Five employee experience trends to prioritise
What are the five employee experience trends to prioritise in 2024?
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that employee expectations have fundamentally shifted.
For employers, it’s no longer enough to simply adapt to new workforce trends; they have to proactively respond to rapidly evolving needs, drivers and expectations.
Prioritising employee experience (EX) and demonstrating clear commitment to your people will be crucial in creating engagement and energy within this complex landscape.
So, what can we expect to see more of in 2024? Here’s a look ahead at some of the top trends set to shape experiences in the coming year.
  • AI-empowered employees
  • Tech and a human touch
  • Trust and personalised wellbeing
  • Cultures of continuous learning
  • Heroing hybrid
AI-empowered employees
The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence is inevitably reshaping the employee experience. In 2024, every role will grapple with the impact of generative AI, presenting both productivity gains as well as challenges and uncertainty.
From tools like ChatGPT to advanced sentiment analysis, AI is becoming increasingly common in the workplace. But despite its prevalence, concerns linger around what it means for people and their roles, particularly regarding job displacement and loss of control. But there are a few factors that appear to positively influence employee willingness to embrace this new norm. Namely, engagement and collaboration.
The latest Qualtrics trends report reveals that 53% of engaged employees express comfort with AI, while only 30% of disengaged employees do. Further, most respondents said they’d be comfortable using AI as a collaborative tool for helping with tasks such as writing (61%), personal assistance (51%) and internal workspace queries (46%).
Playing a proactive role in providing resources, time and a psychologically safe space for employees to further their understanding and use of AI as a collaborative (rather than controlling) tool and asset for enhancing efficiency and streamlining tasks, is key in empowering employees. This ties into the next trend, the need to balance tech with a human touch.
Tech and a human touch
The fusion of AI with the employee experience will require a delicate dance between efficiency and human connection. From recruitment to performance management, the adoption of AI tools in the employee journey boasts huge potential for enhanced productivity and HR processes. However, trends research suggests that for more personal aspects of the employee/talent experience such as interviews and performance assessments, the human touch is preferred.
Using and investing in tech to innovate, automate and optimise daily activities is seen as a strategy to allow HR professionals and leaders to shift their energy and focus more intensely on what matters most: their people.
Finding this balance and identifying where and how to dial up tech vs. human strengths and capabilities will be key in the year ahead, without compromising on the all-important connections and personal experiences that can make all the difference.
Trust and personalised wellbeing
In 2024, trust and wellbeing take the spotlight as crucial considerations for talent. Rising stress levels prompt a focus on mental health, with a growing demand for accessible counselling services, stress management support and burnout destigmatisation. As personalised wellbeing gains traction, employers must address individual emotional, physical and mental needs.
Simultaneously, trust restoration is vital after a year marked by widespread layoffs. Open dialogue, transparent communication and visible leadership will be key, as supported by our latest research where 88% of surveyed employees expressed a desire for honesty from leadership. Similarly, a culture of trust was seen as critical for unlocking productivity and innovation, with 69% of employees claiming they’d get more done if managers placed more trust in them.
This is the year to prioritise trust and wellbeing for enhanced engagement, motivation and commitment.
Cultures of continuous learning
Organisations are increasingly looking to upskill or reskill employees to address knowledge gaps. Access to mentorship and online courses or workshops are more sought after than ever. Employees claim they’d stay longer at companies that offer L&D opportunities. And 76% of Gen-Z employees want to acquire new skills in their training.
All of this points to another key trend for 2024: fostering a culture of continuous learning will be integral to meeting employee expectations and creating a strong employee experience.
Leaders who truly understand the role of L&D in organisational growth, together with a focus on creating a learning environment that offers people the chance to enhance skills and progress will be key to becoming an employer of choice.
Heroing hybrid
Despite many organisations’ push to pull people back into the office, hybrid working will prevail as the preferred approach in 2024.
It’s predicted that employees will continue to see the office as a crucial hub for connection and collaboration but only when balanced with the flexibility needed to maintain work-life harmony. According to Qualtrics’ latest report, employees working a hybrid schedule consistently have the highest engagement metrics, with those working five days on-site scoring the lowest.
For those still navigating the return-to-office landscape, it will be important to focus on creating high-value, commute-worthy experiences that align with the changing expectations of the modern workforce.
How can businesses stay ahead of the curve?
So, as we look to 2024, it’s time to embrace the employee experience evolution.
Whilst these trends are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complexity of the EX landscape, they underscore the importance of focusing on things like AI integration, personalisation, trust, well-being, continuous learning and the enduring appeal of hybrid work.
As the year unfolds, it’s predicted that organisations that prioritise these trends will create workplaces which fuel engagement, innovation and empowerment amongst their people.
At People Made, we advise businesses at all stages of growth to define their company culture.
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