Five Business Strategies for CHROs to Lead Digital Transformation


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Sixty-seven percent of business leaders agree their company must become significantly digitalized by 2020 to remain competitive, and they are looking for HR leaders to lead this transformation, according to Gartner, Inc.

CEOs are sharing their focus on digitalization with their investors; mentions of “digital” on earnings calls have increased 20% year-over-year since 2010. CEOs are seeking ways to keep costs down while achieving gains in efficiency and productivity, and the HR function is expected to lead digital transformation efforts across their organizations.

“As more organizations become increasingly digital across their operations, HR departments are facing a tall order: not only do they have to lead the digital transformation of their company and satisfy the desires of the CEO, but they must also meet employee demands that digitalization efforts provide improved experience for them,” said Brian Kropp, group vice president of Gartner’s HR practice.

Gartner analysts are discussing how HR leaders can drive innovation and digitalization efforts across their organization in front of more than 1,450 attendees at the Gartner ReimagineHR conference, which is taking place here today and tomorrow.

To lead this digital Gartner has identified five macro strategies to lead this transformation:

1. Attracting more digital candidates

2. Gaining better insights about employees

3. Coaching managers to develop the digital capabilities of their teams

4. Improving technology to drive employee self-service at work

5. Evolving performance management

Realizing the expectations of the employees is critical given the state of the labor market, which includes decreased employee effort amid some of the lowest unemployment numbers in recent history.

According to Gartner research, the number of employees who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in the workplace has declined significantly, both globally and in North America. In 3Q18, only 17 percent of North American employees reported high levels of discretionary effort, down from 26 percent in 2013. Globally, a mere 14 percent of employees reported high levels of discretionary effort in 3Q18, six percentage points lower than in 2013.

“The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018 and the U.K.’s wasn’t much higher at four percent, indicating labor markets that are the tightest they’ve been for some time,” said Mr. Kropp. “For most organizations, talent is the single biggest overhead expense, and the biggest competitive advantage. As such, heads of HR are under extreme pressure to deliver on the promise of what digitalization has to offer, both in terms of the business and employee experience.”

About Gartner for HR Leaders

Gartner for HR Leaders brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function.

About Gartner ReimagineHR

Gartner ReimagineHR is the premier event for HR leaders around the world. Join Gartner and senior HR executives to hear key insights and actionable strategies necessary to support organizational performance. Gartner ReimagineHR is taking place October 28-30 in Florida. Follow news and updates from the event on Twitter using #GartnerHR.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and objective resource for more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

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