Honoring HR | Happy International HR Day! Make a wish, to shape a better future of work

Happy International HR Day! Make a wish, to shape a better future of work

Happy International HR Day!

On May 20 each year, organizations across the globe come together to celebrate the HR profession and the crucial role they play in creating satisfied, engaged, and productive workplaces.

Organized by the European Association for People Management (EAPM), but celebrated by employers worldwide including in the US, it’s a chance for those in HR and the broader business alike to reflect on the hard work and dedication contributed by people teams.

Moreover, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the future of the profession, with this year’s theme aptly pushed as “HR Shaping the New Future.”

Happy IHR day! Make a wish… for HR to increase its value to the business?

The theme for this year’s International HR Day lies firmly in continuing the transformation of the function from administrative executor to strategic advisor and shaping a future of work that is inclusive, sustainable, supportive, and built on trust.

The EAPM suggests several avenues HR professionals should reflect on across May 20th and for the rest of the year, if they are to deliver an improved employee experience and better business outcomes in tow.

They range from enabling people to perform and driving equality and diversity of opportunity to building leadership and developing people and skills.

Recent years have seen seismic shifts in the role of HR, with many professionals believing the profession has finally taken on a more strategically valuable role to the business.

Sage’s ‘Changing Face of HR’ survey, for example, finds about 91% of C-suite and HR leaders say that the role has changed dramatically over the last five years in particular.

In the theme of 2024’s IHR Day, EAPM pushes HR to redouble their efforts and commit to creating a future workplace that protects employee wellbeing, improves their productivity, and in turn deliver improved results for the organization as a whole.

Planning future improvements, celebrating past successes

Beyond its central theme, IHR Day each year is also about the HR profession and business leaders acknowledging the hard work of the previous year.

EAPM proposes eight ways HR professionals can recognize each other, celebrate successes, and reward the hard work of those in the industry.

On their list are public recognition; awards and certificates; professional development opportunities; personalized thank-you notes; celebratory events; wellness programs; featured HR stories; and professional recognition.

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This wide-ranging list, the EAPM argues, will provide HR professionals with the internal and external appreciation they often miss throughout day-to-day work when they are otherwise focused on the recognition of other employees.

However, it can also be a springboard for year-round support for HR professionals that is often neglected by organizations. A 2024 SHRM study found that while nearly all HR professionals (95%) take pride in their work–indicating the need for recognition and celebration–47% say working in HR has hurt their mental health and wellbeing.

On International HR Day 2024, many within the profession will be reflecting on how they can create a better future of work and play an increasingly valuable role in guiding their organization. But it is also a time to pause, reflect, and celebrate the outstanding work that HR professionals do.

So, Happy International HR Day! How will you be celebrating the day? Let us know in the comments.

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