People, purpose, prices, and productivity emerged in a recent Gartner survey as key issues for the C-suite in 2022, and looking to 2023, reflecting a radical shift in priorities not seen in 15 years but likely to represent an enduring change in the mindset of CEOs.
The last time we saw this type of sharp change in business leaders’ top priorities was in 2009 through 2010, during the financial crisis. In 2022, the Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey showed that, catalyzed by multiple macro trends and economic factors, business leaders are reprioritizing some key areas of enterprise purpose and management focus.
The Gartner survey polled more than 400 senior business leaders about their 2022-23 priorities and technology-related thinking. (Participants span industries outside the tech sector and commercial, revenue-pursuing organizations.)
Key trends in leadership thinking
Among the top 10 priorities in this year’s survey:
Workforce issues emerge as a postpandemic focus
The combination of societal trends around DEI and the social attitude effects of the pandemic have led to a set of workforce issues important enough to warrant a high amount of the CEO’s attention. Attracting and retaining talent is the main consideration within the workforce sphere — 15% of senior executives, up from 8% last year, cited it as one of their top three concerns.
Technology roles could be an important segment in which to test talent development strategies. IT staff and business technologists are some of the hardest employees to recruit and retain. It makes sense to trial and develop your leading-edge talent management ideas with this group first.
Hybrid and remote work is seen as the most significant change
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of employee-related issues to a head. We asked respondents an open question about people in general and were surprised by the result. We had expected customer-related issues to dominate the thinking, but employees were the focus instead.
The top response (55%) called out remote and hybrid working, outweighing all others combined. CEOs see employees’ desire for remote and hybrid work as the biggest behavior shift post-pandemic, and CEOs main hybrid-work concerns are culture and productivity.
We know from our interviews that CEOs are hesitant and concerned about how this new working arrangement will play out in practice. It may have been a short-term necessity during the pandemic, but some remain reluctant to make it permanent.
Workforce concerns rose substantially between the two periods in which the survey was conducted, with resignations considered a significant issue by 48% of respondents in 4Q21, up from 34% in 3Q21. Overall, 49% of CEOs agreed with the statement that “it is very difficult for us to find and hire the kind of people we need in our business.”
The original article by Mark Raskino, Gartner's distinguished vice president analyst, is here.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of DigitalWorkforceTrends. Image credits: iStockphoto/SIphotography; Chart: Gartner