2023 was a significant year for Employee Experience (EX). It was marked by both ongoing trends and new developments that were shaped by economic uncertainty, hybrid work realities, and evolving employee expectations.
Whilst we’ll likely continue to see the trendy workplace perks like ping pong tables and kombucha kegs, 2024 will bring a major shift in HR and employee experience.
The focus is moving from fleeting fads to building a deeper, more meaningful connection between employees and the organisations they work for.
With that in mind, what’s hot and what’s not for HR and EX in 2024?
- One-size-fits-all-approaches: In 2023, cookie-cutter training and standardised career paths left many employees feeling disengaged.
- Over reliance on gimmicks: Whilst a free lunch is nice, employees now seek purpose and a sense of belonging in their work.
- Ignoring the hybrid reality: The hybrid set-up is here to stay, and companies that fail to adapt will struggle to attract and retain their talent.
AI, AI, AI
2024 is poised to be the year AI truly transforms the HR landscape, particularly when it comes to enhancing the employee experience. Here’s just some core examples:
Personalised onboarding and development
Imagine an AI assistant welcoming new hires, guiding them through paperwork, and automatically assigning them relevant training based on their role and skills.
AI is starting to be used to personalise onboarding journeys, reduce stress and make employees feel valued from day one.
Similarly, AI can recommend personalised learning paths, career development opportunities, and even mentors based on individual strengths and aspirations.
Proactive performance management
Forget annual reviews and dreaded feedback conversations. AI will start to be used to analyse employee data and identify performance strengths and weaknesses in real-time.
Wellbeing and mental health support
AI-powered chatbots will become increasingly popular, offering confidential support and mental health resources to employees struggling with stress, anxiety and burnout.
Talent acquisition and retention
AI can analyse vast amounts of data to identify potential candidates who perfectly match a company’s culture and skill needs.
This targeted approach will be used to streamline recruitment, while AI-powered retention tools can predict employee flight risk and suggest interventions to keep top talent engaged.
Take IBM for example, who are already leveraging AI to predict employee flight risk and implement retention strategies. Or Microsoft, who are already using AI to identify diverse talent pools and reduce unconscious bias in their recruitment process.
Administrative efficiency and data-driven decision making
Probably a favourite one amongst the HR world, but we’ll start to see AI being used more to automate mundane tasks like payroll processing, scheduling, and benefits administration, freeing up HR teams to focus on strategic initiatives.
Additionally, we might see an increase in AI-powered analysis of employee data to uncover insights into engagement, satisfaction, and productivity; enabling HR to make data-driven decisions that benefit the entire workforce.
Employer Brand as the New Talent Magnet
Today’s job seekers crave authenticity, purpose, and values that resonate with their own.
Companies that prioritise crafting a compelling employer brand will enjoy a significant advantage in attracting and retaining the best people.
To create the most impact, companies will start to:
- Move beyond slogans: That means articulating their core value’s mission and impact in a way that resonates with potential employees.
- Show, not tell: There will be bigger emphasis on showcasing company culture through authentic employee stories, photos and videos.
- Connect with purpose: Employers will start to make a greater effort in communicating how their work makes a difference, whether that be through environmental sustainability, social responsibility, or innovation.
- Embrace diversity and inclusion: HR teams will start to look at how they can show a genuine commitment to creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and connected, rather than just ‘saying’ they do.
- Align employer brand with EX: Companies will start to ensure their company culture matches their employer brand promises.
Personalised Learning and Career Pathways
Forget stale training modules and rigid career ladders. 2024 is the year where personalised learning pathways take centre stage in EX strategies.
But why the shift?
- The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is failing: Employees have varied learning styles, skill sets, and career aspirations so a cookie-cutter approach no longer engages or equips employees for success.
- Technology is enabling better customisation: AI-powered tools and sophisticated tech are making it easier to design and personalise learning experiences.
- Employees are demanding purpose and growth: Employees crave meaningful work and opportunities to continuously learn and advance. Personalised pathways address these needs, helping to foster engagement and boost retention.
- The skills landscape is evolving rapidly: Automation and technological advancements necessitate adaptable workforces equipped with future-proof skills. Personalised learning helps employees stay relevant and prepares them for new challenges.
To implement these personalised pathways, HR teams will start to:
Invest in new tech
Utilisation of AI-powered tools for data analysis, learning content creation, and career pathway mapping.
Partner with employees
They’ll actively involve employees in defining learning and development goals and building career pathways.
Promote career mobility
HR teams will develop career pathways and work hard to provide opportunities for internal transitions and skill development.
Measure and iterate
We can expect to see greater adoption of tools that will allow HR teams to better track the impact of their strategies.
Greater alignment of the Customer and Employee Experience
Happy empowered employees deliver exceptional service, boosting brand reputation, efficiency, and loyalty.
This strategic shift will mean less turnover, happier customers, and a thriving organisation. As a result, we expect to see HR and customer service teams join forces over the coming year.
For 2024, this might look like:
- Technology as a bridge: Platforms will start to be adopted to unify employee and customer data, enabling real-time feedback and continuous improvement.
- Consumer-grade employee experiences: HR teams will start to explore tools and strategies to bring the consumer-grade experience their customers experience into the workplace.
- Brand ambassadors: HR teams will build out their employee advocacy programs where happy employees will actively share their positive experiences, promoting the brand authentically to customers far and wide.
- Well-being focus: Recognising the link between employee well-being and customer satisfaction, HR will prioritise mental health initiatives and positive work environments.
- HR and customer service collaboration: We might start to see joint training programs, shared metrics, and cross-functional projects become commonplace.
The HR Playbook for 2024
With these trends in mind, here’s our top tips for success this year:
Embrace AI wisely
Invest in AI tools that augment employee’s work, not replace them. Focus on human-centered design, invest in training and communication, start small and scale gradually, and prioritise ethical considerations.
It’s not just about learning pathways, offer individualised experiences that cater to the needs and aspirations of your employees throughout their end-to-end employee experience.
Understand your audience
Whether it’s looking to better align your EX and CX, or develop your employer brand; to do it well, you first need to understand your employees.
Treat them as you would a customer and hold focus groups with different employees to better understand their needs and pain points. Once you’ve got that core understanding, your other strategies will become much more effective.