Gartner Business Quarterly

Proven guidance for C-suite action

2021 Q1

Employee-Centered Paths to Business Growth

Manage teams effectively through times of crisis

Now in year 2 of the global crisis, how can you help employees ready the company to move fast when better days arrive? This issue of Gartner Business Quarterly will share lessons on managing teams effectively through a period of illness, fear and bitter splits in society at large.

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    In this issue

    To Improve Customer Experience, Improve the Customer-Facing Employee Experience
    Customer experience is critical to maintaining loyalty. Yet 57% of customer-facing employees say they aren’t set up to succeed. Fixing this takes all leaders, not just the frontline.

    A New Employment Deal That Fuels Higher-Performing Organizations
    The traditional employer-employee relationship is under stress. But a new, humanized covenant with the workforce can improve performance, recruiting and retention.

    Given Leeway, Employees Do More Than a Week’s Work in 32 Hours: A Q&A With Perpetual Guardian’s Andrew Barnes
    Barnes told employees they’d get full pay to work 80% of normal hours as long as they got their jobs done. Productivity more than doubled. He shares methods for success.

    Onboarding Must Work Better, Especially for Remote Hires
    Working virtually makes it hard to connect new hires to organizational culture. Build an onboarding program that shows empathy, demonstrates values and plants seeds for relationships.

    Employee Passion Powers Intel’s Global Supplier Diversity Program
    A global network of locally based employees having strong partnerships with diverse suppliers is an idea other companies can adapt for their procurement strategies.

    CEOs Want Quick Action on Board Diversity and the GC Can Move the Needle
    Employees, governments and markets want boards to better reflect society. General counsel can help with these tips from a diversity recruiter and a top legal officer at HP Inc.

    Considerations for Managing People Costs Every Executive Should Know
    In assessing people costs, it helps to know that the most personal cuts have more negative impacts, short-term actions have long-term effects and transparency makes everything easier

    Support Well-Being in 2021 and Beyond
    Efforts to help employees through the pandemic include meditation and paid time off for eldercare, but the suffering continues. It’s time for new offerings and personalized support.

    There’s No Place to Hide as Political Rifts Hit the Workplace
    Three in four U.S. employees discuss social and political issues at work, which makes discouraging these topics look untenable. The tension affects teamwork, productivity and retention.

    Shared Responsibility for Digital Business Means New Expectations for Leaders
    Accelerating digital business takes the entire C-suite. By working together, all leaders contribute to technology and team decisions that help the company reach “techquilibrium.”

    Employee-Centered Paths to Business Growth
    Letter From the Editor

    As Year 2 of the global crisis gets underway, how can you help employees ready the company to move fast when better days arrive? This issue of Gartner Business Quarterly will share lessons on managing teams effectively through a period of illness, fear and bitter splits in society at large.

    Although employees have generally kept producing and stayed engaged, adrenaline is giving way to battle fatigue. To win the next turn, you must recognize what has changed and use new ways to unleash the full force of your talent.

    You’ll learn from the short articles inside that letting staff members choose where, when and how much they work boosts the number of high performers by a third, and that involving them in a shared sense of purpose on issues they care about — diversity, for one — will deepen commitment to your firm. Leaders must also join forces to spread important mindsets. With 87% of companies intending to compete on customer experience in 2021, you must show functional staff members how their decisions can influence the frontline’s ability to serve — read to the end for one epiphany. Similarly, all executives, not just the CIO, must guide everyone toward “techquilibrium,” the right mix of digital and traditional capabilities.

    You’ll find real-world experience shared by leaders at an international group of organizations, large and midsize, private and public, including Ageas, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Guangfa Securities, HP Inc., IBM, Mashreq, Perpetual Guardian, Red Bull and Western Health.

    GBQ advises you on aligning with others and reaching peak effectiveness so your organization can achieve its goals, be bold and principled, and bring employees, investors and the public along for the ride.

    Our standing departments keep you up to speed — Cutting Edge, a look at provocative new data, and Briefs, short takes about smarter spending and planning, talent and culture, growth and innovation, and data and technology.

    We welcome your comments and questions. Please reach out to me at judy.pasternak@gartner.com

    — Judy Pasternak

    Bias Persists Against Remote Employees

    Months into the pandemic, most leaders still see in-office workers as higher performers, more likely to be promoted. To give remote employees equal opportunities, leaders should share concerns, recognize contributions and work to mitigate bias.

    Agile Learning Accelerates Employee and Business Growth

    Fewer than three in 10 organizations are agile learning enterprises, where learning is a core part of the job. Agile learning enterprises are nearly three times more likely to have effective employee growth in capabilities with a positive impact on strategic business outcomes.

    Agile Learning Accelerates Employee and Business Growth

    Fewer than three in 10 organizations are agile learning enterprises, where learning is a core part of the job. Agile learning enterprises are nearly three times more likely to have effective employee growth in capabilities with a positive impact on strategic business outcomes.

    Connecting the Learning and Earning Curves

    Agile learning enterprises are also better at measuring the effectiveness of their development programs. And because they can track what works and demonstrate impact, they are more likely to successfully make the case for additional investments in learning.

    As Climate Change Risk Grows, Supply Chain Spends on Sustainability

    Almost half (43%) of internal audit leaders believe climate change will pose a “very important” risk to their company in 2021 — up from 13% last year. Over the next 18 months, most supply chain executives plan initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and waste, source responsibly and boost water efficiency.

    As Climate Change Risk Grows, Supply Chain Spends on Sustainability

    Almost half (43%) of internal audit leaders believe climate change will pose a “very important” risk to their company in 2021 — up from 13% last year. Over the next 18 months, most supply chain executives plan initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and waste, source responsibly and boost water efficiency.

    This issue of Gartner Business Quarterly contains insights from the practical experience of:

    • Ageas
    • Booz Allen Hamilton
    • Electronic Arts
    • Genentech
    • Guangfa Securities
    • HP Inc.
    • IBM
    • Intel
    • Mashreq
    • Monsanto (now part of Bayer)
    • Nationwide Building Society
    • Northwestern Mutual
    • Perpetual Guardian
    • Public Service Enterprise Group
    • Red Bull
    • TIAA
    • Unilever
    • Western Health
    About Gartner Business Quarterly

    Gartner Business Quarterly provides business executives with insights from best practices research and the real-world experience of practitioners. The journal’s insights especially equip executives to tackle challenges that cut across the C-suite and affect multiple executive teams. Writers, contributors and data analysts are members of Gartner Research & Advisory (R&A), whose teams are led by Executive VP Mike Harris. The Gartner Business Quarterly publication is led by Editor-in-Chief Judy Pasternak, with executive sponsorship by Group VP Scott Christofferson.

    2020 Issues

    The Resilient Enterprise

    Strength and agility to lead through disruption

    Download Q4 2020

    How to Rebuild Better

    Rebuilding for the “new normal” and beyond

    Download Q3 2020