Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Several interesting pieces of research were published this week. They included a look at the partnership between the CFO and the CIO from Workday. There was also research in the lead-up to COP27 from Sage, Black Friday, Oracle and SAP.


Achievers has published the 2022 HR Preparedness Report. The report is gated and looks at the firm’s preparedness as another crisis looms following COVID,and the looming recession. 77% of HR leaders are concerned about a coming recession, and only 26% believe their firms are prepared for it.

The study focuses on how organisations are looking to cope with the recession with a focus on resilience and productivity. Resilience is both individual and corporate, with the drivers of organisational resilience being recognition, feedback, connection, manager effectiveness, and culture alignment.

It also highlights how organisations are preparing for the recession, with the top four priorities being:

  • Initiatives to improve productivity (33%)
  • Focus on high-priority hires (32%)
  • Initiatives to improve retention (32%)
  • Scaling back growth plans (31%)

Dr Natalie Baumgartner, Achievers Workforce Institute’s chief workforce scientist, commented, “It’s been a tough few years for business leaders and the future continues to look uncertain. Our research shows that 15% of HR leaders are not preparing at all for the possibility of a recession, which could mean a difficult road ahead for those organizations. With most HR leaders concerned about a recession, the best thing businesses can do now is prepare their teams by implementing programs for productivity, resilience, and retention. These tactics will help support lean teams and equip leaders with ways to combat burnout.”


The Ceridian 2023 Pulse of Talent CIPHR Report extends the idea of work flexibility with respondents indicating that beyond the flexibility of where and how they work, they want flexibility for their careers too.

90% feel their careers have stagnated by staying in a single role over the last year. The good news for organisations that offer a career path is that 84% of those employees are more committed to their employers.

The report is based on 8,833 workers across eight countries and shared other key findings:

  • 45% of respondents said their employer understands their career aspirations.
  • 35% find a change in career paths within their company appealing.
  • 43% are interested in moving into a new role in a different department or team.
  • 51% of employees looking to move jobs would consider staying if their employer-provided opportunities to change career paths within their company.
  • 49% said they want to contribute skills to new projects from within their current role.

Susan Tohyama, CHRO, Ceridian, said, “What’s clear from our research is that employees have commitment issues with their employers. There is an opportunity for employers to counter this trend, with their own long-term commitment to employee work/life, career flexibility, and engagement. This includes opening up opportunities for employees across an organization, while giving them greater control about where, when, and how their job gets done to truly meet the needs of a modern workforce.”


Ciphrhighlighted new figures from its gender pay gap study, which makes disturbing reading.

  • 79% of the job roles held by at least 50,000 workers or more pay men more per hour on average.
  • 2% of the job roles held by at least 50,000 workers or more have no gender pay gap.
  • 19% of the job roles held by at least 50,000 workers or more pay women more per hour on average.
  • 84% of the job roles held by at least 215,000 workers or more pay men more per hour on average.

The pay gaps vary by role, with -22.9% for special needs teachers to 30.1% for vehicle mechanics. The pay gap exists where women dominate, such as PR, legal associates and some healthcare workers. The report is based on ONS data and indicates that the UK has much to do to narrow the gender pay gap.

Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, says, “The latest gender pay gap reports are disappointing, to say the least, especially given the ever-increasing spotlight on inclusive policies and initiatives and pressure for employers to close the gap.

“Far more needs to be done, and quickly, to hold employers accountable. More robust gender pay gap reporting, an overhaul of the childcare support available to working parents, making flexible working the norm, and introduction of measures to minimise the disproportionate impact of the cost-of-living crisis on women in particular. And, of course, better representation of women and ethnic minorities at all levels, in all roles, is vital to driving change in an organisation. It’s also the best way of attracting and retaining the best employees.”


A new banking study published by Genesys reveals how financial institutions work to close the customer expectation gap and how CX leaders are outpacing their competitors. Customer experience strategies are evolving with findings including:

  • Tailoring products and services to the real-time needs and life stages of their customers at higher rates (38% compared with 26%)
  • More frequently matching advisors to the right customers (45% compared with 26%)
  • Being twice as likely to be available on the channel customers want, when they want it (49% compared with 25%)
  • Using individual data patterns to drive offers or experiences (39% compared with 24%)

Janelle Dieken, senior vice president at Genesys, commented, “With so much economic uncertainty, the ability to provide consumers personalised financial experiences has exponentially increased in importance. We already see the considerable impact great experiences are having on banks’ business results. Those that are able to deliver the engagement their customers need, no matter the landscape, will significantly differentiate themselves. For their customers and their bottom line, investing in the future of customer experience isn’t something banks can afford to miss out on.”


The State of Partner Ops and Programs 2022, published by HubSpot, looks at how organisations leverage partners to grow. The report provides fascinating insights on how organisations leverage partner networks and includes commentary from executives at leading organisations. The key findings from the report include:

  • 93% of enterprise organizations and 78% of all organisations have a partner program.
  • 65% of organisations view partnerships as essential to their future growth.
  • 50% of organisations attribute 26% or more of their revenue to partners.
  • 40% of organisations don’t have any full-time partner operations employees.
  • 77% of organisations surveyed have technology partners. Technology partners were ranked as the most important partner type.
  • 90% of partner professionals who aren’t currently using partner tech believe that their organization should start doing so.

Scott Brinker, VP of platform ecosystem at HubSpot, commented, “The transformative impact of partner ecosystems cannot be overstated. Not only do partners have a tremendous impact on an organization’s economic growth, but they foster an environment of innovation and collaboration that benefits customers. Companies committed to investing in partner operations and technology will see outsized value as the business model continues to develop.”


New research from Oracle indicates that consumer behaviour is changing as the cost of living crisis starts to bite. A survey of 1,000 shoppers in the UK identified:

  • 42% of people are worried they will not have the money they would like to spend on holiday shopping due to higher prices, inflation, and rising commodity prices like energy.
  • 67% of shoppers said these economic factors would cause them to spend less on holiday gifts overall.

To address this, shoppers are turning to alternative finance options. 17% who have never used alternative financing are now looking to do so, and 55% are considering store finance and other payment plans for their holiday purchases.

Habits are also changing. A year ago, 56% rated convenience as the most important. This year it is pricing with consumers willing to shop around more as they seek bargains. 71% are also shopping early, which bodes well for Black Friday but less so in the lead-up to Christmas.

Emma Sutton, chief experience officer of Oracle EMEA, commented, “Holidays are often known for splurging to buy the latest gadget, toy or pair of shoes. However, with our current economic uncertainty shoppers are going to be far more cost-conscious and make greater use of store holidays, such as Black Friday, to make their pound stretch further. Retailers who are still dealing with a wave of inventory surpluses need to balance the deals they are providing to shoppers to ensure they are not just trying to unload excess goods, but also proving value to customers on the items they want most to build loyalty over the long haul.”


Outreach published its first Quarterly Sales Confidence Index. 85% of the 504 B2B sales leaders polled in the US and UK, indicated that 85% believe revenue performance will increase next quarter. The survey also indicates that Sales continue to digitise, with 50% of respondents actively consolidating or planning to consolidate their tech stack and 73% of leaders agree with the statement, “We strongly prioritize choosing sales technology vendors that offer multiple products in an effort to minimize the number of vendors we use.”

Mary Shea, VP Global Evangelist at Outreach, commented, “In today’s economy a global economic downturn has become a reality, and companies are looking to find ways to create and close pipeline faster. Sales leaders are optimistic their sales teams will end the next quarter positively and a guiding force behind this success is a platform approach that helps companies close efficiency gaps and increase revenue. To prepare for what comes next, it will be necessary to equip every member of the GTM team with seller-first technology that has embedded automation and AI to maximize organizational efficiency and effectiveness.”

Outreach did not separate out the US and UK findings; only when the next quarterly findings are released will the index truly show value in terms of the evolution of sales.


Fewer people in the US are deferring healthcare (43%) compared to 2020 (48%), according to findings from Qualtrics. Partly this is due to a reduction (28% to 17%) in concerns about COVID. However, concerns about the cost of healthcare saw a rise from 27% to 31%. Concerningly 26% chose not to fulfil a prescription because of its cost over the last year.

Dr Adrienne Boissy, Qualtric’s chief medical officer, commented, “If people can’t afford to access care in the first place, then not only are they having a poor experience, but we will never fully realize the health outcomes in our communities that we aspire to. While encouraging that people feel more comfortable seeking the care they need, the cost barrier to care during these tenuous economic times is worrisome. It reinforces the need to hear from our communities and provide access in the channels that work for the populations that need us the most. This research further emphasizes the need to constantly listen with intention and to design solutions with our patients.”


The Sage Climate Impact report showed how important it is for small businesses to understand the impact of and reduce their Carbon emissions. Within the UK, SMEs contribute 44% of the UK’s non-household greenhouse gas emissions. While in South Africa, this figure drops to 13%, SMEs still contributed 29% of non-household emissions.

Many SMEs are aware of the issue, with 53% stating that sustainability was either a priority or central to their operations. One area that SMEs are focusing on to improve their technology with tracking emissions playing a role.

Refreshingly, cutting waste does not hinder business growth, with many (33%) seeing lowering costs as the biggest benefit of getting greener. The most common ways for SMEs to achieve this is by reducing waste (46%) and cutting energy use(42%).

In the report, Sage and ICC call for governments to create a comprehensive plan that empowers SMEs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support the country’s overall plan towards net zero. It gives three recommendations:

  • Tailor all existing and future environmental standards and reporting requirements to SMEs, so they are not overly complex or costly
  • Equip SMEs with adequate data, technology and training to ensure they can easily measure and reduce their environmental footprint
  • Provide a comprehensive suite of fiscal interventions, including tax credits that can support SMEs to take more ambitious climate action and invest in net zero emissions technologies

Elisa Moscolin, executive vice president, sustainability and foundation at Sage, commented, “The overall climate footprint of SMEs shows just how vital they are to tackling climate change. There is an urgent need to help them understand their emissions and arm them with guidance so they can formulate their sustainability plans: only 36% of SMEs have communicated a net-zero target so far. The good news is that the vast majority of UK SMEs already recognise the importance and urgency of becoming more environmentally friendly. Considering the significant role they play in our economies – and our environment – the UK government has a responsibility to level the playing field for SMEs in the race to a net-zero society.”


Salesforce has calculated and revealed how organisations had saved money by deploying its solutions. Organisations such as Elekta saved $875,000 in training, onboarding, and IT costs. Schneider Electric saved $2.7 Million in IT Costs with Salesforce and increased efficiency across the organisation, with sales reps closing deals 30% faster. On average, organisations saved 25% in IT costs.

To continue and enhance these savings, Salesforce released the Sales Productivity Bundle and Service Efficiency Bundle to help customers automate to lower costs, drive efficient growth, and consolidate their front office on a single trusted platform.

David Schmaier, Salesforce president and chief product officer, said, “CEOs and executive teams around the world are laser-focused on delivering success now by connecting with their customers in new, simpler and more cost-effective ways. We are in a challenging economic climate, but these times of change also provide opportunities for companies to play to win and transform their industry. The investments they make now will determine their success today and for the next decade.”


SAP revealed that despite the ongoing cost of living challenges, 52% of UK consumers aged 18-34 are actively looking to shop more from retailers with strong sustainability credentials this Christmas. 33% of shoppers will wait longer to obtain more sustainable products/services. 24% are looking to reduce travel costs by shopping more online.

The findings indicate a trend towards sustainability despite the cost of living crisis. However, it is having an impact, with 40% of people prioritising food and drink. Sustainability, Pricing and convenience are also important.

Goutam Dev, vice president, Strategic Customer Program and Consumer Industry Group, SAP UK&I, commented, “Brands have come a long way towards putting purpose first and empowering the consumer to make sustainable decisions in their everyday lives. It was a priority for most CPG and retail brands towards the end of last year, in response to rising consumer demand, and this research reiterates just how front of mind sustainability must be, particularly to younger consumers, despite ongoing cost of living issues.

“Christmas is fast approaching, which will hopefully provide some much-needed festive cheer for consumers and brands alike. Our research showed that while consumers need to be watchful of their spending, over a quarter (26%) felt that advertising in the holiday period had become melancholier since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two thirds (65%) believed that Christmas adverts should be jollier, in spite of the current economic climate. There’s still much to look forward to during the holiday season.

“To continue to attract customers, retailers and consumer goods organisations need to focus their efforts in three key directions – providing unrivalled customer experience, maintaining high sustainability credentials, and ensuring resilient value chains. As we all navigate the rocky path ahead, there is still hope that consumers and retail and CPG brands can have a good end to 2022.”


Research from Zellis based on a study of 2,005 people across the UK & Ireland looked at the state and importance of DEI across organisations. Key findings included:

  • 86% of senior leaders (C-level or just below) say their employer’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) impacts their plans to stay in a role.
  • 80% agree that organisations cannot change diversity and inclusion positively without employee input.
  • 70% of employees who identify as a member of at least one minority group agree with the statement, ‘Employers are talking about DEI more than they are taking action.’

John Petter, CEO of Zellis, commented, “This research shows that failure to make meaningful progress on diversity, equity and inclusion creates a serious risk of losing talent at all levels. The emerging gap between words and action reinforces the need for companies to have a rigorous, evidence-based approach to DEI. The starting point for this is collecting diversity data systematically and at scale, which requires employees to feel confident enough to disclose their characteristics including gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disabilities. By understanding their workforce, organisations can begin to take real steps toward becoming more inclusive and fairer.”

Research from the week beginning 31st October 2022



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