Top takeaways from 2024 Great Place To Work For All Summit

By: ITA Group

What you need to know

  • Trust is essential for today’s workplace environment.
  • Leadership should approach employee well-being holistically as teams try to keep up with AI.
  • Companies can future-proof by investing in individual development plans and training.

group of diverse employees happily working together

Today’s workforce doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The macroenvironment is impacting how people show up every day.

“Culture is ultimately about building an ecosystem of trust,” said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton during the 2024 Great Place To Work® For All™ Summit. “When something goes wrong, you are able to weather the storm.”

We joined top business leaders and HR professionals from around the globe to see how to best support people at work as they navigate workforce changes. Here are some key takes from the event.

Strong company culture starts with trust

With work changing because of AI and inflation, many sessions focused on building employee confidence in your organizational culture.

“Trust is more important now than it has ever been,” CEO of Great Place to Work Michael C. Bush said during the conference.

At the start of 2024, we saw HR and operations teams adopt AI to streamline processes, while ensuring they don’t over-rely on it. Companies need to consider what’s best when it comes to human interaction vs. just applying an algorithm.

But how you adopt and adapt new technologies can impact your team. While AI might make work easier, is it replacing workers themselves? Is the team responsibly using AI or rushing to join the trend? Address questions or gather feedback from your people so you can mitigate concerns.

Listen and act on employee feedback

Building trust can bolster team morale, create connection and impact an organizational culture’s effectiveness. When employees trust their company and leadership, people feel a deep sense of belonging and purpose.

That extends into DEIB for global hospitality groups Hilton and Marriott. Leadership from both brands spoke about gathering, listening and acting on employee feedback to build trust.

“Take care of the associate, and the associate will take care of the customer,” Anthony Capuano, President and CEO of Marriott International added at another session. “And the customer will come back again and again,”

Companies should work with their employee resource groups (ERGs) and give them the tools to feel heard and celebrated. By sharing general findings, how your team plans to act on them, and launching new initiatives, you help your people feel empowered. It drives change that leads to increased retention, development, engagement and trust.

Learn how to engage front-line workers for better customer service in our white paper

Great places to work invest in employee well-being

Employee well-being is more relevant than ever, not only as workers face pressure to compete with AI but also as our understanding of its impact grows.

As companies rush to adopt AI, many engineers are burning out to compete. While AI might take on mundane tasks to help employees combat burnout, the BBC reports organizations are filling up that freed up time with more work.

“For the human operating system,” Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global, said at the Summit, “downtime is a feature, not a bug.” Huffington joined DJ Casto, CHRO of Synchrony, to talk about sharing well-being resources.

Approach employee well-being holistically

Yes, use AI strategically to accomplish boring tasks that might overwhelm a team but keep a pulse on how it impacts your workers. Pulse surveys help check in on employees at intervals after launching a big change.

Leadership should give employees tools or resources to tackle overwhelm during high-stress situations. Well-being initiatives help employees try new ways that could work for them.

  • Mental health benefits
  • Gym memberships or stipends
  • In-office workouts or meditation

Supporting your people with mental well-being resources helps them battle burnout. If left unchecked, burnout leads to absenteeism and diminished productivity. When employees see their well-being supported, they start to trust their company. And you get a more engaged, productive workforce.

Career pathing future-proofs your workforce

DHL Executive VP of Engagement and Enablement Rick Jackson and VP of Group Learning, Talent and HR Platforms Meredith Wellard presented about “How a Focus on Skills Create Opportunities for Employees to Grow.”

Because of a projected worker shortage that could impact their organization, DHL saw an opportunity to nurture talent internally.

DHL invested in learning and development and career pathing. Managers and employees worked together to build individual development plans (IDPs) that supported the worker’s interest and goals.

This increased trust and retention with employees. Because investing in your people, whether that’s with employee benefits or training, makes for happier teams who stay longer.

Related: See how NKD, our wholly owned subsidiary, helped DHL recruit superstars.

Modern workplaces need to focus on employee experience

Inflation, shortages and technology demand brands care for their culture to be successful. When your people are confident in your organization, you’ll see increased productivity, retention and engagement.

We heard one universal truth during the Summit: Your employees are your biggest differentiator.

Investing in employee experience and making your business a great place to work is the best path for success. Review your employee development opportunities, and create more personalized career pathing.

learn how to engage front-line workers for better customer service in our white paper
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