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Conference Updates

October 15, 2020

Gartner ReimagineHR Conference: Day 3 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, taking place this week virtually in EMEA and the Americas. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference. You can also read the highlights here from Day 1 and Day 2.  

On Day 3 from the conference, we are highlighting a guest keynote on why the mentally tough thrive, and sessions on rewarding employees during disruptions, diversifying the leadership bench and the six actions employers make that erode employee trust. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.


Key Announcements

Press releases and stories covering news from the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference are listed below:

Closing Guest Keynote: Why the Mentally Tough Thrive

Presented by Penny Mallory, Champion Rally Driver, TV Presenter, Mental Toughness & Mindset Expert

Today’s unprecedented times, filled with numerous stressors, highlight the need for optimism, confidence, resilience, and grit in today's workplace. In this guest keynote, Penny Mallory, Champion Rally Driver, TV Presenter, Mental Toughness & Mindset Expert, discussed human performance and what it means to be mentally tough.

Key Takeaways

  • For every single achievement, only 30% is based on intelligence, skills or talent. Seventy percent of any achievement is attributed to mental toughness – the ability to persevere, have grit and bounce back.
  • “Mental toughness is the ability to deal with the stress and pressure and challenges of life.” Mentally tough people can cope better and are much more likely to thrive and have a more happy and successful existence.
  • There are 4 main components of mental toughness:
    • Control
    • Challenge
    • Commitment
    • Confidence

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Rewarding Employees During Disruptions

Presented by Alex Pavel, Director, Advisory at Gartner

It is currently a challenging situation for employee compensation planning. Significant cost constraints for most organizations today means less money to reward high performers. In this session Alex Pavel, Director, Advisory at Gartner, explained why rewards remain essential and offered strategies for how to effectively reward employees in different economic scenarios.

Key Takeaways

  • “Using large differentiation multiples to reward top performers improves employee performance by 18% more than small differentiation for small differences in performance.”
  • “Where budgets are stable or minimally reduced – we recommend… managers make fewer, but larger, decisions regarding overall compensation... and reward high performers disproportionality more than core performers.”
  • “A well-designed reward and recognition program can drive employee performance by over 11%.”
  • “For those who are offering recognition, over one-third are providing or planning to provide professional development opportunities… a low-cost way to reward high performers and improve their skills.”
  • “When offering recognition or rewards it is most impactful when delivered by a senior executive, and is presented on behalf of the organization rather than from an individual.”
  • The optimal value for a reward, as measured by the positive impact on employee performance, is around $315.

Diversifying the Leadership Bench

Presented by Ania Krasniewska, Vice President, Advisory at Gartner

Diversifying the leadership bench is more about fixing the systems and processes in the organization than fixing underrepresented talent. In this session, Ania Krasniewska Shahidi, Vice President, Advisory at Gartner, explained some strategies to do that.

Key Takeaways

  • “When it comes to leaders who are diverse from a gender perspective and from a racial or ethnic perspective, there are roughly 10% in that category.”
  • “It’s tempting to say that we’re here because we’re not getting direction from the top...But the truth is, our organizations are getting a tremendous amount of signal from the top.” 
  • “Since 2018, we have seen diversity & inclusion (D&I) be the number one talent priority for CEOs, along with more mentions in earnings reports and a huge inflection in number of signatories to the action pledge.“
  • Often the real issue is systemic bias, “In the way that organizations measure potential, or performance criteria that are very narrow, or bias inherent in the talent review processes.”
  • The first way to remove systemic bias is by “shifting the ownership of how we approach our solutions – away from individual talent to a most systems-based approach.” 
  • “You are more likely to feel multiple burdens if you are the ‘only’ one of something in the room… When a candidate is ‘an only’, we inadvertently create systems that put more weight on their shoulders.” 
  • HR leaders should stop bias where it enters the systems. They actively have to re-engineer them when they become aware that they perpetuate systemic issues.

Learn more in the Gartner press release "Gartner Says HR Organizations Must Develop Career Paths That Advance Underrepresented Talent to Increase Diversity Among Leadership Benches."

The Six Actions You Make That Erode Employee Trust

Presented by Kaustav Dey, Senior Director, Analyst at Gartner

In this session, Kaustav Dey, Senior Director, Analyst at Gartner, explained how balancing the right behaviors with the right intent can help HR leaders build trust quickly with employees both face-to-face and virtually.

Key Takeaways

  • “Trust within organizations is important because it creates psychological safety, encourages questioning, creates goodwill, encourages innovation and rapid decision making, and enhances morale.”
  • The six actions that organizations make that erode employee trust include:
    • Over relying on strengths: “Trust is achieved by balancing behavior and not by over relying the strengths the leaders have. Each strength they have actually has a yin-yang to another weakness.”
    • Adjusting for personality types: “Each personality type has a different way of gathering information, assimilating information, charging their energy, and overall perspective of life. However, not every communication that leaders make cater to all different personality types.”
    • Avoiding crucial conversations: “Trustworthy leaders know how to defuse an explosive situation by understanding the triangle of high stakes, opposing opinions and strong emotions.”
    • Asking and not acting: “Advice, opinions, answers – when sought out from employees – have to be acted upon and not ignored.”
    • Mastering vulnerability: “Leaders who show vulnerability at times are more trusted. It’s a gradual and very well practiced art which leaders need to master.”
    • Realistic patience is critical for trust: “Trust is not built overnight or in a quarter. It takes time and a disciplined approach over a period backed by good intentions and authenticity."


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