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Talent Development Leader

Employee-Employer Relationships Are on Thin Ice

Friday, December 15, 2023

Companies shouldn’t take employee satisfaction for granted.

Looking ahead at 2024, Gartner characterizes the employer-employee relationship as “unsettled,” while Forrester predicts that 2024 will be an employee experience “winter.” Furthermore, CEO of TalentCulture and #WorkTrends podcast host Meghan M. Biro writes, “It’s not just the friction points around employer/employee relationships that have markedly increased, but how deeply they impact that fundamental connection.”


While employees may not be walking out in the droves that occurred during the Great Resignation, employers need to be as concerned about the employees who stick around. Increased employee burnout and lack of motivation are due in part to trust issues developed in an era of staff monitoring; return-to-office orders; and a lack of attention on such issues as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Because “motivated employees are more engaged, productive, and committed to doing their part in moving the mission of their organization forward,” according to team management thought leader Riley Moore, the strained employee-employer relationship is negatively affecting company success.

However, there is plenty of time to turn things around. In an article with HRM Magazine Asia, Jaclyn Lee, chief HR officer of security company Certis, advises organizations to meet their talent where they are, and take into account individual wants and needs, motivations, and capabilities.

A well-designed employee experience "is about creating a better future, rather than focusing obsessively about keeping employees from becoming dissatisfied through perks or employee bonuses,” Lee says. “EX is thus not a stack of independent initiatives; it’s an integrated design [centered] around data that is built into the fabric of the organisation.”

Employers must consider the entire employee life cycle, says April Ho-Nishimura, head of customer experience and employee experience for manufacturer Onsemi, during an episode of the CX Decoded podcast. Ho-Nishimura suggests personas and journey mapping as two crossover points between the customer and employee experience.


There are many ways to create employee personas, such as by levels or function. But Ho-Nishimura proposes a universal persona that exists everywhere in any business, cutting across business lines and hierarchy. For example, a learner persona could be that of someone who is continually learning.

When developing personas, organizations should begin with what they want to accomplish. Ho-Nishimura notes that the attribute of a persona may exist in other personas, but she states that when designing personas, it’s about outcomes rather than strata or team: What is it that the person wants from their work, what do they expect from their growth track, and what do they want from their manager?

In the November 2023 MIT Technology Review Insights–Genesys report, Customer Experience Horizons, author and speaker Blake Morgan shares that “When employees are engaged in the work and see the impact of their efforts to help customers and meet the company’s purpose, they’re naturally more willing and able to provide a top-tier customer experience.”

Read more from Talent Development Leader.

About the Author

Patty Gaul is a senior writer/editor for the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

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