What’s the focus in 2024?


Senga Allen

Depending on who you talk to, this year is going to be a cracker, wobbly or terrible.  More so, depending on what industry you’re working in.

The reality is that every year brings challenges, some exceptionally rewarding and others exceptionally heartbreaking.     As people and culture specialists, we are immersed in the ups and downs of workplace change, growth and contraction, and we are fortunate enough to take the pulse of a wide range of businesses across New Zealand.    Market information helps us form trends and themes which help us story tell other businesses.

The Everest People team have combined their thinking about the key people topics that business owners need to be vigilant about this year.

Here’s their top tips:

  • Retention – it’s easy to lose sight of your key talent when you’re going through change.  We often focus on cost savings and shaving headcount, increasing sales and process improvements  – but remember to protect the nest – engage with your stars, find out their needs and wants, understand their hearts and minds and don’t punish their hard work by giving them more work.
  • Cashflow management – keep on top of those late payers and be the squeaky wheel.  Money does make the world go around.  Don’t forget to tap into your trusted advisors before matters get worse and focus on the bottom line.
  • Wellbeing – a word of caution here – many employers still need to truly embrace wellbeing in the workplace as it just makes good business sense.  However in some cases we’re seeing the pendulum swing too far the other way.  A small minority of employees are using “wellbeing” as a reason for their unacceptable behaviour which may not be entirely truthful.
  • Behaviour in the workplace – this is an extension of my point above.  Workplace relationships need to be mutually beneficial to both parties and good faith means being open and transparent in your communication.   Some employers are avoiding dealing with poor performance and behaviours because they don’t have the skillset to hold people to account and some employees are taking advantage of that.
  • Workplace – where is that these days?  Office, work from home, hybrid?  Every workplace will be determined on the most productive environment for that business but remember, no matter your communication preferences, humans thrive on connections.  Are you a transactional workplace or a relationship based workplace?
  • Candidate expectations – is it a buyer or seller marketplace yet?  Do we have a talent shortage or not?  What will unemployment do this year?  Again, this really depends on who you talk to, but our take is that yes, there are more people coming to the market, but make sure you carry out your due diligence to hire the best talent for you team.  Unemployment is expected to peak around 5 per cent, which will have a knock on effect on the talent pipeline.
  • AI – it’s not going away.  Learn more about it – do your research – seek advice – give it a go (but please don’t write your cover letter solely with AI tools as we can tell), embrace it, manage it and protect your business from it if needed.


  • Senga Allen is Managing Director for Everest.



About Author

Senga Allen

Human Resource Specialist and Managing Director, Everest People. Waikato and BOP people and culture specialists. www.everestpeople.co.nz