my old blog and just you know, going back probably the same amount of time as you in the Rose Parade. And even last year, we did have someone from Pantone on the podcast to talk about the color of the year last year. So this year for 2024. They did announce the Pantone color the year Pantone, Pantone 13-1023 is the name peach fuzz captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others. It’s a velvety, gentle peach tone. Who’s all embracing spirit enriches mind body and soul. Love to throw a picture up of each new post this video but so I think it’s right to it does highs right in.
Like, yeah, color is one.
Color is a universal language that I get that oh my gosh. So I think I think that fits in I’m sensing a theme here, whether it’s like connection, nurturing empathy, which I talked about earlier, the music connection,
though I don’t fit.
I like it. Well, that maybe we think like bigger and let’s roll this into some of you know, obviously the work that we do and a lot of our partners do. Hey, maybe let’s not bang our bang, the jump so hard for AI and bang, the jump so hard for algorithms and chat GPT’s and all these things were so all those things are important. They exist, they’re valuable. They’re they they’re influential, we can’t deny any of that. But is really what we’re talking about, you know, trying to make people’s lives better inside work and outside of work which hopefully is well out of what we’re doing in the work that we do as well. So I thought that was cool. So yeah, Peach Fuzz is the color of the year it’s really cool color. I like the color just as a color. So I’ll have to find some more peach buds duds this year and maybe I’ll buy a new tie or something.
But I knowing knowing you like I do and knowing that that is such an important thing truly to you the color of the year and it does impact the way you think about the year. I went out and look to see is there a color palette It that Pantone has for the year. And they do, they actually do. I will run through them very quickly. And if you’re interested, please go out on the Pantone website, you can find it. But the color palette, they give it sort of a theme of its own. And so the theme for this year in terms of color as the language is nostalgia and transformation, both and using nostalgic colors to help you transform whether that’s your wardrobe, your home, your workplace. So there are just a handful here. The first is Rubio’s tea, which is a full bodied red watercress, which is kind of a light, they describe it as a peppery green. So think of like little peppercorns that are still green, chambray blue, so a very light denim, orange aid, tangy orange, like a bright orange. Then you get into kind of the pastels so there’s a desert flower pink, a pastel lilac, Capri, which is kind of like a lighter T ly blue. Mint. Lemon Drop, and the last one is Marlin and aquatic blue. So it’s like a lot of like, kind of lighter, brighter. Yeah, like with peach peach fuzz. Right? So I think that’s the thing. It’s we’re getting away from sort of the dark moody colors and they’re, you know, yeah, masters.
Last year’s color of the year was a deep rich it was I don’t know if you remember tissue is Aviva magenta was clear. So this is really earthy, deep burgundy, magenta ish, even, hence, a brown in it. Like if you looked really closely at it like it was a rich, rich, rich of like a fine leather bound book with a mahogany Spire. So yeah, I wanted to mention that shout out to our friends at Pantone, we did not Schedule A show this year to talk about it specifically, maybe we should have I don’t know. But we talked Trish that 2023 was certainly the year of AI. Right, it dominated almost everything that happened in our work world. We did a lot of we talked about it a good bit on this podcast, events that we went to across the world last year, etc, etc. Was there anything else that really stood out to you? Besides AI, because I’m sort of little AI burned out right now. Anything besides AI that was oh, boy, when we spent a lot of time on that and 2023. And I wonder, you know, if we if we should have or if we will continue?
You know, we did and obviously you and I have our own report that’s out on HCM trends. So I won’t go through all of that. The one that’s been standing out for me a little bit in, we called it out is the changing nature of compensation. And a lot of that has to do with pay equity, of course, but you know, we’ve seen a couple of demos lately, and in fact, already this year, and it’s being incorporated in such a way so that, to me, it’s bringing some of the the knowledge around how compensation is determined how things like your, you know, comp or ratios figure into paying employees and deciding how you’re going to bring in new employees, those things are now going to be available to really any company of any size if they so choose. And so to me, it’s about bringing data to help that equity. So I feel like we’ve we’ve taken a step there. It was not just we’re not just talking about being equitable in the way that we pay people and recognize them. Now we’re actually saying and here’s how you do it. So I I love that big step. I think that’s one. The other thing I had looked at the just the consumer electronic trends from their show, just to see if there were any crossovers of course, you’re right AI was a big one that that went across industries, right. But they they do a lot around gaming and robotics and things like that. But the one that really started to stand out for me too is and this kind of even goes back with the colors and design aspect which I know you’re a fan of design is sort of having things in your home to make it even more intelligent. So the theme around an Intel a more intelligent home, not just an Alexa right that’s sort of baby step into it. But for example, some of the big TV makers now are showing at this electronics show transparent television screens, fully transparent. Wow, that’s pretty well. It’s so cool. So again, if you have not looked into it, just look up ces trends, you can see what they found, but it’s all about bringing a more earthy kind of natural feeling into your home. And that ties to a little bit with the colors like I mentioned But also I was looking at Vogue, it kind of their trends, which are more fashion related, but it could be fashion for the home and it says they are seeing that people are nostalgic, right, just like Pantone was saying, but also wanting to go back to the feeling the prints the feeling of the 50s and the 80s. Okay, I like it. It’s like tying together a little bit. So whether you’re talking technology or whether you’re talking color, fashion, music, it’s all about nostalgia, I think I’m seeing that.
We’ll often like note that and maybe think about how that might inform some of the the work we do as the year starts to unfold. I’ll add one more thing Trish that was, you know, I love the the macro labor market stuff, I largely still concentrate on the US market. And I know we have listeners around the world. But one of the big themes for 2023 in that market. Trish was a unionization and representation there was a number of really high profile strikes and labor actions here in the US, right, the auto workers, the actors, UPS, drivers, health care workers, Kaiser Permanente had a huge Labor Action earlier in the year. And then things like, you know, places like Starbucks, the Waffle House, for gosh sakes, like looking in some locations, getting organization efforts underway and having, you know, some success and some not. The UAW though the auto workers are going to push really, really hard this year, right to try to get into some of the places where they traditionally haven’t been. And I think it’s a big story. Because if they have success in unionization drives in some of these manufacturing plants, which typically they’ve had no success in places like there’s a lot of manufacturing facilities in places like South Carolina, and Tennessee in Kentucky, right. And those have not been fertile territory for union organization efforts previously, but we’ll see what happens. Maybe they will be this year. And I think part of the reason it’s got nothing to do with your your political stance at all, this is going to have to do with literal dollars and cents, right? Because the UAW won some really significant wage and benefit increases, right in the contracts that they signed with Ford, and General Motors and still antas. Right, for those represented workers who are mostly right in places like Michigan, in Ohio, and Pennsylvania, places like that in the Midwest. Yeah, but huge increases the UPS drivers. Right, got a tremendously great deal for them in terms of compensation and benefits, too, right. So that’s a big thing for me, I follow that really closely. I started Trish, I published the first one on the h3 hr.com site, which was like a labor market article, I’m going to do like one per month, probably this year. The first one was not about unionization, it was actually about older workers in the workforce. And some really interesting statistics about how many people are working into more advanced years in their lives, right. And the labor force participation rate for older workers has gone up a lot. So that’s an interesting piece, you can check that out and HR hr.com. So that was a 2023 things for me. That I think will be I will think will be a thing in 2024 as well.
Yeah, I agree. We had identified evolving workplace demographics in general. So a lot of that ties directly to that, right. And so we’re seeing examples, I will say, and I apologize, I haven’t listened to the whole episode yet. I’ll tell people there is our friends that drive through HR, Mike Vandervoort, just recorded a show here at the beginning of the year on Union unionization as an update. So if you’re, you know, listening to podcast, go check his out. Because he’s been I don’t know, for many years, we’ve been friends since for probably 15 years. He is a union expert. Right. And so if you have follow Mike Vandervoort, or listen to that particular episode, I know. Yeah, just covered it.
We’ll have to have a meeting, you know, off the air tradition where we talk about some guests we want to get for next year, I would love to maybe reach out to the UAW or maybe some folks at Starbucks and see what’s going on there too. Right? Because that’s kind of the other side of that coin.
Yeah, we’re living it. It’s real right on both sides.
There’s so many things right. We have our workplace Trends Report, which you mentioned. We have AI, of course, is something that’s going to be reckoning with in 2024 demographics in the workplace, compensation shifts. I think frontline and hourly worker emphasis is going to be a big one in 2024 as well, we started to see more attention being paid to this group of workers where they had been traditionally pretty underserved by both technology. And by just, you know, Egghead people like us who like to opine about the world of work, right? You tend to just get so focused on what’s what are they doing at Facebook? What are they doing it Amazon, what do they do? Well, Amazon has hundreds of 1000s of frontline workers. So maybe that’s not a great example. But we just don’t think about that as much as we should. Now some of the groups that we work with some of the great partners that we’ve had, of course, our sponsor paychecks, right. They’re serving small and medium sized businesses all over the country who are largely comprised of frontline and hourly workers. Right. So I do think, more attention more emphasis, more conversation about those folks is on on is due for in 2024. And we’ll be having a lot of that here on the show, too.
I also hope we can touch on at some point in the year and maybe it’s in conjunction with one of those episodes, on tipping fatigue, because that’s been coming up. And I read an interesting article, I’ll look it up before we ever do a show on it. But it was I just read it within the last couple of weeks here. And it was talking about how the more that we tip, as the consumer, we’re actually hurting the employees because it takes away depending on the state, again, we’d have to get some experts on here. But it takes away the employers say right, it’s like, they would have to pay the employees more, unless they get a certain amount of tips. Well, then. So if we’re taking that on, it gives the employers and out not to pay them more.
It disincentivizes the employers from actually raising base wages, right? Yeah, I definitely get into that some more. There’s a couple of higher profile organizations in the US in the service industry or in food service, particularly have moved away from tips, right and moved to just straight, straight hourly wages for their service workers. I’d love to maybe track that down this year. And talk about that, and maybe a little bit more in depth. Yeah, it’s a great, great one as well. I think it’s going to be an exciting year. I guess the last thing for me Trish, we wanted to mention we send a couple times, and at the top, it is our 15th year, we’ve got some new things planned some fun things planned, we’re gonna go back to some of our old things that we that we have done in the past that we’d like to but one of the things we’re going to do more of this year is try to make the show just a little bit more available a little bit more accessible, we’re going to start with this show, I guess, would be the first one, posting the full show videos, or most of the show videos anyway, on YouTube, right, which we’ve never done. And I know that’s not a brand new thing in the world of podcasting, but it’s just new to us. Right, we have not worried about putting a video version of this show out before on, we’ve done it once or twice, maybe over the years. So we’ll be doing that. We’ll be doing more other video more LinkedIn lives more. Workplace minutes, worksman is gonna get on YouTube as well. But work breaks more work, make live shows, with you and I and again, sometimes from events, sometimes it’s some of our partners and friends along the way. So it will be leaning into that somewhere too. So we produce so much content for just a small organization, right or three person organization, I, I hesitate to, like, throw us into, okay, we’re gonna do more content this year, but we’ll see if we will or not.
It’ll be different content, right, we’re gonna just shift gears a little bit. And you might see some of the things we’ve been doing that go away. And you might see some things, you know, like you mentioned, and it is true, we’re going to be out and about more with the show, right? So instead of just at the big events, we’re going to be more in different organizations talking to the teams there, you know, individually so that we can have a better perspective on both product and on what employees need. So that’ll be fun to taking the show on the road more.
Yeah, it’s gonna be a great year, though. I’m really excited. Like I’m jazzed up for the year. I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic. I’m empathetic. I learned that empathetic bothered, you’re on bothered. But so let’s give out a couple of things. Again, we might have some new listeners who and if you’ve made it to the end of this show with us with Tricia and I, thank you, kudos to you. Our company’s h3 HR advisors, we’re at h3 hr.com. This show is at work in America, part of the HR Happy Hour podcast network media network. I said that wrong the media network. You can find all of our archives on HR HRHappyHour.net wherever you get your podcasts including Now YouTube as well. So and thanks of course, as we said earlier, to our friends at paychecks were with us again in 2024 as sponsor about work in America. We we care so much about them and thank them for all their support. And Tricia. It’s gonna be a great year. I’m excited.
I am too. See, aren’t you glad we waited a few days into the new year to record?
I did I wanted to get it to be about zero degrees outside so I didn’t want to do anything but sit inside my office and record that.
I hear it’s even the cold here from from where I am in Colorado is coming your direction next. So gear up for tomorrow. All right.
Trish, thank you so much. I’m excited. It’s gonna be a great weekend. I didn’t mention it. 2023 of course was the year of Taylor Swift. I am wearing my friendship bracelet.
Oh my goodness. We had to mention her, didn’t we?
I made this on New Year’s Eve.
Hey, can I tell you though, if you want more info on the music scene, go check out the latest episode of the Play by Play podcast. They cover a lot of end of year things. That’s our Gen Z podcast hosted by Jack and Nick. And they talk a lot about Taylor. They’ve got a lot of facts and figures out there and Taylor and Beyonce, but they made a prediction. That country will be the new music genre for 2024.
I’m gonna go see Hootie and the Blowfish. They are they’re doing a tour this summer. I”ll be seeing them in June. I’ll buy you ticket you should come.
For Trish Steed, for Hootie and the Blowfish. My name is Steve Boese, thank you so much for listening to the show. We will see you next time. Check us out on everywhere you get your podcast. Bye for now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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