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Gartner Top 3 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2021

Source | | Jackie Wiles

A recent survey of more than 800 HR leaders shows that although many expect their organizations to focus on growth in 2021, cost optimization features more widely than it did previously — and improving operational excellence remains paramount. To support these and other business priorities, 68% of HR leaders say they will be building critical skills and competencies, an objective that has topped the priorities of HR leaders for three consecutive years.

Organizational design and change management also feature among the key objectives for HR leaders, as does building a bench of current and future leaders. None of these goals is new to HR leaders, but all have been made more urgent by the effects of COVID-19.

“As organizations move from their initial pandemic response to more sustainable operations, they’re trying to build resilience into everything, from strategy to work design, so as to enable the organization, its leadership and employees to sense and respond to change, repeatedly,” says Mark Whittle, VP, Advisory, Gartner.

Top priority No. 1: Building critical skills and competencies

HR leaders see building critical skills as vital to driving many of their organization’s priorities — from growing the business and executing business transformation to improving operational excellence.

One-third or more of HR leaders agree the major challenges include their lack of visibility and understanding of current skill gaps and being unable to integrate learning effectively into employee workflows.

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