CxOs prioritize employee development and training after two years of adapting to flexible work models, according to latest Forbes CxO growth study

The pandemic has presented business challenges across industries, and after navigating choppy waters and stabilizing their organizations, CxOs appear to be cautiously optimistic that their businesses will thrive during this volatile era by investing in their people, optimizing workflows and using advanced technology to drive growth.

This is according to the latest data from Forbes CxO Growth Study 3.0 , annual research that examines how 5 titles in the suite (CEO, CHRO, CIO, CMO and CFO) collaborate to manage risk, prioritize employee experience, customer experience and plan technology investments. The report, previewed at Forbes Future of Work Summit earlier today surveys companies with at least $1 billion in revenue and is structured to gain insight into each functional area, as well as the group as a whole.

Growth priorities among CxOs? Forbes research reveals that CxOs report high caliber talent as their top asset, and C-suite leaders report that their top three talent priorities are rooted in increasing or improving training programs employees (highest ranked). Then it’s about making sure employees can maintain a strong work-life balance, investing in leadership development programs, and accelerating diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Improving the employee and customer experience are the two main growth factors. Many companies have established their flexible work models and their next step is to develop the workforce and empower employees to create transformative customer experiences.

Additionally, companies are aligned on the importance of diversity initiatives and creating more equitable and diverse spaces, which means developing a well-rounded work environment that lends itself to an inclusive culture – and 73% of CHROs surveyed believe that creating a flexible work environment and emphasizing work-life balance are key to engaging and retaining female employees, according to the data. When it comes to future work patterns, nearly half (47%) of CxOs believe they will need to increase flexible working hours to grow their business over the next year and 42% said most of their workforce will be back in the office full-time by the end of the year, up from 63% in 2021.

The data collected offers a clear insight into the future of business and workforce growth, said Janette Haas, SVP, Forbes Insights. “After two years of adapting to hybrid working models, our research shows that CxOs are now focused on prioritizing talent and using technology to bridge the gap to improve the experience of employees and customers to achieve growth,” said Haas. “This alone sheds light on how companies will continue to not only embrace flexible working models, but also invest in advanced workflow and automation solutions to shape their business outlook.”

“The future of work requires new and different leadership skills to manage a hybrid workforce,” added Ross Gagnon, Executive Director, Forbes Insights. “This includes providing more employee feedback on performance and formalizing mentoring and coaching programs.”

For more information and to access additional proprietary research, contact Janett Haas at [email protected].