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Top HR transformation strategies for 2020

Ignore the buzzwords that obscure your understanding of digital transformation.

In 2020, HR leaders will concentrate on concrete actions that better align human capital management with the organization’s overarching objective: development.


According to Gartner analysts, the HR industry is expected to prioritize five transformation strategies in the new year, as only 9% of CHROs are confident in the organization’s readiness for the future. These consist of:

Develop essential competencies and abilities
Building a more robust leadership team
Change management and organizational design
Digital enterprise transformation
Improving the employee experience

“The critical needs that organizations must address in order to operate successfully in the current uncertain environment are reflected in the priorities of HR leaders for 2020,” stated Leah Johnson, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice.

“In addition to the skill gaps and strained leadership capabilities that digital transformation has already generated, we are also observing that companies are lacking the necessary skills to restructure their businesses and manage the change that every organization is currently facing.”


In 2020, how will HR leaders adapt to change?

1. Guarantee that the workforce possesses the necessary skills for the future.

A Gartner study revealed that nearly half of HR executives (46%) report that their workforce is lacking in critical skills necessary to drive business performance in the present and future. It is alleged that companies are experiencing difficulty in retraining employees who are proficient in digitalization and automation.

“In order to guarantee that employees possess the necessary skills, HR leaders should collaborate with business leaders to comprehend and preserve the appropriate equilibrium of legacy, existing, and emerging skill sets,” analysts advise.

“HR will also need to collaborate with managers to illustrate to employees how they will develop in-demand skills and to connect them to skill-building opportunities that extend beyond their current roles.”


2. Prepare leaders for success in the face of ever-increasing demands

According to Gartner, the responsibilities and expectations of leaders have “expanded rapidly” in recent years, but many are purportedly “ill-equipped” to assume their expanded roles.

The development of midlevel managers is a challenge that HR leaders (45%) encounter. Conversely, senior executives are insufficiently effective in over one-third of organizations. Therefore, leadership development is one area that requires refinement.

“In order to establish a robust leadership bench, HR should consider a ‘complementary leadership’ model that involves the collaboration of leaders to share responsibilities based on their complementary skill sets,” suggest analysts. “These leader partnerships enable each leader to specialize in core skills, acquire essential skills, and lead in critical areas.”

The firm’s data indicates that executives who implement the complementary leadership strategy experience a 60% increase in their teams’ performance.


3. Facilitate work by implementing change management and organizational design.

According to research conducted by Gartner, approximately 57% of employees experience “significant barriers” in their daily work, and these obstacles are frequently precipitated by disruptions that workers are not adequately prepared to handle.

In 2019, employees experienced an average of 12 organizational changes, ranging from restructuring and executive leadership transitions to smaller, yet equally disruptive, shifts such as being assigned to a new manager, team, or project.

Analysts suggest that HR executives implement a “open source change approach” in which they involve the appropriate employees as active participants in the decision-making or change management process.

According to Gartner, the likelihood of fatigue among employees is reduced by 50% when employees are engaged in the process of implementing change, as opposed to the “traditional top-down approach.”



4. Address the talent gap to facilitate digital business transformation

Despite the fact that digital transformation has become a popular term in the HR industry in recent years, over 43% of HR executives acknowledge that their organization does not have a clear and consistent strategy for it. Additionally, over one-third (35%) of organizations require the appropriate personnel to facilitate transformation.

Nevertheless, Gartner advises that HR executives be the first to adopt change, despite these obstacles. These strategies consist of:

Developing expertise in digital business: “Work in conjunction with leaders to ensure that digital objectives are in alignment with the organization’s strategy.”

Using talent processes to develop and refine the organization’s digital plans and prevent execution blind spots: “Track employees’ skills.”

Providing functional support: “Encourage HR teams to make significant contributions to the digital transformation of the business and to regularly review HR strategies to ensure that they are in accordance with the evolving needs and expectations of employees and business leaders.”


5. Secure greater returns from investments in employee experience

Businesses are perpetually seeking methods to improve the employee experience. Nevertheless, data from Gartner indicates that nearly half of employees (46%) continue to experience feelings of dissatisfaction and disengagement in their workplace.

The firm suggests that in order to enhance employee satisfaction, organizations should not only invest in the employee experience but also influence the way employees perceive it.

“Organizations should facilitate the memory of the overall employee experience by reminding employees of positive experiences and reframing their memories of negative experiences.”

It is believed that HR leaders who dedicate time to communicating the message of genuine concern to their employees are more likely to foster employee satisfaction and loyalty.