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The Top 5 Trends Affecting Organizational Culture in 2024

Business analysts weighing recent changes and potential developments in the work world have compiled lists of trends they believe will impact companies in 2024. Not surprisingly, many of their predictions relate to organizational culture. As HR executives and CEOs scan the horizon to determine priorities for the year, we’ve compiled a list of the top issues their companies are expected to face.

Five Trends Leaders Need to Watch in 2024

Even in today’s rapidly evolving work environment, some things remain static. Last January, our research showed four trends that authorities predicted would leave a mark in 2023:

As we embark on another year, many experts maintain that these trends will linger but believe they will be more complex and nuanced. And they forecast a range of developments beyond last year’s list, which includes the pandemic’s seismic legacy and continuous and transformative technological shifts.

We’ve identified the following five trends that will have the most impact on businesses and their cultures in 2024:

  • Work models and their effect on recruitment and retention
  • Continued emphasis on the employee experience
  • The evolution of learning in the workplace
  • Leadership development and effectiveness
  • How new technology is driving change

Remote work, a panacea during the pandemic, retained its appeal after the health crisis ended. Many workers preferred the flexibility they gained while performing their jobs at home and balked at return-to-office (RTO) mandates employers levied as COVID receded. The hybrid work model gained prominence as a result, as organizations developed work arrangements often blending remote and on-site schedules.

Experts like Adecco Senior Vice President Amy Glaser expect these non-traditional work models to maintain traction this year and beyond. Employers will need to factor in their ability to offer remote and hybrid jobs as they square off in a hiring arena that experts project will remain competitive in 2024.

Glaser, whose company provides recruitment and workforce solutions, explains further in U.S. News & World Report:

“The workplace will continue to see a strong appetite for part-time schedules from both employees and employers. For desk workers, employers will continue to offer hybrid and flexible schedules to attract and retain talent.

More broadly, and in industries and roles that require boots on the ground, employers will increasingly offer more flexibility, which will help more candidates come off the sidelines and pursue part-time or secondary jobs.”

Regardless of their appeal, providing remote and hybrid options makes it harder for employers to maintain a unified workplace culture and keep everyone rowing in the same direction. To make these modern work arrangements win-win propositions, leaders must be much more intentional about defining and reinforcing a supportive culture that drives performance.

Many CEOs who enforced strict RTO policies last year experienced significant attrition and had trouble recruiting. In 2024, employers who prefer an on-site staff will need to entice workers to the office by adding more value to the in-person experience. Aaron Terrazas and Daniel Zhao elaborate in an article for Glassdoor:

“In 2024, companies are poised to navigate an increasingly perilous knife’s edge between prudent cost management and alienating valuable employees amid a surprisingly resilient job market. As a result, we expect more “carrot sticks” – policies somewhere in between to gently reward and enforce RTO.”

Terrazas and Zhao predict employers will forge benefits for on-site teams that generate more engagement. These could include face-to-face mentoring programs, in-house learning opportunities, and commitment to ensuring a collaborative, stimulating workplace culture.


In addition to reconfigured work models, heightened awareness and care about employee wellbeing was another byproduct of the pandemic. COVID’s unique disruption allowed employers to get to know their staff on a more personal level. Conversations about sensitive topics seldom discussed before 2020 became much more common.

Once they were out in the open, a deeper understanding of interrelated issues like mental health, equity, diversity and inclusion, and psychological safety created a new awareness about the quality of the employee experience.

HR and Talent Executive Mo Al Tamimi wrote about this shift in perspective in a blog post for LinkedIn:

“In an era where the employee experience is paramount, organizations are focusing on creating a workplace that prioritizes the well-being and satisfaction of their employees.”

He believes this people-first focus within workplace culture will deepen in 2024 as organizations “recognize the significance of treating employees as valuable assets.” They will double down on efforts to invest in employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health and foster a sense of belonging and shared purpose.

In an article for Forbes, author and leadership coach Bernard Marr notes that companies that make an effort to boost the employee experience will be more successful:

“Organizations understand that today, customer experience is key to developing lifelong relationships and generating recurring business. Equally so, they are starting to understand the importance of ensuring that workers are satisfied across the board rather than just adequately remunerated. In 2024, if your employer doesn’t come up to scratch here, it should become increasingly easy to find one that does.”


Another side effect of the pandemic was that it caused people to reorient their priorities about work. They yearned for more substance and opportunity and were no longer willing to accept dead-end jobs quietly. Part of the broader understanding of employee wellbeing is acknowledging their overwhelming desire to learn and grow professionally, which helps them derive more purpose and meaning in their careers.

But merely offering extra training won’t substantially elevate a company’s workforce. Mo Al Tamimi believes one trend for 2024 is organizations’ acknowledgment that learning has evolved.

“Understanding how the human brain learns and retains information has become a central focus for organizations in their training and development strategies. Gone are the days where just sending employees on any courses based on their desires is sufficient, and definitely no more one size fits all attitude to learning.”

He lists the following areas that will drive this trend:

  • Adaptability of Learning Methods. Recognizing that the brain can adapt and change, employers will design learning programs that promote ongoing growth and skill development.
  • Learning Styles. Companies will tailor educational experiences to accommodate different learning styles, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, to boost knowledge retention and engagement with the process.
  • Transfer of Knowledge. Employers will reinforce new skills and knowledge in real-world contexts to help staff members learn how to apply what they have learned practically.
  • Metacognition. Organizations will also do more to encourage workers to reflect on the learning process by setting goals and monitoring their progress. This will build the self-awareness that leads to personal development.

Putting these initiatives into action requires companies to make continuous learning and improvement part of their culture. Those that do will not only strengthen morale and retention but also create a superior workforce that provides a competitive advantage.


Linked to the above three trends will be the need for more training and support for managers and others in leadership positions. Middle managers, in particular, were hit hard by the waves of workplace change in 2023. They became the harbingers of bad news and enforcers of unpopular policies while trying to maintain productivity and morale. For example, many had to juggle layoffs and restrictive cost-cutting while trying to supervise an asynchronous team.

As a result, Glassdoor’s Aaron Terrazas and Daniel Zhao write that this class of employees is experiencing a high level of stress and burnout. When they measured work-life balance ratings, they saw stable numbers for more senior and junior staff members. However, they noticed a sharp drop in ratings for middle managers.

Even as some companies regain financial stability, they are still unequipped to support middle managers whose roles continue to become more complex. Consequently, companies risk losing these critical employees in 2024 as many rethink their career paths.

To combat this trend, organizations need to develop a support system for middle managers and a path for them to thrive. Leaders must incorporate effective management training programs to position people in supervisory roles for success. When managers can build up the soft skills needed to perform their responsibilities capably, they can direct teams more confidently. And they’ll be better equipped to tackle the additional challenges of a hybrid or remote work format.

Yet, training alone isn’t enough to solve the problem. Mark Whittle is Gartner’s Vice President of Advisory in their HR practice. In a recent Gartner report, he writes that organizations must also focus on making managers’ jobs less stressful and complex.

“To make the manager job more manageable organizations need to lighten the load on managers by resetting role expectations and removing process hurdles. Simultaneously, HR needs to rebuild the manager pipeline while also helping their managers build new habits that lead to desired behaviors.”

Reestablishing expectations, providing tools that drive accountability, and developing behaviors that streamline efforts and improve teamwork require building and maintaining a robust company culture.


Generative AI is changing the work world so rapidly that it is difficult for organizations to stay up to date on this powerful new technology and understand how to use it. Most leaders now grasp how AI can benefit their companies, but multiple challenges can offset this tool’s advantages. Companies will need to learn how to harness AI, empower their workers to use it, and navigate the associated risks.

Gartner recommends that leaders use four key criteria to “help determine the use cases and business value specific to their organization.”

  1. Governance: Who will own, maintain, and manage the technology?
  2. Workforce readiness: How will this technology impact current vs. future working methods?
  3. Vendor landscape: What are the vendor options? Should leaders wait or build their own solutions?
  4. Risks and ethics: Do the associated risks meet their tolerance levels, and are there any mitigations and ethical considerations to navigate?

A strong culture will be crucial for companies to navigate how, when, and why they’ll use AI to improve their outcomes.

Change management will be at the heart of preparing workers to accept AI and make the most of its benefits. But the sea changes people endured over the past several years have left many reluctant or unable to face more disruption. For example, Gartner reports that 82 percent of managers are unequipped to lead change, and 77 percent of employees suffer from change fatigue.

They recommend that leaders can leverage their culture to combat this syndrome in three ways:

  1. Identify: Educate the workforce on fatigue drivers and equip managers to detect potential hotspots before significant problems arise.
  2. Prevent: Build Psychological safety into teams and invite employees to co-create change strategies.
  3. Fix: Facilitate candid change conversations with employees and demonstrate empathy.

Centric Consulting CEO Larry English concurs and stresses that a culture that inspires trust will be critical for companies to succeed as they ramp up their use of AI. He writes in Forbes:

“When you have effective change management — clear and timely communications, targeted learning opportunities, and meaningful ways to share feedback and concerns — the introduction of innovations such as AI can be less intimidating and disruptive to the operations of an organization.”

English cites research that shows that 70 percent of digital transformations fail—not because of the quality of the technology but because of the human element. He concludes that culture is usually the determining factor. “Organizational inertia from deeply rooted behaviors is a big impediment.”

As English points out, leaders are responsible for creating a culture that is prepared to embrace and responsibly use AI.