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STAMFORD, Conn., November 8, 2021

Gartner ReimagineHR Conference: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, taking place this week virtually in the Americas. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 from the conference, we are highlighting the opening keynote and sessions on leader identification and selection, warning signs that your organizational design is hindering inclusivity and the next-generation manager. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Opening Keynote: The Equity Imperative — How Fairness Improves Performance

Presented by Brian Kropp, Distinguished VP, Research, Gartner

The recovery from the economic challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic is complex — while some segments of the labor force are excelling, others are still struggling. In this opening Gartner keynote, Brian Kropp, Distinguished VP, Research, Gartner, shared how HR processes must evolve to support new hybrid work models, including the risk of driving inequality across organizations.

Key Takeaways

  • “Inequity will be the biggest issue facing us as a society for the next 5 to 10 years.”

  • “More than 90% of companies are planning a hybrid world post pandemic. This creates new questions of fairness and differences between our remote, hybrid and in-office employees.”

  • “By creating a fair environment, a fair experience for employees, they're dramatically higher performing and they're less likely to quit. It is the right thing to do.”

  • “When leaders provide transparency, they get better talent outcomes, better quality of hire, and better retention decisions.”

  • “By being transparent, leaders can double the number of employees that have a fair employee experience.”

  • “How HR leaders frame the support they provide employees is just as important as the support they provide.”

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The Equity Imperative in Leader Identification and Selection

Presented by Molly Tipps, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner

As organizations face calls to embed diversity, equity and inclusion, companies are rethinking their approach to talent review. In this session, Molly Tipps, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner, shared insights on building bench strength and engaging employees in a transparent and equitable way.

Key Takeaways

  • “Leading organizations recognize that success requires a steady pipeline of top talent – ready, able, and willing to step in when a promotion or departure occurs at the next level.”

  • “Despite years of concerted effort by earnest and passionate leaders, lack of proportional representation at the top of organizations continues to persist.” 

  • "There are hurdles on the track for traditionally underrepresented talent – things about the systems and approaches to identifying future leaders."

  • “The unconscious bias that’s hardwired into those processes throws obstacles in the path of otherwise high performing employees, making the difficult task of identifying future potential leaders even more complex.”

  • “Equitable talent reviews increase intent-to-stay across all talent segments but are especially effective at boosting intent-to-stay among women and racial minorities.”

  • “Employees don’t have to be running unfair races, not if HR leaders put equity at the center of the processes that form and sustain the leadership pipeline, specifically talent reviews.”

Warning Signs That Your Organization Design Is Hindering Inclusivity

Presented by Mia Garrod, Director, Advisory, Gartner

Common diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) interventions, such as unconscious bias training and leader development programs, have proven insufficient for tackling the systemic biases that create barriers to inclusion. In this session, Mia Garrod, Director, Advisory, Gartner, explained how organization design can help or hinder efforts of inclusivity.

Key Takeaways

  • “The intent of HR leaders is to enable the full participation of underrepresented talent segments, but the design is still perpetuating the inequalities in representation and participation.”

  • “The call to action is not to hire more diverse talent, but rather to consider progression equity -- or perhaps the lack of it -- as a way to understand and measure success in your DEI work.” 

  • “Progression equity is the current state of progress talent in our organizations experience combined with the expectations of future progressions. That’s the perception our talent has of their future leadership potential in the organization.” 

  • “Today, under-represented talent is less likely, in fact nearly 23% less likely, to report and experience progression equity, which understandably leads to higher attrition rate in this group with underrepresented talent 22% more likely to leave an organization.” 

  • “Organizations should design environments that have the initiatives and reinforcements in place to make the workplace a better place to be for your underrepresented talent.”

The Next-Generation Manager: Why Some Leaders Build Exceptional Talent – And Others Don’t

Presented by Jaime Roca, Senior Vice President, Gartner and Sari Wilde, Managing Vice President, Gartner

The work environment has fundamentally changed. In this session, Jaime Roca, Senior Vice President, Gartner, and Sari Wilde, Managing Vice President, Gartner, discussed how managers need to play a fundamentally different role to help their teams navigate changing work environments and be ready for the future.

Key Takeaways

  • “Managers all around the globe are asked to operate in a more complex, urgent and at times unfamiliar circumstances, while achieving stronger and better results.”

  • “We are seeing a proliferation of skills across functions and roles, where the total number of skills required for a single job is increasing at 6% annually, and 29% of the skills that were present in an average job posting in 2018 will not be needed in 2022.”

  • “Employees want to be seen as people, not just workers, where work is a subset of their lives, and not separate from it.” 

  • “The Connector manager boost employee performance by as much as 45% and more than tripling the likelihood that an employee will be a high performer."

  • “It’s not about micromanaging employees’ work, but rather building deeper connections and understanding what employees need to perform more sustainably in their work.”

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