Talent Edge Weekly - Issue #203

2024 HR priorities, employee burnout, women in the workplace playlist, Gen AI deployment, and succession planning metrics.


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

Also, check out the 2023 job cuts tracker & Chief HR Officer hire of the week.

Let’s dive in.


Note: When using the summaries below on social media, blog posts, newsletters, etc., please provide attribution to Talent Edge Weekly and link to this issue whenever possible. Thank you!

It's that time of year when numerous reports are released on the opportunities and challenges HR leaders will prioritize for their organizations in the upcoming year. In line with this theme, Gartner has recently published this comprehensive 22-page paper outlining the five key areas HR leaders will prioritize for 2024. These priorities are based on survey responses from over 500 HR leaders across 40 countries and various industries. The five priorities are 1) Leader and Manager Development, 2) Organizational Culture, 3) HR Technology, 4) Change Management, and 5) Career Management and Internal Mobility. The paper delves into driving forces, emphasizes critical actions required from HR leaders, and offers recommended next steps for each priority area. For instance, regarding HR Technology, HR leaders face the challenge of managing an increasingly complex HR technology portfolio, with 56% admitting misalignment between HR technology solutions and strategies and present and future business needs. Page 12 provides nine crucial questions for evaluating four aspects of HR technology, including Governance, Workforce Readiness, Risks and Ethics, and Vendor Landscape. Each section of the paper offers valuable insights for HR leaders and their teams as they refine their plans to deliver stakeholder value in 2024. Additionally, I’ve included my one-page cheat sheet from last year, which integrates the 2023 HR priorities identified by seven different sources. This reference provides a basis for comparison with 2024 reports as they are released.

Page 11

The issue of employee burnout continues to be a significant concern for many organizations. Burnout, characterized by an ongoing imbalance between job demands and available resources, leads to undesirable outcomes, such as extreme fatigue and diminished creativity and problem-solving abilities. While excessive workload is frequently identified as the primary cause, this article highlights an often-overlooked factor: the impact of collaboration demands on employee well-being and overall organizational health. "Collaboration demand" refers to the excessive expectation of collaboration among individuals or teams within the workforce. The article introduces four essential questions for leaders to address excessive collaboration demands. Two questions are: 1) Can we reduce structural complexity? Many organizations inadvertently introduce complexity by expanding hierarchical structures and spans of control, resulting in increased employee interactions. Companies like Netflix and Trader Joe's employ explicit processes to identify and eliminate structural complexity. 2) Does our workflow make sense? Organizations often employ between six and nine different collaboration methods (e.g., email, Zoom, in-person meetings, etc.), leading to inefficiencies due to varying preferences and usage patterns among team members. One practice to address this challenge is to establish collaborative norms to streamline communication. For more ideas on organizational factors contributing to employee burnout, see McKinsey's article, Addressing Employee Burnout: Are You Solving the Right Problem? 

Last week, I shared the newly released 2023 Women in the Workplace report by Lean In and McKinsey, which marked the ninth annual and most extensive study on women in corporate America. In response to multiple requests for additional resources on women in the workplace, I’ve curated a playlist of five resources. Aside from the aforementioned Lean In and McKinsey report, other resources on the playlist include 1) Women at Work: A Global Outlook 2023 Report by Deloitte. This report highlights a few positive developments reported by many working women: reduced burnout rates, declining non-inclusive behaviors, and improved hybrid work experiences. However, these challenges persist for many, and some factors have worsened. 2) Women in Leadership: Why Perception Outpaces the Pipeline—and What to Do About It by IBM Institute for Business Value report, revealing that gender parity remains elusive despite the feeling of progress. 3) Women Are Stalling Out On the Way to The Top by MIT Sloan Management Review offers insights from a career history analysis of executives in Fortune 100 companies, showing that women tend to remain in support functions rather than key operating roles. 4) Opening Access to The Fast Track for Career Equity by MIT Sloan Management Review. This article identifies four factors, beyond bias and discrimination, that contribute to or hinder the career progression and pay equity of women and people of color. These resources collectively provide a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities women face in the workplace.

Generative AI (Gen AI) is enabling organizations to unlock new capabilities and stakeholder value. Yet business leaders face the challenge of integrating AI into their operations while managing associated risks. To offer executive insights into this issue, this newly released 26-page report shares findings from a survey of 1,000 executives about their organizations' Gen AI implementation strategies. A few findings include: 1) Although almost all organizations believe that Gen AI will impact their business, only 9% have fully deployed a Gen AI use case. 2) The top three primary challenges in implementing Gen AI are understanding the risks associated with Gen AI (59%), comprehending their data (51%), and developing use cases (42%). 3) The adoption of Gen AI is not constrained by company size, as small businesses are just as likely to experiment with it as larger corporations, thanks to cost-effective tools that level the playing field. 4) A majority of executives (75%) plan to collaborate with partners (both startups and Big Tech) to scale Gen AI within their organizations. 5) As illustrated in Figure 2, progress in deploying Gen AI technologies by industry is categorized into three groups: Leaders+ (already deployed at least one use case), Leaders (formally experimenting), and Laggards (not yet deployed or experimenting). IT and telecom (28%) are leading in deploying Gen AI use cases, while Government (96%) and Transport and Logistics (95%) lag behind in deployment and experimentation. The report provides additional insights to guide informed decisions on Gen AI deployment. In case you missed it, here is my playlist of 5 resources on AI In HR.

Page 7

As I continue to get requests for practical templates, this one-page editable PDF includes 10 succession planning metrics that organizations can refer to as they track and measure the effectiveness of their succession management practices. While 10 metrics are provided, organizations can select the vital few (or include others) for which they want to track progress. Sample metrics include: % of non-ready now successors with a development plan; % of successors deemed high retention risk;  % success rate of successors after assuming the role (e.g., one-year mark). For each metric, there is space to insert a baseline (what is your current state) and the desired state (where you want to be). Then, four additional columns can be used to help you track your organization’s progress over specific time periods. For the time periods, you can type in whatever time reference you want to use, such as quarterly, biannually, yearly, etc. Aside from providing a way to track your organization’s progress on succession management, you can use the information you collect to inform aspects of your organization’s talent strategy and narrative. The metrics included are intended to help generate ideas on the types of succession metrics you can track. They are not an exhaustive list, and they may not be the right metrics for your organization. You should determine which talent outcomes you are trying to achieve and then identify the metrics (whether or not on this list) that are the best indicators of progress in those areas. Also, as we look toward the next evolution of succession planning, I believe we will need new types of metrics to gauge succession effectiveness. As a bonus, check out my playlist of 5 resources on high-potential employee identification criteria.


📢, Join ExecOnline & Andrew Winston on Oct. 18 at 1 PM EST / 10 AM PT for Building a New Positive Pipeline: The Role of HR, Talent, and L&D in a Sustainable Future.


The 70-page Fall 2023 issue of People + Strategy includes articles on workplace topics like performance management, generations in the workplace, leadership transitions, and return-to-office. Two articles have implications for strategic workforce planning (SWP): 1) The Pixelated Workforce Has Arrived…Are We Ready? and 2) Fractional Work & Your Talent Strategy. You can also view my LinkedIn post related to this resource and join the discussion!


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

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

  • LendingClub Corp. (NYSE: LC). The online lending platform is reducing its workforce by around 14%, or 172 employees, as it navigates the economic impact of interest rates that could stay higher for longer.

  • Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). Is laying off 1,258 California workers, which will take place at its offices in Santa Clara and San Diego around Dec 13. The job cuts represent roughly 2.5% of the company’s workforce.

  • Stitch Fix. (NASDAQ: SFIX). The apparel e-retailer will lay off 558 employees in Dallas as it carries out distribution center closures. Will also cut nearly 400 jobs at its Pennsylvania distribution center before its closure in February.

Click here or the image below to access all listed announcements from 2023.

Partial view of the tracker


​​Nordstrom, Inc. (SEATTLE, WASHINGTON) [NYSE: JWN]—an American luxury department store chain—announced the appointment of Lisa Price as Chief Human Resources Officer, effective November 6. Lisa joins Nordstrom from Domino's Pizza, where she served as EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer since August 2019. Prior to joining Domino's, Price served as a member of the Human Resources team at Nordstrom from 2015 to 2019, most recently as SVP of Human Resources. During her tenure with Nordstrom, Price supported human resources teams for key corporate functions, including technology, finance, credit, strategy, legal, supply chain, and store operations.

Lisa Price

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Shares ideas for differentiating three types of potential and covers research-based indicators of leadership potential.


Did you miss the “Best of September” issue of Talent Edge Weekly? If so, check out issue #200, which includes 15 of the most popular resources from September. 


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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 6 PM 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