The future of HR: AI and the big brands

Welcome in February…

Does anyone else feel like January was much longer than the 31 days?

At P&M I think this was due to companies shining a real focus on their people as we kick started the new year. There were a lot of conversations and seeds of thoughts planted at the end of 2023, and it is great to see some of these projects beginning to take shape.

This is a great synergy with a book I have just finished, Wintering by Katherine May, which really reminds us that this is the season for rest, that the frosty cold mornings and the dark, longer days are all designed to slow us down a bit, so the important process of growth can happen. Very soon we will start to see those snow drops and we know the warmer days are on the way.

At P&M we have been investing in growth since last September and I am in the final stretch of study for an Advanced Accreditation in Executive Coaching in Intuitive Psychology. It is really exciting knowing I am the first of 20 students in the world to work towards this qualification and it has been transformational in levelling up my existing knowledge and pulling so many threads together.

I can’t wait to open up coaching time for people in the Spring. This framework supports people, creates space, brings clarity and simply investing time in yourself is so invaluable. More to come soon…

The future of AI in HR

It had to come into discussion at some point as it seems the momentum of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the influence / impact it is having on businesses has maneuvered its way into the HR sector and was on every CIPD/ HR agenda last year.

Having attended Content London, an event one of our clients is the mastermind behind, we were fortunate to hear a panel talk on how AI is complementing the film and TV industry. The key message I took from this was hugely amazing work was being created at such speed, but you still required skilled and amazing people to be part of the process.

AI is thought to bring benefits to help streamline and improve efficiency when getting work done – but how can it help HR?

The truth is, many HR professionals are already using AI to help manage time in their everyday work life and what needs to be considered now is the correct skill training in the application.

For example, running HR policies through AI to make them more ‘friendly’ may make them more accessible to some, but may take out the fundamental steps which ACAS require are followed. Having an experienced HR professional is so key in recognising this and ensuring that they are fair and inclusive.

A huge benefit are meeting transcribes, it takes hours to write clear and accurate notes to support employee relation cases. These do still require proof reading and sensor checking, I was schooled in the theory, write as if a judge is reading them in a Tribunal, keep them clear and accurate.

Much more discussion and thought around how we merge and manage AI within the workplace still to come in 2024 and how we upskill the talent pipeline of the future.

Big companies are investing in their People

It’s clear now that some pretty big brands are recognising the importance of the work-life balance battle and we’re watching the changes ensue before our eyes.

P&M have been talking LOUDLY about the importance of work-life balance and how flexibility in the workplace is one of the main priorities an employee looks for when they are on the hunt for that new career or role, it isn’t just about the well-being benefits.

Four day work weeks have been taking a particularly high regard to some big brand companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Lamborghini and Toshiba. These companies are not only finding their employees general well being to have improved but also their productivity and revenue.

With flexible working requests to become ‘ day one’ right in the UK from 6 April 2024, those companies who remain rigid in the 9-5 routine will have to adapt to a more flexible way of working to retain talent.

We see this as a win-win and a pleasure to see that the workforce standards are seeing some change. We’re keeping our eye out for those that are making flexible working a priority to their employees.

Burnt Toast Theory & Perseverance

As we start comfortably settling in for the ride of 2024, people may have looked back at 2023 and felt like that maybe it didn’t work out as planned. Well have you heard of Burnt Toast Theory? The idea is that what feels like bad luck (burning your toast) sets you back a little in the day, maybe you miss your train or get stuck in traffic because of it, but this little derailment could save you from something bigger and this is the universe just trying to nudge us in a different direction.

Stepping back, reassessing, readdressing and recognising this is a very powerful way of thinking and will benefit you in the long run. If you have to step back or sideways before you can move forward, please do not see this as a failure. The learnings from this is a fantastic opportunity for you to solidify your foundations and head towards a more purposeful 2024.

The idea that we cannot slow down or even stop to take a moment is not healthy. You can still persevere even when you choose to stand still.

If you’re looking for some true inspiration on Perseverance – one of P&M’s key core values – then look no further than Espresso Issue #4 where we celebrated incredible journeys of inspiring people.

Have the tenacity to believe in your journey and change your narrative on what perseverance means to you.


We would love to hear from you regarding topics highlighted today – AI and big names are making way in the HR sector but what are your thoughts on these new changes? Always delighted to hear from you all!

P&M are continuing to grow and evolve and this is the joy of being able to respond to what we feel people and our clients need.

With all big plans coming soon, we are very excited to get everything boxed up and tied with a bow ready to present to you all in the next few months.

Until next time!

Peony & Magnolia