Top 3 Areas of Focus for CHROs [2023]

Community Blog
Written by Anthony Congi

FEBRUARY 9, 2023

When the world was turned on its head, CHROs were elevated to unprecedented levels of influence in the C-Suite. Nearly three years later, organizational operations and the way employees balance work and life has forever been altered. 

When it comes to workplace trends, CHROs are continually asked to be the voice of the employee, resetting business priorities and developing leaders. At the same time, they have to drive enterprise goals and business objectives for future success. According to Gartner, “60% of CEOs are rethinking the HR function, expecting HR leaders to be ‘broad-gauge business executives’.” In a recent interview on our podcast, Staples CHRO Janice Deskus discussed how CHROs can influence the enterprise. She stated:

It used to be managing the enterprise, right? Managing your business. And within that, each of us had a functional set of responsibilities. Today, it is so much larger and [has] so many more challenges, consequences, and just considerations as you're building out your business strategy and leading. So you cannot just sit back and be a functional leader. You need to be a true enterprise, and even world leader at some level, to make sure that you really are moving your business ahead. It's harder. It's more complicated, and it's a lot more work. You cannot sit back and just be the CHRO or the CFO and think that that's the role you're playing. It's much bigger than that today.”

Looking at the landscape and challenges for 2023, these are the biggest themes CHROs will prioritize:

  1. Shifting Business Focus From Critical Roles to Critical Skills

HR leaders are applying a skills-based lens to talent management to better support business objectives in rapidly shifting environments. New technologies, competitive talent marketplaces and volatile economic forces are requiring CHROs to evolve from traditional workforce planning to a dynamic skills strategy. 

  1. Revolutionizing the Employee Experience to Aid Retention

CHROs in 2023 are focused on building a best-in-class employee experience to attract and retain critical talent. To mitigate attrition, HR leaders need to understand and measure employee experience to develop improvements around career pathways, organizational culture and flexibility.

  1. New Ways of Leading for a New Era of Work

A changing world of work requires leadership to adapt and modernize. CHROs are taking a human-centered approach to leadership development while working to anticipate and foster the new skills required of today’s modern leaders.

The CHRO’s business impact in a constantly-evolving-world will not cease anytime soon. With organizations mostly set for their current workforce strategy, key functions of HR will take more of a precedence in 2023. As one Boston-area CHRO recently stated, “So many typical HR priorities have been ignored the last few years and the bill has come due.” 

As we receive responses to our annual Leadership Perspective Survey, we will continue to fine tune what CHROs are focused on into their specific, mission critical priorities for the year. This feedback from the CHRO community helps us facilitate valuable discussions on the most important challenges at our community gatherings.

Join your local CHRO community to connect with like-minded peers who share your priorities – apply to join here.


Anthony Congi headshot

Anthony Congi

Content Manager at Evanta, a Gartner Company

by CHROs, for CHROs

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