What We Learned at the 2023 Gartner ReimagineHR Conference

November 7, 2023

By Lesa Blakey
Inspirus recently had the pleasure of attending the 2023 Gartner ReimagineHR conference in Orlando. We were impressed by the excellent speakers and sessions, including our own Theresa Harkins-Schulz, whose session “Harnessing Employee Engagement to Drive Positive Outcomes,” generated rave reviews.

Inspirus recently had the pleasure of attending the 2023 Gartner ReimagineHR conference in Orlando. We were impressed by the excellent speakers and sessions, including our own Theresa Harkins-Schulz, whose session “Harnessing Employee Engagement to Drive Positive Outcomes,” generated rave reviews.

As both an attendee and an exhibitor, we had the chance to connect with nearly 5,000 HR professionals from various industries and gather valuable insights into how HR leaders are addressing the new modern workplace. We’re excited to share these new learnings with our clients and continue supporting HR leaders to transform their workplaces.  

Here were the hottest trends we heard in our discussions:  

Key Takeaway #1: Organizations are Facing a Burnt Out Workforce

Many organizations are facing a common issue: they have an exhausted workforce. HR leaders are continually receiving feedback from their employees that they are overworked, burnt out, and stressed. Research backs up these concerns, with 89% of employees experiencing burnout within the last year, and 77% of employees disengaged at work.

To solve this challenge, organizations are actively exploring new and innovative solutions to improve employee wellness and engagement. We talked to many HR leaders about the benefits of employee recognition and engagement platforms designed to encourage, motivate, and inspire employees.  

Learn more about these platforms here.

Key Takeaway #2: Employee Retention is a Top Priority

Employee retention has been – and continues to be – an issue for many organizations and HR teams. The battle between employees and employers is ongoing. Employees are demanding flexibility and work-life balance, like they experienced during the pandemic, while employers are trying to successfully navigate an economic downturn and maximize productivity and efficiency.

On top of that, employee tenure is shortening for the younger generations. Data shows that the average tenure for the younger generations is three times less than the older generations, with a 2.8-year average for employees aged 25 to 34 years and a 9.8-year average for employees aged 55 to 64.

Many organizations are finding it difficult to retain employees with ever-changing employee expectations and the recent workforce changes. HR teams are implementing new strategies in an effort to cultivate purpose and belonging and improve employee loyalty.

Key Takeaway #3: Mergers and Acquisitions are Creating Fractured Workforces and Increasing Stress 

In 2022, nearly 50,000 M&A deals were completed worldwide. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have long been known for their disruptive nature. Unfortunately, these company-wide changes can often negatively impact organizational culture and the employee experience.  

DealRoom reports there are 5 fears associated with M&As: fear of losing their job, new leadership, moving to a new team, apprehension about the new company culture, and changes to compensation or benefits. These fears are not unfounded. On average, roughly 30% of employees are made redundant after a merger or acquisition in the same industry.  

During mergers and acquisitions, employees often experience heightened anxiety and uncertainty about the future of their jobs, leading to heightened stress, lower job satisfaction, and higher turnover rates.  

With the prevalence of mergers and acquisitions, HR professionals are actively searching for strategies that can foster connection and unity during an M&A to limit disruption and a fractured workforce.  

Discover how recognition can unite your workforce during a merger or acquisition.

Key Takeaway #4: Seamless Integrations Between Platforms Remains Top of Mind 

At Gartner ReimagineHR, the HR professionals we spoke to made one thing clear: there are too many platforms and not enough integrations.  

For instance, the average small business has 172 technology applications, mid-market companies have 255 apps on average, and, as you might expect, enterprises have an average of 664.

Each HR team has a complex system of platforms to organize and store their employee's data. It’s not uncommon for them to have a platform for every need – talent management, employee recognition, employee rewards, the list goes on and on. There is too much data in too many places.

This lack of integration is causing data and reporting nightmares for HR teams as well as negatively impacting adoption and participation of these programs. In our conversations with HR leaders, they emphasized the importance of integration capabilities, especially with their HRIS systems.  

Key Takeaway #5: Expanded Rewards and Recognition Options are Needed 

Another common trend that we heard amongst several organizations is that their recognition programs are lacking a diverse reward selection – and it’s just not cutting it.  

The modern shopping experience has reshaped people’s expectations. Employees want and expect a wide range of gift options from reward solutions, including items from popular brand names and reward options beyond just merchandise. Additionally, HR teams are facing issues with finding gifts that appeal to a multi-generational workforce. What a Generation Z employee may want is vastly different than what a Generation X would like.  

HR teams seek modern rewards and recognition solutions that offer employees an expansive rewards collection to meet the needs of their multi-generational workforce, improve the employee experience, and make recognition valuable to all.

There are just five key challenges that we uncovered that HR leaders are experiencing and looking to solve for.  

Gartner offered a three-day conference that promoted idea-sharing and collaboration amongst peers, vendors, and thought leaders. Inspirus was thrilled to be a part of it, and is excited to participate and help HR leaders solve these challenges and more. We are already looking forward to next year.

If you are interested in learning how you can drive positive business outcomes through employee engagement and recognition strategies, you can download Theresa Harkins-Schulz's presentation from the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference to learn how.