The 2024 Digital Employee Experience Trend Report



Mastering AI for HR transformation

Making strategic technology decisions for cost optimization

Elevating HR's perceived value with successful technology implementations and reporting

Reshaping traditional work structures to bridge digital skills gaps

Cost-effective strategies for enhancing frontline productivity


In the fast-paced landscape of human resources (HR) and talent management, keeping on top of industry trends is crucial for success. But with 2024 set to become one of the most transformative years in HR technology history thanks to the introduction of generative AI, staying informed is more important than ever. 

In this report, you’ll learn how to safely integrate generative AI into your HR practices and
understand what technology advancements to look out for this year. We’ll explore how generative AI can optimize HR processes for efficiency, how it can help you make considerable cost savings and how it will revolutionize employee self-service at a scale
never seen before.


“Embracing AI in HR isn’t just a trend but a strategic move toward establishing a future-proof, tech-enabled workplace.”
Duncan Casemore, CTO and co-founder of Applaud. 


Trend 1: Mastering AI for HR Transformation

60% of HR leaders are uncertain about the impact of evolving technology trends, such as generative AI, on HR and talent. Gartner.

The emergence of generative AI in 2023 signaled a monumental shift in how organizations operate and manage their workforce. AI, with its capacity to generate content such as images, speech, and text, has democratized access to information and skills at an unprecedented scale. However, despite having already demonstrated its ability to enhance productivity and efficiency beyond the workplace with devices such as Siri and Alexa, organizations, particularly HR, have yet to embrace it.


As highlighted by Gartner, the transformative power of AI is poised to reshape the modern workplace dramatically, so it’s imperative that you transition from passive technology users to advocates of AI in 2024. 

Automating routine HR tasks with the power of AI

The good news is that HR technology vendors have already started integrating AI features into their platforms, giving you a taste of what AI can do for your organization.


A notable example is the use of generative AI in Employee Experience Platforms (EXPs) and People Portals. This ground-breaking technology can help you quickly author knowledge articles, news and other content with just one click, saving you months of work.


Above: Use generative AI from within Applaud to quickly craft content that plugs knowledge gaps and answers employee questions with a click of a button.


Generative AI assistants, also available in People Portals and EXPs, can slash HR caseloads by at least 50% by harnessing raw content existing in any format (CSV files, PDFs, Word documents, etc.) and employee data stored across various sources to craft perfectly written answers for employees every time.

Knowledge_trend report

Above: Aggregate imperfect knowledge articles, policies or raw data from disparate sources and watch Applaud’s AI assistant instantly answer employee queries with insane specificity.


Cultivating confidence: The ethical use of AI in HR 

Navigating ethical considerations, particularly in HR processes like recruitment, has posed challenges for AI adoption. However, through research, transparent policies, and a commitment to its responsible use, concerns regarding safety and transparency can be effectively managed.


Ethical deployment of AI not only fosters trust but also contributes to a workplace culture that prioritizes fairness, openness, and employee well-being. Notably, 53% of engaged employees are comfortable with AI at work, compared to 30% of disengaged employees, indicating a positive correlation between sentiment and AI adoption. Integrating AI into your employee experience strategy will immediately enhance workforce satisfaction and set the stage for broader AI adoption across the organization.


Trend 2: Making Strategic Technology Decisions for Cost Optimization

With C-suites under pressure to show profitable growth, there's an increasing need for HR to deliver meaningful, measurable ROI. Time Doctor


As 2024 shapes up to be an unprecedented year for HR technology, organizations facing budget constraints in 2023 must now consider parting with their cash to stay ahead and reap future savings.

However, the challenge for HR lies in ensuring confidence in your past and future tech investments and demonstrating their alignment with overarching business goals.


What to do with your existing HR systems.

Great care must be taken when deciding to keep or remove existing HR systems, as removing unsuccessful ones could damage your credibility. Assess the current value of your tech investments and consider using tools like Employee Experience Platforms or Intelligent People Portals to upgrade your existing technology and prevent replacing efficient systems that may just need to be surfaced to your employees or made more consumer-grade.

Leveraging the user-friendly, no-code capabilities of an EXP can streamline user journeys and revolutionize how employees and HR interact with top-tier technology. 


If, after assessing your existing systems, there’s still a compelling case to invest in new technology, it’s important to tackle any new investments with a strategic and considered approach to ensure ROI.

Integrations 01

Above: Connect knowledge from Sharepoint, ServiceNow and other sources and let Applaud AI figure it all out.

Trend 3: Elevating HR's Perceived Value with Successful Technology Implementations and Reporting

89% of CEOs say the CHRO should play a central role in driving long-term profitable growth. Accenture


To break away from the perception of HR as a predominantly administrative department, organizations must clearly demonstrate their ability to become a more strategic partner that can be trusted to make critical technology decisions that ensure ROI. Harnessing technology and the data it provides will be your superpower.

Use AI-powered dashboards to gain valuable insights into employee turnover and retention, tech adoption, and various employee performance and engagement metrics. Keeping a close eye on emerging trends can help you implement cost-saving measures quickly and highlight your ability to make changes that contribute to the financial well-being of the business.



Above: Use Applaud’s AI-powered dashboards to delve into insights to evaluate and continually optimize your employee experience.

Surpassing employee expectations

Just 1 in 4 say their HR leader is widely trusted as one who cares about the needs of employees. Crucial Learning

Unsurprisingly, it’s not just the board you’ll have to impress, as HR’s reputation among

employees has taken a nosedive in recent years.

Demonstrate your commitment to improving the working lives of your employees by upgrading your HR technology and saving your workforce the headache of navigating clunky and outdated technology
- something employees are becoming less willing to entertain.


Trend 4: Reshaping Traditional Work Structures to Bridge Digital Skills Gaps

More than half of organizations don’t have the right mix of skilled AI talent in-house to bring their strategies to life. SnapLogic


The rapid pace of technological advancements has intensified digital skills gaps within organizations. Along with talent shortages and an aging workforce, potentially less AI-savvy than younger employees, HR will be forced to rethink recruitment and training strategies going into 2024.

Closing the gap

Address digital skills gaps among older team members by offering personalized training. Break down complex technologies, like generative AI, into manageable modules and integrate this with an EXP that can suggest relevant courses based on individual proficiency levels.



Above: Applaud’s AI-powered people portal allows you to surface training solutions relevant to an employee, tapping into information such as interests and existing skills.


Internal mobility

By effectively advertising internal opportunities, you can tap into your existing talent pool to plug gaps in other areas of the business. Intelligent People Portals can automatically highlight relevant vacancies using existing employee information such as certifications or relocation preferences.

Internal mobility-2

Above: Using relevant employee data, Applaud seamlessly presents current internal vacancies to employees, helping you plug skills gaps and reduce recruitment fees.


The rise of the on-demand workforce

3 in 5 leaders increasingly prefer to “rent”, “borrow” or “share” talent with other companies, making their full-time staff smaller. Harvard Business School.


In 2024, employees on diverse employment contracts, like freelancers and contractors, will rise, offering a cost-effective solution for skills shortages. People Portals offer secure pre-boarding, onboarding, and offboarding, allowing you to control the internal

information an employee can see based on their role and contract duration.

Above: Leverage Applaud's sophisticated no-code platform to quickly grant personalized role-based access. Keeping your company and employee data safe.


Trend 5: Cost-Effective Strategies for Enhancing Frontline Productivity

One of four deskless workers state that a lack of purpose-built tech is hampering their everyday work. Skedulo


In response to escalating attrition rates and the pressing need to address low productivity among frontline workers, 2024 will see a shift towards comprehensive digital HR solutions tailored to field staff. Beekeeper's findings underscore the significance of the frontline experience, with 92% of frontline leaders emphasizing its importance in achieving organizational goals.


To bolster engagement and productivity among frontline employees, integrating technology solutions specifically designed for their needs is imperative. Employee Experience Platforms (EXPs) and People Portals emerge as pivotal tools, enabling streamlined HR processes by digitizing manual tasks like time-off requests, maintaining accurate digital records, and facilitating transparent communication through a centralized platform. 


Technologies like these offer an affordable and efficient way to elevate their experience with your HR services, so while crafting your to-do list for 2024, scouting for tech that enhances your frontline experience should be at the top of your list.


HR in 2024 is marked by what will be the inevitable integration of generative AI, reshaping roles, policies, and traditional working styles. To navigate this shift successfully, you must become an advocate of technology, promoting adaptability and continuous learning. Key trends, including addressing digital skills gaps, embracing the gig economy, and enhancing the digital experience for frontline workers, are underpinned by the need to fully embrace technology trends and utilize them to position HR as a strategic driver of growth.


However, in the face of another challenging financial year, you must demonstrate the value of your technology investments through a watertight business case that clearly illustrates ROI and cost-effectiveness.


It’s up to you to instill confidence, secure buy-in from stakeholders and ensure that your chosen technology drives efficiency and contributes positively to the bottom line.


Want to see Applaud’s award-winning People Portal in action?

If you would like to see Applaud’s award-winning employee experience platform in action, book a demo with an Applaud expert now.


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Published February 21, 2024 / by Applaud