Workforce trends are often labeled for the social and economic circumstances under which they were created. From the “Great Resignation” during the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic to last year’s “Great Reshuffle,” we have seen multitudes of twists and turns.

Though 2024’s workforce trend has yet to be named, I would argue that what we are seeing among HR professionals is geared toward a period of “Great Renewal.” This year is an opportunity to renew our commitment to diversity and inclusion within and outside the workforce. It’s also a chance to enhance the employee experience, attracting, engaging and retaining top talent.

As executives and leaders, we have a responsibility to engage the employees and people who make our organization great and foster a culture that highlights our values.

Read the full piece here:

On April 23rd, 2024, the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced a finalized rule which will see the minimum compensation levels increasing for the ‘white collar’ exemptions to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime premium pay requirements.

The rule will significantly increase the minimum salary threshold for those who work in an executive, professional, or administrative role (the so called ‘white collar’ exemptions). The threshold will increase across two dates; one on July 1st, 2024, and the other will follow on January 1st, 2025.

The current threshold for this exemption is $684 per week ($35,568 annually). This threshold will increase as follows:

  • July 1st, 2024, the threshold will rise to $844 per week ($43,888 annually).
  • January 1st, 2025, the threshold will rise to $1,128 per week ($58,656 annually).

In addition to this, this new rule also increases the minimum annualized salary threshold to qualify for the highly compensated employee (HCE) exemption. As it stands, the current threshold for HCE employees is $107,432 annually, but this will increase as follows:

  • July 1st, 2024, the threshold will rise to $132,964 annually.
  • January 1st, 2025, the threshold will rise to $151,164 annually.

Employees who meet the new minimum pay requirements must also meet all the other requirements of the FLSA exemptions in order to apply for one. For clarity, here are the criteria that need to be met alongside salary for each ‘white collar’ role:


  • The primary duties of the employee must relate to managing the business, or a department within the business.
  • The employee must regularly manage at least two full-time employees, or the equivalent in part-time employees.
  • The employee must have the authority to hire or fire employees, or the employee’s recommendations on hiring, firing, and promotions must carry significant weight.


  • The employee’s primary duties must relate to work that is largely intellectual and involves the regular use of “discretion and independent judgment” (defined by the DOL).
  • The employee must work in a field of science or learning.
  • The employee must have acquired his or her knowledge through a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.


  • The employee’s primary duties must be the performance of office or nonmanual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the company (or the general business operations of the company’s clients).
  • The employee must regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment on important matters.

It is important for employers to be aware of these changes so to ensure that the employees who they are enrolling for exemption are still applicable against these new monetary criteria. This will either mean raising salaries to meet these new threshold increases, or formally reclassifying currently exempt employees and making them aware of their eligibility for overtime.

If you would like to discuss how we can help assist you with auditing your current payroll in anticipation of this change, as well as overseeing the management of this change, please get in touch with us.

I am delighted to be welcoming Clare Parkes to the OrgShakers team!

Clare is a results driven CHRO, with 30 years’ experience in global, consumer, entrepreneurial, B2B, and matrix organizations primarily in FMCG, Retail and Technology industries.

A strategist and change agent, she thrives on creating commercial value through people, delivering results and leading transformational change in complex environments. With an inclusive leadership style, Clare has a track record of providing strong counsel to stakeholders, equipping people and businesses for today while building capability for tomorrow.

With proven expertise in driving organisational growth, enhancing employee engagement, and fostering a high-performance culture, she excels in developing and executing HR strategies that align with business objectives. These strategies, in turn, drive profitability, streamline operations and improve talent acquisition, growth, and retention.

In doing so, Clare takes pride in helping create an organizational environment where team members can have a rewarding and long-lasting sense of achievement in their roles, and a deeper engagement with the customer, their work, and their team.

David Fairhurst, Founder & CEO

I am delighted to be welcoming Patsy Doerr to the OrgShakers team!

Patsy is an award-winning thought leader, speaker, coach and facilitator. In recent years, she received the Tri-State Diversity Council’s Most Powerful & Influential Woman Award.

With a focus on Social and Community Impact, she has expertise in talent development, diversity, equity & inclusion, corporate responsibility and ESG/sustainability. Her greatest passion is helping organizations build and develop initiatives that best position them for long-term success in a diverse, global environment.

Her commitment to change and cultural impact has allowed her work to be featured in several publications and conferences including Forbes, The Hill, The Muse, Milken Institute and Sustainable Brands.

Patsy’s impact and success are rooted in more than 25 years of experience building and leading functions for organizations in the financial services, data, media and non-profit arenas. Before starting Change for Social Good LLC as an independent consultant, she was the Chief ESG and People Officer at UDR, a leading multi-family real estate investment trust. Prior to this, she served as CEO of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and as global head of Diversity and Inclusion at Credit Suisse, respectively.  Before assuming this position, she was responsible for building and leading Thomson Reuters’ diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and ESG/sustainability functions. In this capacity, she successfully launched the ESG Institute, a cutting-edge resource and support center tasked with building awareness and understanding around Social Impact issues and metrics. She is also a brand ambassador frequently speaking on talent management and social impact, as well as an Adjunct Professor of DEI at Fordham University.

Additionally, Patsy has served on several boards and committees that align with both her business and personal passions (inclusion and education), including Marymount School of New York, Women’s World Banking, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, All in Together, Multiplying Good and the Queens Museum.

Patsy holds a BS in Biology from Washington and Lee University (lifetime member of the ODK Honor Society) as well as a Master of Science in Adult Learning and Organizational Development from Fordham University (summa cum laude). 

David Fairhurst, Founder & CEO

A report issued by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 72% of carers in the UK are providing care in addition to full-time paid work.

In response to this enormous number, the Carers’ Leave Act was laid before Parliament at the latter end of 2023, and from April 6th 2024, it will officially go into effect. So, what does this mean for employers?

The new Carers’ Leave Act will most notably introduce an entitlement to one week’s unpaid leave for employees with caring responsibilities. These can be taken as full or half days, and this leave will be a day-one right – that is, employees will have the right to request this leave from their first day of employment.

For employees to request this flexible leave, they will need to offer advance notice that is at least twice the length of the time being requested as leave, plus one day (for example, if an employee requests two days off, they need to make this request at least five working days prior).

There will be a variety of factors and criterion that have to be considered in order for a worker to qualify for this leave (are they a primary carer? Who is the dependant? Does the dependant have a long-term care need?). The finer details of the Carers’ Leave Act can be found here for employers to review.

This new Act is being introduced in order to highlight the need for employers to begin supporting those employees who double as working carers. Previously, a working carer was expected to use other kinds of leave in order to care for a loved one who was in need of care, such as flexible working arrangements or annual leave, but now this Act provides the entitlement to specific leave dedicated to these caring needs.

Therefore, employers should be ensuring that, before April 6th, they are updating or creating new policies that reflect this new legislation. They should also be communicating to their teams how to go about requesting this leave and what criteria has to be met to be entitled to it. Employers may also decide whether or not they want to offer this leave as paid leave either in full or in part, or whether it will be a week of unpaid leave.

At OrgShakers, we have always been passionate about the support of unpaid carers in the workplace, as those employers who can successfully recognize and support these workers are going to be in the best position to optimize their productivity. If you would like to discuss how we can help support your business in creating working carers policies, please get in touch with us.

While many jobs still offer hybrid- or remote-working patterns, more bosses are mandating their employees to return to the office on a full-time basis.

But for some of these companies, getting workers fully back on-site comes with a high price tag. This is particularly the case in the US, which has seen the most dramatic shift to flexible working – by January 2024, around 29% of all paid workdays were still worked from home. “Employers who cannot compete on flexibility will have to compete more aggressively on pay,” says Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, based in California. 

The result is that US wages for fully in-office roles are surging. According to ZipRecruiter data, seen by the BBC, companies were offering on average $82,037 (£64,562) for fully in-person roles by March 2024 – an increase of more than 33% versus 2023 ($59,085; £46,499). The trend is cross-sector: compared to hybrid ($59,992; £47,211) and fully remote ($75,327; £64,320) roles, workers appear to be more likely to increase their salaries by returning to pre-pandemic office schedules. 

Part of this is compensating for the loss of flexibility that workers have prioritised for the past few years – the greater the push to relinquish that autonomy, the more employers have to offer to compensate. The ZipRecruiter data shows that workers who swapped from fully remote to fully in-office set-ups in the US through 2023 received a 29.2% pay bump – nearly double that of those moving the other way.

Read the full article here:

I am delighted to be welcoming Christian Fernandez to the OrgShakers team!

Christian is a Future of Work, Talent Transformation and Work Optimization Leader with 15 years of strategy development and execution in Agile Business Transformation, Organization Design & Effectiveness, and Process Re-engineering.

A unique combination of Industrial Engineering and Organizational Development experience has allowed him to effectively coach executives in developing roadmaps to achieve a “High Performing Organization” through alignment of people, processes and technology that improve organizational capabilities and yield higher profit margins, operational efficiencies, and employee engagement.

He has supported many organizations in their transformation efforts by leveraging Lean Six Sigma methodologies. Christian co-lead the Organizational Design practice at Prudential Financial and operationalized the future of work operating model that enabled their 3-year enterprise transformation focused on work, workplace and workforce. In 2023, he joined Northwestern Mutual to build and lead their Strategic Workforce Planning capability.

Christian has also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Behavior with a concentration in Enterprise Change Management from NYU Tandon School Engineering.

David Fairhurst, Founder & CEO

I am delighted to be welcoming Karen Cerrato to the OrgShakers team!

Karen is a seasoned HR professional with vast experience in Human Resources and a passion for high growth and fast paced environments. Most recently, Karen served as the Director of Human Resources for Lennox National Account Services, a division of Lennox International Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, FL for 10 years. She led the HR Operations for their national services organization across the US, growing from about 300 employees to over 800.

Along with this, Karen also served for 6 years on the Board of Directors for HRABC, the local SHRM chapter in Broward County.

Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies with a certificate in HR from Barry University, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Nova Southeaster University, Karen has a passion for HR and the impact one can have in an organization’s People initiatives and an individual’s potential career success.

David Fairhurst, Founder & CEO

In a move that underscores the evolving landscape of workplace benefits, the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has recently unveiled a groundbreaking parental leave policy. Effective from 1 July 2024, this policy not only represents a significant step forward in the realm of employee benefits, but also marks an important shift in the paradigm for Human Resources (HR) management worldwide. Understanding this shift is crucial for firms aiming to stay ahead in the competitive global market.

LSEG’s new policy offers an impressive 26 weeks of fully paid leave to all employees with more than 12 months’ service who are welcoming a child into their family. This is irrespective of the parent’s gender, how they become a parent, or their location, ensuring equal opportunity for all LSEG parents to engage in child caregiving. This initiative is a substantial leap towards achieving true Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, setting a global benchmark that other organizations are likely to follow.

Why does this matter for HR?

            1.         Attracting and Retaining Talent: In today’s job market, where competition for top talent is fiercer than ever, benefits like LSEG’s parental leave policy can be a significant differentiator. By offering such forward-thinking benefits, companies can attract a more diverse talent pool and retain employees who value family-friendly workplace policies.

            2.         Promoting Gender Equality: Traditional parental leave policies often reinforce gender stereotypes by assuming primary caregiving roles for one gender over the other. LSEG’s gender-neutral policy challenges these norms, promoting a more inclusive environment that supports and encourages shared parental responsibilities.

            3.         Supporting Work-Life Balance: The addition of an eight-week phased return to work, with employees working 80% of their normal hours at full pay, acknowledges the challenges of balancing professional and personal responsibilities. This approach can lead to healthier, more productive employees.

            4.         Enhanced Support for Neonatal Care: Recognizing the additional challenges faced by families with children requiring neonatal care, LSEG’s enhanced leave policy provides critical support during difficult times. This consideration reflects a deeper understanding of employee needs and a commitment to supporting them through life’s challenges.

LSEG’s policy is more than just a generous employee benefit; it is a statement on the importance of nurturing an inclusive, supportive, and equitable workplace culture. For HR professionals, it serves as a clear indicator of the shifting expectations towards employee welfare and the role of organizations in facilitating this. As firms navigate the complexities of the modern workforce, adapting to these shifts is not just beneficial but essential for sustainable growth and success.

For HR professionals and firms worldwide, this new global parental leave policy highlights the importance of re-evaluating traditional policies and practices to align with the evolving expectations of the workforce. As we move forward, embracing such paradigm shifts in HR will be pivotal in building more resilient, inclusive, and competitive organizations. If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your policy creation, please get in touch with us.

Do you remember the metaverse?

In the latter half of 2022, the hype surrounding the metaverse had reached an all-time high. Employers and HR professionals were preparing to usher in this digital working world, and had begun to examine what considerations would have to be taken into account when working with an avatar of oneself.

However, as quickly as the metaverse came around, it seems to have faded. Disney and Microsoft are both closing their metaverse departments, and Tinder announced that it was abandoning its plans for virtual world dating.

This may be in part due to the fact that the concept of the metaverse started gaining traction in a time where we had only just emerged from global lockdown. With the pandemic making employers realise that remote working was a necessity, it was no wonder that Meta wanted to capitalize on this realisation by soft launching the metaverse on the back of it. After all, it was teed up to be the next step in the evolution of working from home.

But now, the world has started to fall back into old habits. We are seeing return to office mandates in all corners of the working world, and the hybrid model seems to be the ideal balance for most employers and employees.

This is all without mentioning the fact that AI has seemingly dethroned the metaverse as the latest technological craze, with 93% of employers expecting to use generative AI in the workplace in the next five years.

But why has AI stuck whilst the metaverse has waned?

The most obvious answer is that generative AI is relatively easy to use, and readily accessible for all. Leading voices in AI like ChatGPT have made it so that the creation of original(ish) content is at your fingertips, and it doesn’t cost anything. As long as employers are taking the time to invest in the learning and development of their staff around optimizing the use of generative AI, then they will be able to use it to optimize productivity by having AI absorb the more monotonous, admin-based tasks.

AI continues to make strides in the corporate world – at the end of last year, we were introduced to Harriet, an AI virtual assistant tailored to help HR professionals – but this does not mean that we have seen the end of the metaverse. After all, generative AI has been around for quite some time, and after years of development, has finally gained the capabilities needed for it to be used on such a large scale.

So maybe what we are seeing is not the metaverse fading away, but rather taking an educated step back whilst AI settles cozily into our everyday working lives. At this moment in time, there isn’t a clear need for virtual working worlds, but as we continue to digitalise, we may well see the metaverse come back into fashion in a few years’ time.

Until then, if you would like to discuss the training services we offer around the integration of generative AI into your workplace, please get in touch with us.

Elmo, one of the furry stars of Sesame Street, is beloved by kids and parents alike for his sweet, wholesome nature. But things took a dark turn on Elmo’s social media last week—a situation that, employee wellness experts say, should raise the alarm for HR leaders.

The character took to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Jan. 29 with a simple question: “How is everybody doing?” And followers did not hold back.

“Every Monday, I can’t wait for Friday to come,” wrote one commenter. Another said: “Elmo, I just got laid off.” Comments included phrases like “existential dread” and “grief” and touched on topics from abortion to anxiety about the upcoming presidential election. “Elmo, we are not OK,” one poster summarized.

While the post generated plenty of humorous fodder, it highlighted the ongoing challenge for HR leaders: addressing employee wellness in increasingly uncertain and unstable environments.

Read the full piece here:

PeopleScout partnered with skills-based workforce management platform provider Spotted Zebra to survey over 100 senior HR and talent acquisition leaders globally, plus over 2,000 employees worldwide, to compare perspectives. Our new research report, The Skills Crisis Countdown, maps the skills landscape and diagnoses the disconnects between employers and their workforce.

According to a study by PwC, 40% of global CEOs believe their business will be economically unviable in 10 years unless they reinvent for the future. Our study revealed that nine out of 10 HR leaders believe that up to 50% of their workforce will require new skills to effectively perform their job in the next five years. Yet, when asked if they are currently undergoing or planning a workforce transformation initiative in the next three years, nearly half (45%) of HR leaders admit to having no plans to undertake one.

So, in other words, half of employees will soon be underprepared for the future, but most companies have no strategy in place to address the issue.

Read the full report here:

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