According to Qualtrics new research on senior HR executives across the globe, the strategic role of the Chief Human Resources Officer is changing And with it, the dynamic of the C-Suite.

Employee Experience is no longer something that exists only within HR it now requires and demands participation from the whole organization.

From developing experience-centric cultures and focusing on DEI, to heightened awareness of well-being and scaling through technology, the HR function isn’t just the glue between employees and the organization – it’s a critical growth driver that’s as invaluable to the bottom line as marketing, sales, or R&D.

And the most essential component in this entire process? People.

At every stage of the employee journey, HR leaders are using Experience Management (XM) practices to equip business leaders with the people data and insights they need to make smart decisions, work cross-functionally to connect that data to specific outcomes, and influence organizational strategy to impact both top- and bottom-line results.

To better understand this moment and give you the tools to meet it head on, we asked nearly 1,000 senior HR leaders located around the world to report on:

  • –  The current state of their work and the work of HR teams
  • –  The evolution of their role, as well as HR as a whole
  • –  What’s important to them right now
  • –  Their areas of focus and concern as EX management continues to evolve

But as you read this report, remember: this is a snapshot of what’s happening right now. And the rate of change will only continue to increase as it becomes both pertinent and necessary for organizations to evolve their experience programs to meet the needs of tomorrow.

Without a doubt, those who fail to act now will fall behind. But those who seize this opportunity have a chance to redefine the employee experience and business growth as we know it.

If this awakens and inspires you great. That’s precisely the response your peers need from you to carry the torch – that is, champion the role of the HR going forward.

The CHRO is the newest business growth executive

When we asked HR leaders about their roles in a post-COVID world of work, nearly three-quarters (74%) reported that the HR function is more involved in the company’s strategic initiatives, compared to pre-pandemic.

Additionally, 9 in 10 HR leaders reported agreeing or strongly agreeing that experience management (XM) – connecting both experience and operational data to improve the four core experiences of business – will be an important capability for HR organizations in the future.

Upskilling to meet the moment is HR’s top focus area

According to our research, HR leaders reported “employee training and development” and “talent attraction and hiring” as their top focus areas for the year ahead.

But development isn’t just employee-specific. HR leaders should and need to invest in themselves, as well.

By upskilling to meet the moment, HR leaders ensure they have the XM skills and competencies to not only navigate the new world of HR, but also confidently manage and overcome disruption, increase organizational agility, and prepare for unexpected change.

The future of EX management lies in listening, not just surveying

HR leaders have made astronomical strides when it comes to feedback programs.

In fact, over half (58%) of the HR leaders who survey employee engagement say they reach out for employee feedback at least four times a year. But cadence isn’t the only factor organizations should consider.

The next evolution of this process is to go beyond traditional methods of surveying. With this shift, organizations give employees the opportunity to dictate the themes important to them and provide feedback in their own words. By moving from surveying to listening, organizations can gain a deeper understanding of the ‘moments between moments’ and create a more holistic view of the employee experience.

A lack of organization-wide strategy is putting EX programs at risk

When it comes to having and communicating a clear vision and strategy for EX, one in three HR leaders cited it as a major obstacle to their organization’s future success.

Right now, HR leaders are at the helm, charting a path for how their organizations operate at every level to build a more experience- centric culture.

HR leaders have cemented the importance of what they do, but to continue moving forward, it’s critical they achieve strategic alignment across the whole organization.

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