While CEOs view the combination of data, technology and people as essential to driving growth, just a mere 5 percent of large, global organizations are effectively unlocking the value of this combination, reveals new research from professional services firm Accenture. And companies that realize this opportunity stand to gain a top-line productivity premium of 11 percent—the ultimate driver of profitability and revenue growth.
The firm’s new report, The CHRO as a Growth Executive, underscores the power of the human element. It shows that the 11 percent productivity premium drops to 4 percent when companies implement data and tech solutions that fail to put their people at the center—highlighting the significant impact that people have as a key source of competitive differentiation and growth.
The top growth drivers identified by CEOs surveyed include enhancing performance and productivity through data, tech and AI (38 percent); accessing and creating top talent (38 percent); driving collaboration across business units (35 percent); and enhancing the company’s digital core (34 percent).
The CHRO was identified as a key catalyst in unlocking the value of this data-tech-people combination for growth
The research finds that talent is at the core of reinvention. Among CEOs surveyed, 89 percent say CHROs should play a key role in ensuring long-term profitable growth. However, less than half (45 percent) of CEOs report that they are creating the conditions that enable CHROs to do so.
“CEOs who empower their CHROs as growth executives create the conditions for them to think and act beyond their title,” said Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resources officer at Accenture, in a news release. “When they recognize that people are central to their business, these CEOs cultivate the connections, skills and environment for CHROs to lead across the C-suite to drive business growth and exceptional human experiences.”
According to the research, CHROs who have strong skill sets and connections and operate in the right environment are nearly two times more likely to effectively connect data, technology and people than their peers and four times more likely to have strong relationships of mutual influence across the entire C-suite, starting with the CEO and in partnership with the CFO, CTO and COO.
“As leaders look to digitize faster and put more resilience in their business operations, talent and the role of the CHRO have never been more strategic,” said Yusuf Tayob, group chief executive of Accenture Operations, in the release. “The research underscores the tremendous benefit of close collaboration across the C-suite, particularly as it relates to their people as companies adapt to new ways of working.”
The research provides a roadmap for how leading CHROs can work differently to accelerate change and outlines the conditions CEOs must create to join the 5 percent of companies that maximize the growth combination of data, technology and people.
Accenture Research conducted a global survey of 1,140 CEOs and CHROs across 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Respondents came from 12 industries: Banking, Comms & Media, Consumer Goods & Services, Energy, Healthcare, High Tech, Insurance, Life Sciences, Public Sector, Retail, Software & Platforms and Utilities. Findings from the survey were further validated through 17 CEO and CHRO interviews from large organizations around the globe and across multiple industries.