Top 3 Goals & Challenges for CHROs in 2022

2022 Survey Report


The events of the past few years have changed the workplace forever, and the “Great Reshuffle” is putting the ball in the employees’ court when it comes to corporate culture and experience. 

Human resources executives understand that they must place employees' needs at the forefront of business decisions in order to attract and retain top talent, but this is easier said than done. Evanta’s annual Leadership Perspective Survey has identified the mission critical priorities and common challenges CHROs are facing, and we are bringing CHRO communities together to tackle these issues. 

In this year’s survey, executives across the enterprise indicated driving growth and employee satisfaction and engagement as the top business priorities, and CHRO survey responses align with these goals. Employee experience is their overall top priority, followed by recruitment and retention strategies and diversity, equity and inclusion, respectively.

How are CHROs addressing these pivotal issues?

Top Priorities for CHROs

Over 600 CHROs around the world completed the Leadership Perspective Survey, revealing a shift in focus from 2021 to 2022. Employee experience and DEI have swapped places, with employee experience as the main focus and DEI taking the third spot. Recruitment, onboarding and retention strategies jumped from sixth to the second most important priority for 2022.

Cultivating Employee Experience and Organizational Culture

Human resources executives are responsible for laying the foundation for employee experience and organizational culture. Additionally, it is their job to hold business leaders accountable for adoption throughout the workplace. This year’s survey identified the collective goals and challenges CHROs are facing in this area.

Most CHROs listed developing talent and skills (67%) as a crucial goal for this year, while the quickly changing landscape (43%) is causing challenges for many HR leaders.

Goals for Employee Experience and Organizational Culture

67% Developing talent and skills

54% Building diversity among the workforce

51% Improving business outcomes

Challenges for Employee Experience and Organizational Culture

43% Quickly changing landscape

36% Company culture

29% Employee adoption

Human resources leaders are stressing the importance of prioritizing employee experience:  

We want to be obsessive enough about employee experience in the same way we are about customer experience.” 

We’re creating experiences for employees that stand apart by mirroring the customer journey with the employee journey.”

Many of us are experiencing a huge talent challenge right now, and a positive employee experience could give a solution to the talent retention we need.”


Refreshing Antiquated Recruitment, Onboarding and Retention Strategies

Recruitment and retention were issues before the pandemic, but they have since become seemingly insurmountable feats. CHROs are using various tactics to improve their efforts, and their top goals are improving business outcomes (53%) and building diversity among their workforce (53%). They have acknowledged that their biggest challenge is strong competition from competitors (63%).

Goals for Recruitment, Onboarding and Retention Strategies

53% Improving business outcomes/span>

53% Building diversity among the workforce

48% Developing talent and skills

Challenges for Recruitment, Onboarding and Retention Strategies

63% Strong Competition

56% Quickly changing landscape

33% Lack of resources

HR leaders are spotlighting this matter on their agendas:

Everything is about recruiting and retention, even getting recruiters.”

We have to put back into the business a real sense of belonging and make sure people understand they belong in the organization.”


Instilling Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DEI is no longer the number one priority for CHROs, but it is still a critical piece of the overall employee experience and a major focus for 2022. CHROs are in agreement that building diversity among the workforce (80%) is their top goal. There is, however, some discretion when it comes to DEI challenges. Company culture (30%), lack of resources (26%) and employee adoption (25%) are the most noted difficulties

Goals for DEI

80% Building diversity among the workforce

72% Developing talent and skills

46% Improving business outcomes

Challenges for DEI

30% Company culture

26% Lack of resources

25% Employee adoption

CHROs are sharing how they are ingraining DEI throughout their organizations:

We have a whole diversity strategy council. Our approach, it’s not an HR initiative, it's a business initiative.  We’re bringing the perspective that D&I is an HR led business activity.”  

You can't have diversity unless everyone feels like they belong. This requires leaders to be culturally competent.”

We have tried to take a holistic approach, but are realizing different groups have different needs and they need to coexist. We have hired someone to be head of DEI to try to improve inclusion and how staff demonstrates inclusive behaviors.”


What Lies Ahead for CHROs

Looking at all CHRO survey responses, it’s clear that developing talent and skills and improving business outcomes are their primary goals for this year, and the rapidly changing landscape is their greatest challenge.

CHROs are voicing the need to enrich employee experience and organizational culture to accomplish these goals. But, how does one do that? Many HR leaders expressed the importance of embedding flexibility and employee trust into their future plans.

As the word “workplace” has become metaphorical over the past few years, business leaders and employees developed preferences around their work locations and hours. CHROs are expressing how flexibility is key for employees to have personalized work experiences that make them feel valued and for business leaders to see the most productivity from their teams. 

One HR executive shared, “We are working towards a unique workplace experience. How to promote a hybrid workplace? Flexibility is essential. How do you create a unique office environment that you can’t get if you are working from home? This includes - creativity, connection, and great social events. We need to ensure that employee experience is positive and there’s a purpose to it.” 

Another mentioned how they are personalizing the employee experience, stating, “ Customer experience is all about personalization. We want to think about how we can create that type of journey for our employees. It shouldn't be one size fits all for the employee.”

Flexibility has many benefits; however, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Some CHROs shared that they or the business leaders they work with question the productivity of remote work environments. These are fair questions to ask, but a lack of trust in employees without cause can create a negative experience for them. Many HR leaders shared that trust must be at the core of an organization that embraces flexible work styles.

One HR leader expressed, “What are the pros and cons of remote and flexible working? What are the legal and cultural challenges of a flexible workplace? Trust should be at the heart of it, if trust is an embedded value of the organization then you can build on it.” Another CHRO shared, “We are moving towards less monitoring of KPIs and focusing more on trust.”

Let Your Voice be Heard

Evanta’s annual Leadership Perspective Survey is just one of many ways CHROs around the world can learn from their C-level peers. Evanta’s local CHRO communities meet both in person and virtually throughout the year to discuss the mission critical priorities and challenges addressed in this survey and connect with each other on a personal level. Click here to see when your community is meeting next, and join the conversation.

Based on more than 630 CHROs’ responses to Evanta’s 2022 Leadership Perspective Survey.

by CHROs, for CHROs

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