AchieveNEXT Mid-Year Sentiment Study 2021

Improving the employee value proposition.

Two headline-grabbing issues ranked lower on the list of concerns and priorities for executives. Managing a post-lockdown return to the workplace (including the question of “hybrid” at-work and remote workplace design) was a top-level concern for only 14% of respondents. And, though mid-2021 newspaper headlines have focused on rising wages, the cost of talent is in fact the least of the concerns of the CFOs and CHROs we spoke to. Out of 11 talent issues, the two cost issues — health/benefit expense and payroll expense — came in 9th and 11th.

Please rank each of the following Human Capital Management concerns with 5 being of the highest concern:

4.40 Average Rating

Addressing Diversity equity and inclusion issues and oppor tunities Managing payroll expense Managing health care/employee benefit costs Managing a return to the workplace/hybrid workforce Measuring and improving employee productivity Strengthening topmanagement capabilities Buildi ng a leadership pipeline / leadership development Training and developing workforce skills Moti vating, engaging, and challenging employees Retaini ng talent Finding the talent we need

4.03 3.78 3.69 3.64 3.63 3.53 3.09 3.07 2.98 2.95

1 Lowest Concern

2 Low Concern

3 Moderate Concern

4 High Concern

5 Highest Concern

1 2 3 4 5

Instead, mid-market and emerging enterprise leaders placed much more emphasis on a series of activities that would improve the quality of talent: motivating and challenging employees, improving top management capabilities, workforce training and development, and building a leadership pipeline. Each of these initiatives (along with diversity, equity, and inclusion) offered as a top or near-top issue by nearly a third of respondents, can have a significant positive impact on the employee value proposition. That means they are practical measures companies can take to proactively address their worries about being able to attract and retain people as their companies grow and the economy booms.


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