2020 in the CHRO Community

Year in Review Infographic
A Look Back at the CHRO Journey

2020 was one for the record books in all kinds of ways. CHROs had a critical role in their organizations, on issues from employee health to racial injustice. Here is a look at the journey the Evanta CHRO Community took this year.

CHROs told us in our proprietary Leadership Perspectives Survey that they started the year focused on these 3 critical priorities:


By March, the focus shifted to COVID, remote work, and business continuity. These were the top concerns at the start of the pandemic, according to our Community Pulse survey --

41% of CHROs said business operations continued, but at a reduced level

31% expected standard business operations to return to normal in 3 to 6 months

57% predicted a significant impact on business revenue

Our CHRO communities got together virtually and discussed these topics with their peers:


In May town hall discussions, two leaders offered their thoughts on crisis response:

Our CEO is sending out weekly emails that offer encouragement and resources on employee wellness. Now, they also address business continuity topics. We stood up a COVID-19 webpage that has all the policies, guidance, etc., and it is updated daily. It’s very important to keep HR aligned and moving in the right direction.

Medical Supply SVP & CHRO
Minneapolis CHRO Community

We are shifting to the next phase: How do we reopen? How do we get employees to come back to work? We are helping leaders understand how HR can provide value. We have changed benefit plans in a week and implemented new PTO plans within days. Who would have thought we could do that? When you need to get things done, you can.

Food & Beverage Industry SVP & CHRO
Seattle CHRO Community


By summer, CHROs recognized this was a sustained period of uncertainty, according to our Pulse Survey.

27% cited maintaining culture and engagement as their primary business concern

30% were spending the majority of their time on business continuity planning

43% expected standard business operations to return to normal in 6-12 months

HR leaders began to return to their top 3 critical priorities in the fall:


In October, CHROs discussed how to continue the momentum around inclusivity and create long-term changes at their organizations:

Because of the global diversity of our employees, there is a broad level of support from our leadership and beyond. We have strong cultural values and are leveraging the strength of our culture to dig in deeper to do greater DEI work. We’re building the capability around diversity, equity and inclusion.

Global Business Services SVP & Global Chief People Officer
San Francisco CHRO Community

We have learned that employees would like more education and training on how to approach the difficult conversations and become allies. Our employees also expect more transparency about certain processes. From our BIPOC, we have learned that the organization needs to address institutional racism, provide unconscious bias training, and review our approach to community investments and school partnerships.

Global Agribusiness SVP & CHRO
Chicago CHRO Community


Throughout the year, CHROs recognized that with crisis comes opportunity. CHROs have accelerated DEI initiatives, increased their influence on C-suite peers, and communicated the company vision and actions on critical issues.

Moving into 2021, here are 3 predictions about what CHROs will focus on next year:


by CHROs, for CHROs

6,919 HR leaders participated in 207 Evanta CHRO discussions this year. 
Keep the conversations going in 2021.