What Does the Future of Employee Experience Look Like?

Simon Rutter

Award-winning Sr Communications Strategist

15 Jan 2024

What Does the Future of Employee Experience Look Like?

Simon Rutter shares his five predictions for the future of employee experience, from AI and personalization to its impact as a culture differentiator. 


First, the good news. In a recent survey of Chief Human Resource Officers, improving employee experience (EX) is the top priority for the vast majority (75%) in 2024. However, with continued global economic fragility, budget to invest in EX will likely remain limited for the foreseeable future. 

As a result, EX practitioners will need to get creative, focus on key moments that deliver maximum ROI, and forge ever closer bonds across and with the functions responsible for delivery. Crucially, they’re going to need to do all this while making their cultures, processes, and technology more people-centric than ever before. 

Here we’re going to look at five key areas impacting the future of employee experience, and (as always) get practical on how you can prepare for each. 

1. Think big, act small

EX is still a newborn profession, and its ambition (to improve everyone’s experience of work) can sometimes feel so all-encompassing that it paralyzes the organization. Many businesses simply don’t know where to start. 

As a result, leading companies on EX are taking a systematic approach, which enables them to dream big but start small. As EX practitioners often work in agile ways, they are keen to experiment, assess, and learn. With limited resources, EX teams can be successful by focusing on repairing broken experiences that require the least amount of time/money and demonstrate the most ROI. While onboarding is an obvious one, other processes such as recognition can be equally impactful. 

In 2024, teams will continue to work on isolated, specific experiences. While it’s hard to disagree with the EX Report conclusion that a more holistic and strategic approach is needed, right now EX professionals need to get quick wins working with what they have. When they prove this value, they will be able to move on to designing truly connected experiences that are baked in, rather than bolted on to, organizational strategy. 

How can you prepare for it?

Crunch the data, and go where you can make a visible, financially quantifiable difference – and fast.

2. Collaboration as a must, not a nice to have

Ownership of EX in an organization can be centralized, split, added on, or non-existent. And while increasingly it is Chief Information Officers who control the EX budget, every department in the company has a role to play in its delivery. 

Three departments – IT, HR, and Communications – must work together to drive EX, including strategy, coordination, and measurement. While in the past these departments had clear hand-offs, when it comes to EX in the future, they all need to be more hands-on and across each other’s respective domains. For example, HR need to better understand tech stacks, while IT must factor EX into their buying decisions. And Communications must help employees understand and use new tools. 

Indeed, the proliferation of platforms, often without training and awareness, is causing employees major challenges at work. In one survey, 68% of workers said they faced at least one challenge concerning the software they use to do their jobs. With just 5% of practitioners believing that their EX is connected from beginning to end, closer collaboration and integration between HR, IT, and Communications is vital to deliver the seamless EX employees want. 

How can you prepare for it?

Create a separate EX team with representatives from the three functions, rather than putting EX into one of them.

3. EX as a cultural differentiator  

Belonging is at the heart of EX. Creating a healthy culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) reflects a workplace that puts people first, and that in turn will lead to an increasing focus on EX. But getting that flywheel spinning is not easy. While many organizations make commitments on DEI, fewer than half of employees believe this is backed by action. It is also getting harder to maintain and deepen working relationships in a hybrid or remote-first world. 

In the face of such challenges is a huge opportunity. By listening to employees and involving them in the design, delivery, and measurement of EX, you can:

  • Create a truly employee-centric EX
  • Be certain that you are addressing real employee needs
  • Boost feelings of belonging that can turbocharge your EX 

This may sound obvious, but it’s a massive shift from current EX practices, which rely on traditional tools rather than routinely involving the people who matter most – employees. Whether it is employee representation in EX teams, use of personas, or journey mapping, a systemic approach is indicative of a culture that walks its talk on belonging. The organizations that are putting EX at the heart of their culture are standing out and finding it easier to attract and retain talent. 

How can you prepare for it?    

Invite nominations from employees to join your EX team, and clearly explain what’s in it for them. 

4. AI as an EX accelerant 

The use of Generative AI has spread like wildfire, transforming the nature of work for employees in many sectors. The Capgemini Research Institute recently found that 96% of organizations have generative AI on their agenda – with many optimistic about its potential benefits.

And with good reason. Used effectively, AI can automate away low-value, repetitive tasks, and free up employees to be more strategic, innovative, and productive. By stripping out high volume but menial and energy-sapping activities, employees can focus on the high-impact work (cultural, creative) that will move their organizations forward, generating greater engagement, pride, and pleasure in their work. 

AI also makes it possible to create centralized systems that could create frictionless, consistent approaches to all moments in the employee lifecycles. Yes, the human touch is still essential to create deeper and more enduring connections between employees and their employers. And businesses must educate their people on security, privacy, ethics, and many other issues that arise with AI. But much of what frustrates people at work – too many tools, inefficient systems, inconsistent processes – and the associated stress and productivity bleed could potentially be removed by generative AI. 

How can you prepare for it?    

Create an AI strategy that is human-centered and maximizes all opportunities to improve your EX.

5. The age of personalization 

For many years we have expected personalization in the consumer world, and this is now the same for our workplaces. Employees want information, communications, and tools that are either automatically personalized, or customizable – and easily (like Workvivo). Tailored experiences increase engagement, job satisfaction, and wellbeing. With disengagement costing companies $8.8 trillion in lost productivity, putting personalization at the heart of your EX is critical for business performance. 

However, while one size does not fit all, personalization remains a tough not to crack. With such a vast array of preferences, patterns, and styles, it can seem impossible to accommodate everyone’s individual needs. Here again, generative AI could help, from innovations such as AI-powered virtual assistants, who understand your unique work style and optimize your workflow accordingly, and personalized learning paths based on your development areas, so you can learn the skills you need, on demand. 

Such hyper-personalization may sound fantastical, but forward-thinking companies are already using AI and other tools in this way. This type of personalization is changing what is possible, and is fast becoming a key consideration for EX teams as they re-think the modern workplace. 

How can you prepare for it?    

When mapping your employee lifecycle, include personalization at every stage.

Looking to the future of employee experience

No one knows what the future holds, so these are intentionally not predictions, but more areas of enormous potential for the future of EX. And regardless of your resources, there are plenty of ways to get started (I shared five in this blog). For EX, it really is just the start of the journey.


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