CHROs Focused on Skills, Experience, Change Management

Transformation Prediction

HR leaders are continuing to sharpen their focus on aligning their work with their organization’s goals and business performance, prioritizing a number of strategic workforce concerns.

Leah Johnson, vice president of advisory in Gartner’s HR practice, said that during 2020 the concerns of HR leaders will “reflect the critical needs that organizations need to tackle in order to successfully operate in today’s uncertain conditions.” Skills gaps aside, she added, companies lack the proficiencies they need to restructure their business and manage change.

HR leaders sharpen focus on aligning their work with organizational goals and business performance, prioritizing a number of strategic workforce concerns. #HR #HRTech Share on X

Gartner’s research found that only 9 percent of CHROs believe their organization is prepared for the future of work.    

To address this, Gartner expects HR executives to focus on:

  • Building critical skills and competencies.
  • Strengthening the current and future leadership bench.
  • Incorporating organizational design and change management.
  • Driving digital business transformation.
  • Enhancing the employee experience.

Of course, the firm has recommendations for how to approach each of these.

  • Align the workforce’s skills with the organization’s future needs comes first. Nearly half, 46 percent, of HR leaders say their employees lack the skills necessary to drive future performance, Gartner said. To address this, Gartner recommends that HR leaders partner with their business-focused colleagues to understand and develop the proper balance of emerging, existing and legacy skill sets. As a part of that effort, HR should work with managers to show employees how they can grow personally by developing in-demand skills. They should also connect employees to skill-building opportunities outside of their existing roles.
  • Adapt a “complementary leadership” model that partners together leaders with complementary skill sets so they can share responsibilities. Through these partnerships, each leader to leverage their core skills and develop new ones. The firm said leaders in such arrangements saw a 60 percent increase in their teams’ performance.
  • Use organization design and change management to make work easier. Fifty-seven percent of employees face significant barriers in doing their day-to-day work, Gartner said, and at least some of those barriers probably result from the amount of change taking place in the workplace. And how much change is taking place? The average employee had to navigate 12 organizational changes in 2019, Gartner said, ranging from major transformations to more day-to-day situations such as moving to a new team.  Gartner recommends taking an “open source” approach to
  • Close the skills gap to prepare for digital transformation. Despite all the talk of digitization, 43 percent of HR leaders say their organization doesn’t have a clear strategy for digital transformation. Thirty-five percent don’t have the talent to drive it. That means, Gartner says, that HR must make itself a “a trusted driver and advisor” on transformation by becoming expert in digital business, tracking workforce skills as the organization develops digital strategies, and deliver functional support by training HR staffers to make meaningful contributions to transformation efforts. 
  • Keep working on employee experience. Despite the corporate preoccupation with experience, 46 percent of employees are largely dissatisfied, Gartner said. Its solution: Pay more attention to how employees actually feel about the experience they’re getting. By that, Gartner means “managing the memory” of experience by reminding employees of positive experiences and reframing their memories of negative ones.

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