Demand-driven succession management
Building the leadership bench is a priority for 60% of HR leaders overall and for 78% of talent management leaders. At issue are high-potential employees, succession management and leadership development — which is currently lagging. Among HR leaders overall, 47% said their organization struggles to develop effective leaders, 45% reported their leadership bench lacked diversity and 45% said their succession management processes didn’t yield the right leaders at the right time. In 2018, the median development spending per leader was $419 — a number that 44% of organizations expect to increase in 2019.
“ Organizations expect more than 40% of leadership roles to be significantly different within five years”
Traditionally, succession planning has assessed current roles and gaps in leadership supply. By switching to demand-driven planning, organizations can assess leadership needs that will enable the organization to achieve strategic goals, not just fill potential future vacancies in current roles. This approach is more appropriate for the fast-evolving business conditions inherent in today’s digital transformation strategies. Most organizations expect more than 40% of leadership roles to be significantly different within five years. By using demand-driven planning, HR can hedge its bets in an ever-evolving landscape and generate twice the impact on leadership bench strength.
Fifty-one percent of all HR leaders and 62% of heads of diversity and inclusion said it is a priority to improve employee experience. That will require HR to address key elements of culture, the employee value proposition and employee engagement. The problem today is that work experiences do not match the experiences of individuals outside the workplace. “Employees want their 9-5 to look like their 5-9,” says Brian Kropp, Group Vice President, Gartner. “And employees’ 5-9 lives are full of seamless, effortless experiences, largely enabled by digital technologies.”
“ Supporting what employees value, not just what they need, increases employee performance by 20%”
Only 29% of employees agree that “HR really understands what people like me need and want.” Among surveyed HR leaders, 40% conceded that their organization struggles to bring the employee value proposition to life in employees’ day-to-day work. Key to the solution is a change in focus for HR from just asking what employees want (or worse still, assuming what they want) to listening to what they need to determine what they really value. Supporting what employees value, not just what they need, increases employee performance by 20%.
Read more: Is It Time to Toss Out Your Old Employee Engagement Survey?
Teamwork needed among HR functions
Not surprisingly, individual HR leaders tend to prioritize initiatives aligned with their subfunction — whether that is diversity and inclusion or talent analytics — but the survey showed these top three initiatives to be critical across HR roles in 2019. This creates significant opportunity for cross-functional cooperation among HR leaders. For example, a head of talent analytics who prioritizes driving digital business transformation for the organization may not know that other HR leaders are doing the same. To align and capitalize on these important key initiatives, HR leaders must work across their functions, utilizing a wide range of HR resources and staff.