Diversity, equality and integration are the topics that HR managers have put at the top of their agenda for next year – according to the result of a recent Gartner survey of 550 HR managers. […]
The survey, which took place in July 2021, revealed that the other important topics for HR managers for 2022 are: organizational design and change management (48 percent of the entries), promotion of current and future managers (45 percent) and the future of work (42 percent). “The shift to hybrid forms of work, the rapidly increasing turnover and the increasing struggle for talent, as well as the increasing pressure to make progress on diversity, equality and inclusion (DIE), are driving these priorities forward,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory in Gartner’s HR practice.
As a consequence of this development, Gartner recommends that HR professionals focus on the following initiatives:
Of the HR managers surveyed who took part in the July survey, 47 percent said they did not know what skills gaps their current employees have, while 40 percent said they could not develop skills development solutions quickly enough to meet changing skills needs.
The Gartner data shows that new qualifications are replacing old ones – almost every third qualification that was required for a job in 2018 will no longer be needed in 2022 – and that the average number of qualifications per job is steadily increasing. “Forward-looking HR departments close development gaps and create a more adaptable workforce by taking a competency-centered approach to talent management,” Whittle is convinced.
54 Percent of the HR managers surveyed stated that their employees suffer from change fatigue. The Gartner analysis found that small everyday changes – other teammates, a new supervisor, small process or system changes – are much more common and are 2.5 times more tiring for employees than large transformative changes. “It’s death by a thousand cuts,” Whittle comments. Change fatigue is not only about the scope of the changes, but also about the effort and interruption of each experience.
In order to help employees cope with the change, the HR department must, on the one hand, strengthen the trust of employees in their teammates and their managers. Employees with a high level of trust are 2.6 times better able to cope with changes, according to Gartner calculations. On the other hand, the HR department must contribute to strengthening team cohesion. Teams that work well together, listen to each other and are there for each other can count on employees who are almost twice as capable of coping with change as their colleagues who work in teams with little cohesion.
To be successful in a hybrid environment where managers have significantly less insight into the daily reality of their employees, empathy must come first. Leaders who lead with empathy develop a high level of trust in their employees, create a culture of transparency and acceptance within their teams, and give people priority over processes. Gartner analyses show that managers who show a high level of empathy have three times as much influence on the performance of their employees as those who show a low level of empathy.
49 Percent of respondents said that they do not have an explicit strategy for the future of work, while a third said that their strategy for the future of work focuses exclusively on hybrid and/or remote work. However, the corona pandemic will have a lasting impact on the future of work that goes far beyond the location of the employees. Because: “HR managers need to find out which future trends of work have changed and will change the strategic plans of their organization and which immediate and longer-term adjustments of the workforce are required as a result,” says Whittle. Managers should analyze the impact of several potential scenarios in order to identify and prepare for technological, social and labor changes that could significantly change the need for talent.
36 Percent of HR managers stated that it is difficult for them to hold the company’s management accountable for DEI results. The Gartner study shows that the development of underrepresented talents in middle and higher-level positions is stalling, as these employees are promoted more slowly and their leadership potential is perceived less well. In order to achieve the desired DEI results, the HR department must adopt a new approach that has a meaningful impact on the behavior and results of individual managers.
This type of consistent accountability – instead of collective accountability – is based on promoting equitable talent decisions, enabling executives to implement DEI goals, and demanding progress on DEI goals for each executive to move up in the company. Further information on the HR trend report can be found here.
*Hans Königes is Head of the Jobs & Careers Department and is therefore responsible for all topics related to the labor market, jobs, professions, salaries, personnel management, recruiting and social media in professional life.