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London, September 12, 2023

Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, London 2023: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, concluding today, in London, U.K. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference. You can read the highlights here from Day 1.

On Day 2 from the conference, we are highlighting how DEI leaders can think more like CFOs to manage diversity as a resource, addressing the early signs of manager failure, how generative AI will impact the workforce and rethinking DEI metrics for enabling meaningful action. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Think Like a CFO: How DEI Leaders Can Lead with Authority and Manage Diversity as a Resource

Presented by Jane Alancheril, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner

DEI leaders today are tasked with delivering more with less while operating in increasingly challenging economic and corporate environments. As CEOs and Boards focus on the bottom line and some employees push back against DEI initiatives, heads of DEI must become even stronger advocates for their functions and themselves. In this session, Jane Alancheril, Senior Director, Advisory, Gartner, shared how DEI leaders can think more like CFOs to manage resources and prioritize their own time and energy to maximize their functional and personal effectiveness. 

Key Takeaways

  • “DEI leaders reported that the top challenges they’ve faced this year include: lack of business leader accountability for DEI outcomes, limited power to make decisions that drive DEI outcomes and ineffective, uncoordinated cross-enterprise DEI efforts.”

  • “To more effectively lead DEI efforts amidst uncertainty, heads of DEI can adopt three lessons from CFOs: 

    • Show how DEI minimizes enterprise risk.

    • Weigh DEI investments by their organizational impact.

    • Focus on the assumptions underlying beliefs of power players.”

  • “DEI efforts are essential to mitigating various types of organizational risk; for instance, when it comes to talent retention, 40% of employees would consider leaving their organization if they cannot trust them to fulfill their DEI commitments.”

  • “Heads of DEI must measure the value of individual DEI investments; while 96% of organizations conduct DEI-focused trainings, less than half of participants report them as somewhat satisfactory.” 

  • Rather than aiming for broad allyship on DEI issues, DEI leaders should leverage power mapping to develop relationships with the right advocates for a given issue and build influence.

Addressing the Early Signs of Manager Failure

Presented by Vitorio Bretas, Director, Advisory, Gartner

Managers are at a higher risk of underperformance, which can negatively impact the talent outcomes of their teams. In this session, Vitorio Bretas, Director, Advisory, Gartner, shared how to spot the “early warning indicators” that can identify the managers most at risk.

Key Takeaways

  • “Forty-eight percent of managers at organizations are at risk of failure.”

  • “A manager is considered to be at risk of failure if their team has been inconsistent in achieving business goals in the last 12 months and if there is lack of confidence in the manager’s ability to lead the team to future success.”

  • “The employees of managers who are at risk of failure are 11% less likely to be high performers and three times more likely to want to leave their organizations.”

  • “The four top predictors of manager failure are: 

    • Lack of manager self-awareness

    • Absence of employee empathy

    • Unproductive manager interactions with their direct reports 

    • Misalignment of the work itself with the organization’s and employee’s personal goals”

  • “Organizations can achieve a 43% reduction in the percentage of managers at risk of failing by successfully addressing the top four predictors.”

Beyond Demographic Data: Rethink DEI Metrics for Meaningful Action

Presented by Shannon Wiest, Senior Principal, Advisory, Gartner

Measuring outcomes beyond just demographic data can help HR leaders respond in real time to drive effective change. In this session, Shannon Wiest, Senior Principal, Advisory, Gartner, explored a different approach to DEI metrics and motivators that enable action and remain bold amid rising pushback for DEI initiatives

Key Takeaways

  • “Fifty-one percent of DEI leaders reported that leadership’s failure to take ownership for driving DEI outcomes is the top challenge they face today.”

  • “DEI leaders are using metrics to drive accountability – 85% of DEI leaders said they allocate a considerable amount or a great deal of resources to setting goals and tracking DEI progress through metrics.”

  • “DEI metrics focused on demographic data have value, but they are not sufficient because they lack intersectional insight, encourage check-box compliance and lack progress indicators.”

  • “DEI metrics must move beyond merely reporting demographic data to prescribing leader action based on metrics that predict and guide future performance. This includes, but is not limited to, demographic breakdowns of:

    • Intent to stay

    • Psychological safety

    • Diversity of hiring pool”

How Will Generative AI Impact Your Workforce?

Presented by Helen Poitevin, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Hype around generative AI is leading a renewed focus on the capacity of AI to displace workers and transform jobs – including in HR. In this session, Helen Poitevin, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner, examined the business value of AI and its intersection with talent and skills.

Key Takeaways

  • “Employees who have concerns that AI may replace their jobs are 27% less likely to stay at their current organization for the next year than employees without any concerns over AI impacting their jobs.”

  • “Organizations should evaluate opportunities for AI at a portfolio level – that takes into account business context and demand volumes – rather than an activity or task level.”

  • “The impact of AI on jobs will be uneven; depending on how AI is used, it has the ability to reshape roles, create new roles, redesign other roles and retire some roles..”

  • “When AI is used only for quick wins and operational efficiency, the likelihood of automating away jobs increases, including within HR. New roles emerge, however, when AI is used in transformative ways to change products or services, or to transform customer experience.”

  • “HR leaders can take three actions when planning for generative AI’s impact on jobs:

    • Take an Active Role — Decide where you choose to use AI

    • Monitor Roles — Be ready to redesign them or create new

    • Map Your Portfolio — Anticipate unique talent challenges.”

Thanks for joining! See you next year!

About Gartner

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