4 Workplace Culture Trends ANZ Companies Should Keep an Eye on in 2024

As March commences, here are four emerging trends shaping workplace cultures.

For companies striving to cultivate exceptional workplace environments, 2024 presents a multifaceted challenge.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing workplaces, prompting employees to seek training and resources to navigate a rapidly evolving business landscape. Concurrently, environmental concerns are escalating, with endeavors to transform global industries set to impact every organization.

Amidst these challenges, business leaders have a unique opportunity. Recent data from Boston Consulting Group indicates that over a quarter of employees worldwide are contemplating leaving their current positions.

The most effective approach to retaining talent involves establishing a stellar workplace culture where every employee consistently enjoys a positive experience.

Research from Great Place To Work® underscores that it’s the company itself, not just the industry, that shapes employees’ workplace perceptions. Company size also proves secondary in importance. The critical factor lies in fostering employee trust, characterized by leaders forging meaningful connections with staff across various job roles and levels, fostering a sense of pride in their work, and fostering a strong sense of camaraderie among colleagues.

Here’s what this entails for 2024:

Elevate Trust as Your Business’s Most Precious Asset

In the evolving landscape of 2024, trust emerges as an invaluable currency, with its acquisition becoming increasingly challenging. The proliferation of artificial intelligence, rising living costs, and the continuous evolution of digital information systems compel consumers to demand greater transparency and accountability.

According to UKG, a staggering 54% of employees remain unaware of their company’s utilization of AI. It is those organizations that prioritize communication and foster a culture of trust that will flourish amidst the ascent of these technologies.

    “We are entering an era where trust will carry tenfold significance compared to 2023,” remarks Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work. Companies must demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship, ethical technology adoption, and transparent and ethical conduct to earn trust amidst their growing influence.

    Furthermore, trust will not only be crucial in the present moment but will extend into the coming decade, as emerging technologies drive significant shifts in daily life. “It will require a steadfast commitment,” emphasizes Bush.

    To ascertain which companies warrant trust, consumers are likely to scrutinize the sentiments of the company’s employees. “A company’s utilization of artificial intelligence can be trusted when its employees have trust in them,” adds Bush.

    Prioritize Mental Health Support for All Employees

    A notable portion of Australian and New Zealand employees—20% and 20% respectively—feel their employers neglect their well-being, with a corresponding 20% of New Zealanders experiencing perpetual stress at work, as per a 2023 survey.

    However, workplaces certified by Great Place To Work outperform the norm, with 83% of employees reporting psychologically and emotionally healthy work environments.

      “We are entering an era where trust will carry tenfold significance compared to 2023.” – Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work

      Employees at these exemplary workplaces are more likely to perceive fairness in profit-sharing, promotional opportunities, and managerial treatment. To enhance mental health support across the board, organizations must delve into the systemic causes of burnout and fatigue and translate employee feedback into tangible action plans.

      Intensify Focus on Retention, Upskilling, and Talent Development

      As the quest for talent with requisite skills becomes increasingly arduous, employers must redouble their efforts in nurturing internal talent. Even amid workforce reductions, skilled personnel remain imperative for business continuity.

      The emphasis on recruitment must shift towards the cultivation and upskilling of existing talent pool.

        Concerns regarding the skills gap and shortages persist across various Australian and New Zealand industries, with 26% of CEOs identifying talent scarcity as the primary impediment to their business outlook, per Gartner.

        This year presents an opportune moment to forge partnerships with underserved communities or revolutionize learning and development initiatives with AI and innovative technologies.

        Strengthen Leadership Development Efforts

        At the heart of workplace culture lies effective leadership, with leading organizations dedicating resources to groom individuals capable of leading 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 undergoes transformation, the essence of leadership evolves in tandem. Employees now expect leaders to be not only inspiring visionaries but also adept coaches and mentors, empowering their teams to assume leadership roles themselves.

          The potency of leadership will serve as a pivotal differentiator between companies adept at fostering trust and navigating uncertainty amidst the age of AI, global disruption, and business transformation, and those that lag behind.