Management priorities

Personnel as an industry-wide
survival factor

Personnel strategy issues are currently dominating boardroom discussions. Our study “CxO Priorities 2023“ makes this abundantly clear. When ranking current management priorities, so-called "people" topics take the top spot across all industries – even ahead of cyber security and the perennial hot potato of digital transformation.

"People" topics here include, for example, dealing with the demands of Gen Z, flexible working, staff shortages or the further development of leadership skills. Across all industries, 58 percent of the approximately 430 top executives surveyed worldwide say that these issues are currently “very important”. For another 34 percent, they are “important”. In the service sector, digitalization is still ahead of "people" aspects in strategic CxO priorities rankings – but the two topics often go hand-in-hand. For example, the potential of artificial intelligence to replace or support skilled workers plays an enormously important role.

Relevance of "people" topics is recognized – but lacks implementation

What our study also makes clear: There is still significant room for improvement in terms of the strategies and measures companies are pursuing to retain existing employees and attract the best new talent. When asked how they are addressing these challenges, the most frequently cited approach by companies is to offer flexible working models. Top 2 is further development in the area of culture and employer branding. By a larger margin, engagement in terms of leadership lands in third place. From there the measures become more fragmented, with some focused on training and others on digitalization or extensive benefits programs.