C-Suite Most Concerned About Employee Engagement -- Above Revenue & Growth

Community Blog
Written by Clare Ryan

JULY 20, 2021

As I wrote last month, we are excited and optimistic as summer arrives and things begin to return to normal. We are looking forward to returning to in-person events during the second half of the year! 

We have spoken to many C-level executives in our communities about how they are feeling about things opening up, as well. We decided to formalize their feedback and sentiments through a pulse survey of Evanta community members -- composed of C-level executives in the roles of CIO, CISO, CHRO, and CDAO from leading organizations around the world. 

We explored how they are viewing the return to a new “normal” at their organizations. Here are six things we learned from nearly 1,000 C-level leaders.

Highly Concerned About Employee Engagement.

When asked about their top business concerns, executives across the board selected “maintaining culture and engagement,” including 70% of all executives, 70% of CIOs, 60% of CISOs, 81% of CHROs, and 65% of CDAOs.


While CHROs overwhelmingly selected this concern at 81%, maintaining culture and engagement was the number one choice regardless of role in the organization. The second highest concern was “employee retention and recruitment” with 65% of executives selecting it. After more than a year of disruption, stress, and remote work, it’s clear that C-level leaders are worried about the effects on their employees and on the organization overall.

2 Returning to the Office. 

On their timeline for returning to the office, a surprising number of executives reported that they had “some employees back in the office now” (47%). Others planned to return in less than three months (22%) or three to six months (21%). While there was some variation across roles, ranging from 41% to 52%, executives across departments reported having some of their employees back in the office already.

3 Future of Remote Work.

On the future of remote work at their organizations, 75% of C-level executives report that their companies will offer some type of hybrid option between remote work and the office. Only 6% of leaders say that working remotely will no longer be an option at all. This was true across all roles with Chief Data Officers having the highest percentage (80%) reporting that their companies would offer a hybrid option.

4 Long-Term Effects of Remote Work.

Regarding their top concerns about the long-term effects of working remotely, 40% of executives said maintaining company culture, followed by 23% who are concerned about team communication and alignment. These represented the top two concerns across all C-level roles, indicating another sign of concern about how to maintain culture in the current environment.

5 Business Travel.

Only 21% of C-level leaders have resumed business travel currently, while another 28% expect to start traveling again in less than 3 months, and 29% in three to six months. Relatively small percentages of executives across roles (less than a quarter) said they are traveling now -- with the exception of CHROs. 32% of HR leaders reported that they have started traveling for work again.

6 In-Person Events.

Almost 70% of executives are either very excited or somewhat excited to return to in-person events and meetings. Again, this was true for leaders across roles in the organization. 


Anecdotally, executives shared a lot of excitement about in-person events and meetings. Here is a sample of their comments: 

A great break from virtual overload.”

I can’t wait to see people in 3D again.”

Cautiously excited at the prospect.”

Fully vaxxed -- let’s do this!”

You can view all the results from our June pulse survey here. For more information about our community gatherings, you can check our Calendar page or find your regional Evanta community here on our website.