Engagement Strategies

The War for Talent Continues, Fueling Interest in Employee Engagement

By Bob McCarthy, Managing Director, GattiHR

We’ve released our 2019 Global Workforce Leadership Trends Report which confirms that organizations worldwide continue to struggle keeping up with the pace of change, while effectively attracting and developing the best talent. This year, in partnership with our PRAXI Alliance global partners, we expanded globally, ultimately reaching into the C-Suite in 33 countries. And, Leaders from everywhere confirm that talent management challenges have become bigger than “HR issues.” In fact, on-going challenges like, Talent Attraction, Leadership Development, Climate & Culture, Employee Engagement, Technology Integration have become “success/fail” issues for organizations around the globe.

While many of the themes initially introduced in the early years of our annual effort continue to resonate, what’s become clear is that attention is being shifted inward toward, employee engagement and retention.  “The talent has the advantage in this market, and we’re finally seeing organizations place more balanced emphasis on looking inward, investing in talent engagement, retention, learning and development,” said Tom Connolly, CEO at GattiHR. “Finding or building new leaders is a top priority for organizations around the world.  For all the emphasis on technical skills, skills like critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving and project management that are determining whether organizations succeed or fail. The things we used to call “soft” skills including, empathy, patience, flexibility and resilience are the skillsets necessary to create environments where people can do their best work.”

Talented leaders are hard to find. And, disrupted business models make them more impactful and require a new set of management skills that are difficult to acquire. Respondents where abundantly clear about the need for Leadership support of important HR/People initiatives, many sharing that a shift in organizational culture may be the only way to effectively move forward.

Moving forward continues to be a test for many organizations, who are quickly consumed by inertia as they struggle to keep pace with the daily, weekly and monthly pace of change. Leaders have been forthright indicating initiatives are often derailed by shifting priorities and technology and commitment overload.

Successful organizations have figured out how best to balance tech with the human side of leadership, balancing and effectively leveraging technology without being overrun by it.

One mildly surprising outcome – which we found a bit reassuring – is that despite the political and competitive upheaval the past several years, more than 60% of our survey participants expressed an overall positive economic outlook. The positive sentiment was more heavily expressed by US respondents, as Global markets were a bit more than 10% below US counterparts in expressing a positive outlook.

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