5 Workplace Culture Trends for Companies to Watch in 2024

 5 Workplace Culture Trends for Companies to Watch in 2024

Company Culture

Here are 5 workplace culture trends you should be getting ready for in the year ahead to create an environment where every employee can succeed.

For companies trying to build a positive workplace culture, 2024 will present some complex challenges. Artificial intelligence (AI) is upending the workplace, and employees are clamoring for training and tools to stay ahead of a rapidly changing business environment. Recession fears have most organizations scrutinizing every investment, including investments in culture. Environmental concerns are rising, and the efforts to remake the industries of the world will impact every company. Diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging (DEI&B) leaders have seen their roles change and, in some cases, diminish. Mental health challenges are mounting across the country.

With each of these challenges, business leaders have an unmatched opportunity. New data from Boston Consulting Group shows more than a quarter of employees globally are ready to leave their current jobs.

The best way to keep your talent? Create a great workplace culture built on trust, where every employee has a consistently positive experience.

Great Place To Work® research shows that it’s the company, not the industry or size, that determines how employees feel at work. The key ingredient is employee trust, where leaders build deep relationships with employees in all job types and role levels, where workers are proud of the work they do, and feel a sense of belonging to the people they work with.

Here’s what that will require in 2024:

Workplace Culture Trust

1. Make trust the most important asset for your business

Trust has never been more valuable, and the year ahead will only make trust harder to earn. The rise of artificial intelligence, and ongoing transformation of digital information systems will force consumers to ask more questions.

“We’re entering an era where trust will mean 10 times what it meant in 2023,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work. Companies will have to prove they are doing things to make the planet better, that they are adopting and launching new technology in a responsible and ethical manner, and that they can be trusted to wield their growing influence transparently and ethically.

Not only will trust matter in the current moment, but people will question if they can trust companies for the coming decade as new technology drives a radical transformation of life. “It’s going to be a commitment,” Bush says.

To understand what companies they trust, Bush believes consumers will look to the employees of the company. “You can trust a company in terms of how they’re using artificial intelligence when you know their employees trust them,” he says.

Workplace Culture Mental Health

2. Find more ways to support and improve mental health for every employee

According to a 2023 market survey of more than 4,400 employees by Great Place To Work, mental health hasn’t improved for employees at typical workplaces.

However, Great Place To Work Certified™ workplaces outperform this benchmark, with 83% of employees reporting psychological and emotionally health work environments. Only 55% of employees said the same at typical workplaces.

The biggest differences between great workplaces and the average? Fairness.

Employees at great workplaces were more likely to report receiving a fair share of company profits, a fair shot at a promotion, and fair treatment from their manager. Companies that want to improve mental health for all employees will have to investigate the structural causes of burnout and fatigue across the organization and turn employee feedback into clearly communicated action.

Workplace Culture Talent Development

3. Increase your focus on retention, upskilling, and talent development

As finding talent with the right skills becomes more difficult, employers will have to invest more developing the talent they need internally. Even when companies are reducing headcount, they need skilled workers to continue operating the business.

A focus on recruitment shifts to a focus on developing and reskilling the workers you already have.

While the macroeconomic picture in Canada appears to be avoiding the recession that was prophesized in early 2023, business leaders will remain cautious. Yet, a skills gap remains a top concern, with 26% of CEOs ranking a talent shortage as the top “damaging factor” to their business outlook, per Gartner.

This might be the year to launch your internal talent marketplace, or revolutionize your learning and development tools with AI and new technology.

Workplace Culture Talent Diversity

4. Make sure all DEI&B programs are aligned with business goals

Despite some prominent business leaders rallying against diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging initiatives, data shows that those voices are outliers.

According to The Conference Board, three-quarters (78%) of S&P / TSX 60 companies incorporate ESG performance into CEO compensation. Nine in 10 of the S&P 500 use at least one metric related to human capital management to calculate executive compensation.

What this means is DEI&B programs that aren’t connected to clear business outcomes and revenue are disappearing. What will have permanence are programs that contribute to company performance.

Workplace Culture leadership

5. Double down on developing the best leaders in the world for your company

Workplace culture starts with leadership, and the best workplaces are committing large resources to developing their people to lead with empathy and courage.

“You can trust a company in terms of how they’re using artificial intelligence when you know their employees trust them." - Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work

As the business landscape has changed, what it means to be a leader has also changed. Employees expectations of their leader have shifted: Inspiring visionaries are giving way to coaches and mentors who can both lead the way and empower their people to lead in their own right.

The nine high-trust leadership behaviors will play an enormous role in differentiating the companies that can build trust in the age of AI, global disruption, and business transformation, and those that will fall behind.

Learn More: 9 High-Trust Leadership Behaviors Everyone Should Model

Authors: The article is co-authored by Alison Grenier and Ted Kitterman.

About Great Place to Work®

Great Place to Work® is the Global Authority on Workplace Culture. We make it easy to survey your employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for your great company culture. 
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Alison Grenier
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