Why HR Leaders Say Engagement Is Their Top Priority Going Into 2024

As we head into 2024, the so-called Great Resignation has slowed, giving leaders confidence to pick up hiring again, according to a new survey by The Conference Board, a nonprofit member-driven think tank that researches a range of business topics. According to the organization’s latest survey of Chief Human Resources Officers published this past December, 44% of CHROs expect to increase their hiring over the next six months, up from 38% in Q3.

Hiring Is Up, But Optimism Is Not

Despite the improved hiring outlook, leaders are less optimistic about other aspects of workforce management. Increasingly cautious about the potential for a looming recession, the survey respondents say they expect retention and engagement challenges to rise. Recognizing this, many CHROs say employee experience and organizational culture is their top focus for 2024, with 75% listing it as a primary priority.

In order to retain top talent and maintain healthy productivity, today’s leaders must invest in creating workplace environments where employees feel valued, heard, and connected to the mission of the company. This approach not only improves retention challenges but also creates a proactive way to build healthy, thriving company culture.

Recognizing a Misalignment in Priorities

Interestingly, the survey itself reveals some gaps between what leaders are focusing on and what employees want. For example, in a separate survey of employees published this past November, The Conference Board discovered that workers highly value workplace flexibility (65%). In fact, they value it more than any other non-salary element of compensation, including bonuses and other incentives (64%), paid time off (60%), retirement plans (59%) and affordable healthcare (53%). Despite the clear priority for workers, just 11% of CHROs surveyed said worker flexibility is a 2024 priority. This dichotomy proves that, even with big-picture insights in hand, leaders are still missing the mark on understanding and addressing the day-to-day needs of their employees.

This disconnect underscores the need for a more nuanced approach to workforce management, where strategic decisions are informed by a deep and empathetic understanding of what employees value most in their work environment. Because, as leaders already recognize, when this misalignment is not addressed, it leads to further challenges in employee engagement and retention.

Resetting Company Culture With Real-Time Insights

With tools like WorkHound, leaders gain invaluable real-time data about the employee experience — directly from employees themselves. And because it’s anonymous, employees are empowered to share their real thoughts and concerns. These insights provide key data about employee sentiment, helping leaders craft a workplace experience that aligns with the evolving needs and aspirations of their teams.

WorkHound’s real-time analytics and sentiment analysis capabilities allow leaders to quickly identify trends and issues within their organization. While tools like annual surveys aim to solve these problems, they often fail to produce actionable insights because the data takes too long to collect and even longer to analyze. By the time leaders have analyzed the captured data, the problems revealed are no longer relevant, or worse — they have escalated into bigger problems.

For day-to-day problems, culture challenges, and other solvable workplace issues, leaders need to not only be clued in to what is happening within the workforce, but also to act on the information with immediacy.

WorkHound delivers all this and more, providing an ongoing solution for leaders to directly connect with their workforce. To learn more about WorkHound, schedule a free strategy assessment today.

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