Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #188

ChatGPT in the workplace, remote work playlist, employee retention risk template, HR benchmarks, and HR and the Board of Directors.


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Scaling at the Speed of Skills

The business landscape is changing at hyper speed. From economic uncertainty to rapid workforce transformation—simply understanding the degree of skill match for an employee or candidate to a role is no longer enough.

In this eye-opening on-demand webinar, guest speaker, Betsy Summers, Future of Work expert and Forrester Principal Analyst, explains how to evolve from job-based to skills-based.

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Below is a glance at this week’s content. A deep dive is in the section that follows.

Also included are the 2023 Job Cuts and Layoff Tracker, the Chief HR Officer Hire of the Week, and more.

Let’s dive in.


Note: When using this content in a newsletter, social media, website, etc., please provide attribution to Talent Edge Weekly and link to this issue.

ChatGPT continues to be used extensively in the workplace, enabling many workers to increase their productivity. While this tool is transforming how work is done, its integration into the workplace also introduces potential risks: confidentiality, quality control issues, and employment discrimination, to name a few. To optimize ChatGPT's potential while reducing risks, organizations must educate employees on responsible AI use through a Generative AI Acceptable Use Policy or a less formal best practices document. The article shares 10 risks of ChatGPT and Generative AI tools and provides guidance for mitigating those risks. For instance, 1) The risk of "confidentiality and privacy" can be mitigated by companies clearly defining what data can and cannot be shared with AI tools. 2) The risk of unfair performance evaluations of employees who do not use AI tools to enhance their performance can be mitigated by training employees on effectively leveraging AI tools. The authors also provide this cheat sheet that shows the 10 risks and proposed guidelines for each. As a bonus, Talent Edge Weekly reader Francesca Molinari, Chief People Officer at Maergo— is sharing Maergo’s Generative AI Acceptable Use Policy for others to leverage. Thank you, Francesca, for sharing this resource with our readers!

Excerpt from Cheat Sheet

As the debate on remote work continues, I have curated this one-page playlist of five resources to help organizations evaluate different aspects of remote work more intentionally. While some resources are more recent than others, they all address essential topics in the ongoing discussion on remote work. For example, McKinsey shares an analysis of which tasks and activities can be performed remotely without a loss of productivity. Similarly, an HBR article offers a framework for determining whether in-person, hybrid, or remote work options are optimal for a knowledge-driven organization. Deloitte approaches remote work from the angle of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) — focusing on the impact of remote work on underrepresented groups. Pivoting to talent acquisition, Gartner shares ideas for recruiters as they collaborate with managers to identify opportunities for sourcing talent for different roles, with fewer limitations and restrictions around a geographic location. And in his new HBR article, Marc Mortensen covers the challenges leaders and employees face when trying to reach a consensus on remote work. He offers steps for fostering honest and transparent conversations around remote work. Links to the resources are included.

Chief HR Officers continue to face mounting pressure to cut costs while maintaining value. And while there are various factors to consider when optimizing HR budgets, efficiency, and value, HR benchmarks are one of the factors to consider. This report provides HR benchmarks gathered from around 200 HR organizations across major industries, revenue sizes, organizational scales, and geographic regions. The benchmarks are categorized into three key metrics: (1) HR function spend as a % of revenue, (2) HR function spend per employee served, and (3) HR productivity ratios. Though the benchmarks vary by industry, a few points to note are: the average HR function spends $2,524 per employee annually; the average HR functional spend as % of revenue is 0.74%; the average HR function employs one HR full-time employee (FTE) for every 57 FTE employees. Each section summarizes the metric's importance and how to interpret the results. Since benchmarks have inherent limitations, use them as one of several resources for informing decisions. With this as the backdrop, here is another Gartner reference that helps HR leaders make investment decisions, considering two factors 1) Benefits and Impact and 2) Investment, Time, and Risk. The two dimensions are supported by eight criteria, including strategic relevance, cost savings, and productivity gains. By considering these criteria, HR leaders can make well-informed decisions that maximize cost savings and deliver optimal value.

Last week, I reshared a one page PDF that integrated four resources for managers to leverage as they identify and address their most critical employee retention risks. As a supplement to that resource, this one-page template provides a way for managers to assess the retention risk of their employees — using 13 retention risk indicators known as ‘pre-quitting behaviors.’ The questions are based on an article by JR Keller, Timothy Gardner, and Brad Winn published in The People + Strategy Journal and are part of a Cues of Turnover Scale (CoTS). A few indicator statements relative to the assessed employee include: 1) Their productivity has decreased more than usual. 2) They have acted less like a team player than usual. 3) They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual. I have integrated their 13-statements into this editable template by listing the statement in the left column. 1) Managers can then use the first row of empty columns to enter the names of employees to be assessed. 2) Managers can then respond to each risk statement by putting a checkmark in the box if they believe the employee has shown the behavior over the last 2 to 3 months. Clicking the box will automatically insert a check mark. Upon completion, the visual will show where the most significant risk exists (i.e., more check marks indicate high risk). The insights can inform actions for mitigating employee retention risk in the most critical areas.

As organizational investors and stakeholders seek a greater understanding of the workforce and talent topics that enable success, boards of directors are increasingly interested in human capital issues. According to a survey by Russell Reynolds Associates (cited in a Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance article), 259 global board directors rated HR as the top area to which they want increased exposure. Despite the increased focus on talent and workforce topics, this newly released 29-page CIPD report focusing on UK boards reveals that only 2% of boards have an HR director, and just 25% of FTSE 350 companies possess HR expertise on their boards (see Table 2). This lack of HR board representation starkly contrasts with the ubiquitous presence (100%) of Chief Financial Officers or finance directors on boards. The report delves into how HR professionals can increasingly interact with boards in three roles: 1) as senior managers (chief people officers or HR directors) advising the board, 2) as executive directors on the board, and 3) as non-executive directors (NED) on the board. The paper offers suggestions on how HR can add value in each role. Even for those not directly interacting with the board as Chief HR Officers, the paper provides valuable insights into the types of talent and workforce topics in which boards are interested.

Image is from p.11 of the report.


This one-page PDF includes 15 resources CHROs (and others) can leverage for various purposes. The 15 resources are organized into five categories: 1) AI in HR, 2) Transitioning to a New CHRO Role, 3) HR Strategy and Operating Models, 4) CHROs and the Board of Directors, and 5) CHRO Effectiveness.


Here is my tracker which includes announcements from a segment of organizations that have announced job cuts and layoffs since the start of 2023.

Partial view of tracker

A few firms that announced job cuts this past week include:

  • FibroGen (NASDAQ: FGEN). The developer of cancer and anemia treatments announced that it is laying off 32% of its staff, or 104 employees, after failed Phase III trials.

  • Phunware (NASDAQ: PHUN). The software company is reducing its workforce by approximately one-third as it implements several cost-cutting measures.

  • Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Has reportedly cut 1,000 jobs, which goes beyond the ~10,000 layoffs the company announced earlier this year. The cuts for this round are mostly in sales and customer service.

Click here to access all listed announcements from 2023.


Kontoor Brands, Inc. (GREENSBORO, N.C) [NYSE: KTB]—a global lifestyle apparel company with a portfolio led by two of the world’s most iconic consumer brands, Wrangler® and Lee®—announced the appointment of Pete Kidd as EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, effective July 20, 2023. Mr. Kidd was most recently Kontoor’s SVP, Global Total Rewards—a position he held since joining the company in 2022. READ MORE 

Pete Kidd

  • If you want access to +2500 announcements (and growing) of CHROs hired, promoted, and resigning, check out CHROs on the Go.

  • If you are already a member of CHROs on the Go, log in here.

  • For a complimentary PDF that provides information on 12 CHROs who were hired or promoted from April through June 2023, click here.



Addresses ways to overcome challenges to executing effective talent reviews, ranging from overly complex processes, vague definitions of potential, ill-equipped HR leaders, and no follow-up.


Did you miss the “Best of June” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #184, which includes 15 of the best resources from June. 


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Talent Edge Weekly is a free weekly newsletter that brings together the best talent and strategic human resources insights from various sources. It is published every Sunday at 6PM EST.

Talent Edge Weekly is written by Brian Heger, an internal human resources practitioner with a Fortune 150 organization. Brian holds responsibilities for Strategic Talent and Workforce Planning. You can connect with Brian on Linkedin, Twitter, and brianheger.com