The survey of 860 HR leaders in July 2022 found the other top organizational priorities for HR leaders next year are: organizational and change management (53%), employee experience (47%), recruiting (46%) and the future of work (42%).
“Rising inflation, scarce expensive talent, and global supply constraints represent a new combination of variables for HR leaders to understand as they consider their 2023 strategies,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice.
HR leaders can drive their organization forward and gain competitive advantage by actioning on the below new imperatives:
A New Approach to Leadership
Social and political turbulence, work-life fusion, and flexible work arrangements are redefining the leader-employee dynamic, yet 24% of HR leaders say their leadership development approach does not prepare leaders for the future of work. As today’s work environment changes, leaders must embrace human-centric leadership, defined by three traits:
– Authenticity: Enable true self-expression for themselves and their teams
– Empathy: Show genuine care, respect, and concern for employee well-being
– Adaptivity: Enable flexibility and support that fits the unique needs of team members
“These shifts are not creating entirely new responsibilities, but they require leaders to achieve their core responsibilities in different ways,” said Whittle. “The new dynamic is not simply a leader-to-employee relationship, but a human-to-human one.”
Adopt an Open-Source Change Strategy
Forty-five percent of HR leaders say their employees are fatigued from the continuous disruption of the last several years. High employee change fatigue and increased work friction are correlated with a lower intent to stay with the organization. Gartner research shows only 43% of employees who experience above-average change fatigue intend to stay with their organization, compared with 74% of employees with low levels of fatigue.
HR leaders can decrease change fatigue and support employees through periods of uncertainty with an open-source change strategy that is less prescriptive than top-down approaches and more collaborative. Organizations that utilize open-source change strategies – involving employees throughout the process – can decrease the risk of change fatigue in their employees by 29 percentage points and increase employee intent to stay by as much as 19 percentage points.
Compelling Careers Are Critical for Retention
A Gartner survey of more than 3,300 employees conducted in March 2022 found that just one in four employees is confident about their career at their organization. The survey also revealed that three in four employees looking for a new role are looking externally first, not internally.
Progressive HR functions are changing how they approach career growth. Creating career paths in today’s environment includes providing employees with the ability to experience other career options, sharing diverse colleague examples to show many routes to career progression and offering channels for employees to create best-fit careers.
“HR leaders must design careers and mobility more like navigation systems, which dynamically inform drivers of new preferred routes, obstacles to avoid, and choices between fastest- and most fuel-efficient routes,” added Whittle.
Recruiting in a Volatile Labor Market
Even with the current slowdown in many companies hiring, sourcing for critical, scarce talent remains a must-have priority. Thirty-six percent of HR leaders report that their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need.
To recruit in today’s labor market more effectively, organizations should pursue three strategies:
– Leverage hiring managers earlier in the process as they are the most trusted source by candidates
– Build an equitable internal labor market
– Develop onboarding programs that promote new hire engagement in today’s hybrid environment
Workforce Planning Doesn’t Match Today’s Reality
Fifty-one percent of HR leaders reported that their workforce planning is limited to headcount alone. Employers are also confronting the reality that their workforce planning assumptions no longer hold in today’s environment. For instance, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to predict future skills or to fill future talent gaps primarily through buying and building talent.
HR needs a new approach to solve for today’s evolving workplace. To address shifting skills needs, HR should lead their organization to anticipate near-term shifts in critical work by evaluating tasks and workflows. When met with talent scarcity, HR should collaborate with leaders to redeploy tasks flexibly across the organization to increase resilience