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Updating the Employee Experience for 2024 and Beyond

January 19, 2024

TRANSFORMING
WORK

WITH
SOPHIE WADE

Updating the Employee Experience for 2024 and Beyond

Updating the Employee Experience for 2024 and Beyond

Cecelia Girr is the Strategy Director at TBWA\Worldwide and Director of Cultural Strategy at TBWABackslash. Cecelia’s career has been focused on researching, gathering, and distilling cultural intelligence to understand cultural changes, prevailing sentiments, core issues, and emerging trends. She shares insights from Backslash’s new Future of Employee Engagement report including employees’ desires and concerns, why flexibility and upskilling matter, and the importance of investing in employees’ experiences. Cecelia advocates for healthy employer/employee relationships with life stage-related and tailored benefits that help employees live better lives.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[02:52] A love of stories prompts Cecelia to study political science, having considered documentary filmmaking!

[04:12] Political science studies power that shapes the world, paying attention to nuance and ambiguity.

[05:43] Explaining cultural intelligence and solutions journalism—which focuses on learning from people trying to solve problems.

[06:51] Gathering intelligence and looking at the unintended consequences of actions and events.

[08:05] Before 2020, workplace culture was emphasized, but more as a ‘cult of work’ mentality.

[08:55] An earlier work revolution to make work sexy and coworkers pseudo family members.

[09:50] The pandemic caused us to recognize ‘toxic’ aspects and develop more healthy employer/employee relationships.

[12:05] Culture isn’t focused on ‘place’, but more on flexibility now and different aspects that are driving our relationship with work.

[13:38] The four big tensions comprising the employee experience today.

[15:20] Cecelia shares her key work-related issues—flexibility is top, then customizing benefits.

[16:37] Cecilia’s friends are focused on flexibility and always on upskilling, since college isn’t enough.

[17:28] How upskilling needs are affecting people of Cecelia’s parents’ age.

[18:44] Heat protection innovation is solving issues for outdoor workers facing hotter temperatures.

[22:00] As the speed of change increases, employees are needing to become educators.

[22:59] How employers are changing their attitude to investing in employees.

[24:25] Upskilling and internal marketplaces are not just for retention, they will be future recruitment tactics too.

[26:20] Companies are trying a variety of flexible options—not clear what the ‘right’ solution is—and employees will find their fit.

[28:31] Some companies are offering employees the chance to experience different countries.

[30:14] Artificial intelligence presents many positive opportunities as well as some concerning elements.

[31:57] Cecelia is excited about new employee benefits that can help people live better lives.

[33:35] Benefits that boost wellbeing—such as those supporting employees at family planning, life, and caregiving milestones.

[35:13] Compensation structures can now be customized to suit employees’ current priorities.

[36:33] Earned wage access—being paid at the end of the shift—enables workers to achieve more financial security.

[37:06] New emphasis on trying to find a wellness-oriented relationship with work.

[38:23] The possibilities of work helping you live a better life—from scheduling to adaptive pay and life-stage customized benefits.

[39:10] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: First, encourage transparency, listen to employees’ needs, and make long-lasting efforts to respond. Second, embrace flexibility, beginning by understanding employees’ lives and them as human beings. Third, invest in the employee experience, financially.

QUOTES

“Culture in the workplace was not emphasized with an eye towards the health of employees or with the individual at heart.”

“Now when we hear the word culture being used by company leaders, I feel it’s more about showing new intention…and making sure there’s a healthy relationship there between employer and employees.”
“Flexibility and upskilling are front of mind for people. The rate of change in what skills are demanded and desired is so quick. University doesn't exactly set you up for the workplace of today like it used to.”

“An evolution that's happening Is employers putting investment into becoming educators and ‘always on upskilling’ for their employees.”

“’Always on upskilling’ is not just about retention. It will be the recruitment tactic of the future.”

“I think people will look to the companies that define the kind of workplace environment that they want.”
“It's about becoming more customized and tailored to the specific life and life stage of the employee—where you're at in your career, where you're at in your finances, what you actually need in terms of support—all of these things are just going to make work help you live a better life.”

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