Happy Friday! ‘This week in CX’ brings you the latest roundup of industry news.

This week, we’re looking at Gartner’s latest research into employee career development satisfaction and digital workplace tools. There’s also the latest research on eCommerce trends. 

Key news

  • Zoom announced the expansion of its existing EU data center region that allows Europe-based Contact Center customers to localise personal data Zoom processes to deliver the services. This release continues to mature Zoom’s capabilities to support customer expectations and compliance with data requirements, particularly in sectors such as government, healthcare, and financial services. 
  • Young workers are increasingly sharing their quitting and layoff journeys on social media as they look to boost workplace transparency, the Financial Times reports. The trend, which has been dubbed “Quit-Tok”, has seen workers post videos of online calls in which they resign or are made redundant. 
  • Oracle has announced generative AI enhancements within its Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, revolutionising decision-making processes and elevating employee and customer experiences. These new AI functionalities, integrated across various business workflows, including finance, supply chain, HR, sales, marketing, and service, signify a significant leap forward in AI-driven customer experience management.

Just 46% of Employees Are Satisfied with Their Career Development  

A September 2023 Gartner survey of 3,500 employees revealed that when organisations close the gap on employee career growth expectations it can have up to a 45% positive impact on employees feeling supported in their career growth, compared to only a maximum impact of up to 8% when organisations simply try to meet employees’ expectations for growth.

Three environmental shifts are making it harder for employers to support employees’ career development:

  • Employee expectations are higher. Employees believe they should be growing faster than they are, and they are more likely to pursue jobs elsewhere when their expectations aren’t met. 
  • The workforce is changing. Rapid changes in organisational structures make it difficult to design stable career progression.
  • Skills needs have rapidly shifted. Technological advancements and an increase in digitalisation have created a need for employees to gain skills that exist outside of their immediate job function.

A September 2023 Gartner survey of 125 HR business partners (HRBPs) found that, compared to two years ago, 46% of HRBPs agree that employees at their organisation are more likely to make demands about how fast they should grow. 

Gartner identified three specific actions that companies can take to close the employee career growth expectations gap:

  1. Identify what employees value in and out of work.
  2. Help employees navigate all possible options for growth.
  3. Transparently communicate what is feasible for the organisation to deliver and manage against potential consequences.

Incorporate Employees’ Personal and Professional Values

The September 2023 Gartner employee survey highlighted the gap in what employees expect versus what organisations can deliver: 55% of employees expected to be promoted within two years, but only 40% were promoted.

Typically, organisations try to deliver against employees’ expectations by asking them what they want. This method is often ineffective as the information gleaned about employees’ career interests is too broad and too general, making it difficult to use the insights learned to satisfy employees’ expectations.

Leading organisations are ensuring that employees’ personal values are part of their performance and career conversations in order to gain more precision around their career trajectories. Understanding what employees value at work, and what they value personally enables organisations to match individuals with meaningful work that they care about and meaningful growth opportunities.

Clearly Communicate What the Organisation Can Deliver

According to the September 2023 Gartner employee survey, less than one in three employees feel their organisations are transparent about how long it takes to grow their careers. Most organisations share less information than employees want about how to advance in their careers; without this information, employees assume the organisation can deliver more than what’s feasible. 

Employers must transparently communicate with employees to provide clarity on growth opportunities, while also taking action against potential consequences. Organisations can build employee trust by being clear on typical career trajectories, which also empowers employees to make informed choices. When employees trust their manager and the organisation – and they have a clear understanding of their organisation’s career progression – there is up to a 26% increase in them feeling supported.

Ultimately, when employees feel supported by their organisation to grow their careers, their likelihood of being a high performer increases by up to 39 percentage points, their willingness to stay at the organisation increases by up to 19 percentage points, and their engagement increases by up to 61 percentage points.

80% of Digital Workplace Leaders Will Integrate Digital Workplace Tools With ESG Management by 2027  

Eighty percent of digital workplace (DW) leaders will integrate DW tools with environmental, social and governance (ESG) management and reporting tools, up from less than 5% today, by 2027 according to Gartner, Inc. 

Provide Solutions That Improve Business Sustainability

Over the course of the next several years, regulatory requirements for ESG reporting will take effect for enterprises in the EU and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

Decision support and analytics capabilities help to identify opportunities for improvements that advance ESG capabilities, including environmental considerations, such as carbon emissions. 

To optimise carbon emissions, DW infrastructure tool vendors should add new environmental sustainability reporting capabilities to their offerings, including unified endpoint management (UEM) tools, desktop as a service (DaaS) tools and digital employee experience (DEX) management tools and digital platform conductors. Focusing on environmental sustainability capabilities will help meet energy regulation requirements and reduce costs as device life spans are extended.

AI-Driven Search Experiences Go Mainstream, Supercharge Revenue Generation  

Algolia released its annual B2C Ecommerce Site Search Trends report, compiled by research specialist Coleman Parkes Research. The report reveals global insights from 1,100 senior business and IT decision-makers at B2C retailers on their plans to use search this year alongside the growing emergence of AI in retail and ecommerce merchandising.

Key findings from the B2C Ecommerce Site Search Trends report include:

Top Search Considerations in 2024

  • The primary motivations behind B2C retailers’ implementation of search this year include the ability to increase revenue, customer demand fulfillment, and customer experience enhancement.
  • Over a quarter (27%) foresee AI expanding its role in search experiences in 2024, and 18% expect the demand for voice-activated search functionality to grow.
  • Sixty percent (60%) believe AI plays an important role in their business’s search strategy, with more than half (51%) pointing to AI as a technology to improve the accuracy of search results.

Money Matters in AI and Search

  • Most B2C retailers (61%) are satisfied by the revenue achieved through search investments.
  • Of those who are already leveraging AI to understand users’ behavior, over half (51%) have seen increased revenue.

Personalisation Priorities

  • Most B2C retailers (70%) consider personalisation to be a large or integral part of their business for the next 12 months.
  • Key personalisation initiatives include personalised shopping profiles (offered by 56%), followed by product recommendations (46%).
  • Over a quarter (28%) offer conversational commerce to their customers, and more than two-thirds (69%) are planning to implement this functionality over the next year.

AI’s Impact Beyond Search

  • Fifty-two percent (52%) of B2C retailers plan to implement AI tools to aid merchandising teams.
  • More than half (51%) would like to use generative AI for better product comparisons.
  • Forty-six percent (46%) believe that AI-driven customer interactions will see a significant increase in the next 12 months.

Thanks for tuning into CXM’s weekly roundup of industry news. Check back next Friday for the latest updates of the week!

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