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Posted on 8 February 2024

Employee Experience in 2024: HR’s 4 Non-Negotiables

4 minute read

An age of disconnection 

As we all know, the post-pandemic world has shaken up the modern workplace. This unprecedented time has placed significant reconsiderations in employees’ minds – why they join, and remain within, a business. The model of how, where, and when we work has changed drastically, and so employees’ priorities have evolved drastically. Yet, four years on, many businesses are continuing to overlook a crucial puzzle piece when mapping out their People strategies: restoring human connection.

HR’s next ‘Great’ challenge 

The ongoing disconnect has resulted in global workplace phenomena. We’re now all too familiar with the coined phrases of ‘The Great Resignation’, and ‘Quiet Quitting’ that point to a rather bleak outlook. In 2023 came the introduction of ‘The Great Gloom’, following latest figures showing that since 2020, employee satisfaction has been in steady decline and due to this, 33% of UK workers are predicted to leave their role in 2024. So, it’s hardly surprising that over a third of HR leaders have named retention to be the biggest challenge they face for 2024.

Of course, ‘The Great Gloom’ brings with it significant business risk. Globally, Gallup estimates employee dissatisfaction is costing the economy upwards of £8.8 trillion. On an individual level, businesses are challenged with disengaged, unproductive teams planning their exit route.

The overlooked workforce

This growing disconnect is particularly magnified within the deskless demographic as we begin 2024. Despite representing 80% of the global workforce, latest data demonstrates frontline employees to be the overlooked and unheard majority.

The ‘offline’ workforce operating away from a desk, they are the people behind customer purchasing, production lines, essential works and our emergency services to name a few. During the pandemic, their integral role in keeping the world turning was championed, despite being the demographic most at risk of employment loss. Yet four years into our post-pandemic recovery, our once-championed essential workers have never appeared to be more back of mind.

Latest research shows 51% of UK deskless employees say they feel expendable by their employer, and 32% believe they’re regarded as inferior by their corporate, desk-based colleagues. Plus, only 10% feel they have access to the right technology tools to keep them connected and empowered at work.

If businesses are looking to prioritise engagement and retention in 2024, they must first assess the principles their employee experience is built upon. To authentically restore human connection with teams, strategies must centre around just this – employees themselves.

So, what are the non-negotiable principles of employee experience in 2024?

1. Purpose. 

Employees are now seeking more from their roles – they seek meaning and that they’re actively contributing to a purpose beyond profits. Because of this, the role of culture has never been more powerful in creating an environment that empowers teams with a purpose-led vision and set of values they can share mutually. When employees identify with and believe their workplace culture to be positive, they’re 3.8x more likely to be engaged – proving this to be a catalyst for maximising team potential in 2024.

 2. Wellbeing. 

Wellbeing sits high on the 2024 agenda. And employers must proactively demonstrate how they are support their people both in and outside of work. As the cost of living continues to bite, demand for relevant and targeted wellbeing support is rising from candidates and employees alike. Tick-box approaches are no longer cutting it – as they navigate a climate more challenging than ever, 42% of UK employees now value the benefits on offer to them as the most important factor they seek from a business, rising to 55% for 18-34 year olds. The businesses neglecting to fulfil the wellbeing needs of their teams will face painful and expensive consequences.

3. Humanity. 

The ongoing disconnect has resulted in a fundamental workplace pitfall: the absence of human connection. Employees are now largely seen as an anonymous, collective entity, with their individual power and value too often going overlooked. Latest statistics show 33% of employees feel unappreciated at work and over half of frontline workers feel expendable to their employer. It’s time for employees to be valued, heard and seen as individuals for their contributions – and for visibility of this across the business to be exemplified at all levels.

4. Belonging. 

93% of HR leaders agree belonging is a crucial predictor of organisational success, employee turnover and eNPS scores – yet only 25% of the workforce currently feel like they belong. As DEIB continues to climb HR’s agenda, there remains much work to be done in how employers turn strategy into reality. And modernised approaches are now required in a modern workplace. Belonging should not (and no longer can) rely on in-person connection. The focus must shift to belonging being felt wherever teams are through meaningful engagement built upon empowerment, connection, inclusivity and role models through leveraging the right technology and tools as a force for good.

A multi-dimensional approach

Whilst the challenges of the past few years have presented HR with significant barriers to overcome, leaders now need to reconfigure the framework behind their People strategies to centre around, well, people. And importantly, what employees need to thrive in the workplace – in terms of engagement, belonging, wellbeing and purpose.

Tick-box, ‘cookie cutter’ approaches are now ever more transparent, and employees seek business that genuinely prioritise each of these areas. To achieve this, multi-dimensional approaches that reflect the diversity of needs across the workforce are key – particularly when looking to attract and retain dispersed or deskless teams. When businesses invest in their people, great things happen. So, in 2024, businesses must reframe how they view the employee experience under these four crucial principles. Four years on, it’s time to restore HR’s overlooked puzzle piece – human and authentic connection.

Discover how employees get more with a people-led platform that empowers all corners of their experience, wellbeing and potential in Rippl’s Platform Overview Brochure. Grab a coffee and take a look around.


Posted by
Chris Brown
Managing Director