- If HR professionals feel like they’ve shouldered more responsibility, gained more say over the workplace, or both, they are not alone. More than 80% of HR leaders are expected to do more work compared to three years ago, per a recent Gartner report.
- With great power comes great responsibility: 70% of HR managers told Gartner that they have “more opportunities for impact” and more than half said they have “more authority to determine strategic priorities.”
- HR leaders now grapple with “whether or not to stay bold,” Brent Cassell, VP of advisory in Gartner’s HR practice, said at the firm’s ReimagineHR Conference. Now that external circumstances, such as the pandemic, are no longer forcing corporate America’s hand, HR has the opportunity to “continue to challenge convention,” Cassell said on Oct. 23.
Labor experts frequently discuss the importance of top-down support for the direction of a company’s culture; take exec buy-in regarding DEI, for example. Still, HR has an important role to play in driving workplace culture, Gartner suggested.
Why should HR step up to the plate? One reason is so that they can make the workplace more stable, which has implications for talent.
“Unpredictability can negatively affect employees and therefore business and talent outcomes,” Ania Krasniewska Shahidi, group VP of Gartner’s HR practice, said at the conference. Naming productivity and retention as the specific business outcomes at risk, Shahidi added, “Organizations that offer more stability see a significant rise in employee engagement.”
HR should also take ownership of setting the company culture to help instill more employee trust, Gartner researchers suggested. The survey’s data indicates that workplace trust is a “struggle”; 53% of workers trust their company and 63% of employers trust their employees.
Finally, Gartner encouraged HR professionals to keep being “bold.” In practice, this looks like finding a path forward, “even in the face of pushback,” researchers said.
Shahidi called this “letting go with intention.” From Shahidi’s perspective, this means “acknowledging the loss of what served you well in the past, and deliberately dismantling it to make room for new possibilities.”