Employee Experience Trends 2024: Empowering Managers to Drive Successful Transformation

Discover how change impacts the manager experience, why perceptions are more positive among senior leaders, and where organizations need to focus their attention in 2024.

Managers are at the heart of successful transformation and change, translating senior leader strategy into employee action, mitigating potential risks, modeling the right behaviors, and juggling the day-to-day challenges that arise during times of change. This responsibility comes with additional pressures that can impact the employee experience of both managers and their teams.

Insights from Workday Peakon Employee Voice reveal that managers score lower than individual employees for all but one aspect of transformation and change. The overall transformation and change experience is where managers are lagging farthest behind their employees. Some other notable driver score differences include:

  • Considering risks—the impacts and risks of transformation and change have been properly considered, particularly during the planning stages.
  • Resources and support—people have the resources and support they need to do their work during periods of transformation and change.
  • Leading through change—how much trust and confidence people place in their leaders to make the right decisions.

The only aspect of transformation and change where managers score higher than individual contributors is individual input, which measures whether people feel encouraged and supported to share their views on planned and/or ongoing transformation activities.

It’s clear that managers have a more negative experience of transformation and change compared to individual contributors. But is the same true for all management levels?

As part of our analysis, we segmented managers and employees into different groups based on the number of direct and indirect reports within their team, resulting in four groups:

  • Individual contributors: employees without any direct reports
  • Frontline managers: managers with only direct reports
  • Middle managers: managers with both direct and indirect reports
  • Senior leaders: managers with the largest employee segments

Categorizing managers in this way reveals that perceptions of transformation and change get more positive the further up a manager is within the organization. This disparity highlights the top-down nature of transformation within many organizations, with managers and employees often expected to simply implement change, rather than help co-create it. 

To learn more about the impact of ongoing transformation and change on managers and employees, plus the key focus areas for organizations in 2024, download the full report.

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