How ‘The Great Resignation’ is Impacting CIO Priorities

How ‘The Great Resignation’ is Impacting CIO Priorities

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The current job market has undoubtedly swung in favor of employees across many industries. Remote work has opened up new opportunities for many job seekers, while shifts in business models have created new roles and responsibilities. This shift, often called The Great Resignation, impacts how technology leaders build their agendas, and staffing has become a top priority.

To determine how CIOs are establishing their priorities for 2022, we surveyed 187 technology leaders in February and March of 2022. We asked them their top priorities, key challenges, most important skillsets needed, budgets, staffing, and more. The results were published in The CIO’s 2022 Agenda for SAP, S/4HANA, the Cloud and Beyond executive report. When comparing that data to the same study in 2021, human resources topics such as staffing and training are expected to be much more critical this year.

The Hiring and Retention Challenge for CIOs

Hiring and retaining staff rose to the second-most cited top challenge in our 2022 survey after not being among the four in 2021. Just under a quarter of respondents cited hiring and retaining staff as a challenge last year, but that has risen to 40% in 2022 (Figure 1).

Figure 1: What are Your Top Challenges as a Leader in 2022?

The Great Resignation CIO

Source: SAPinsider, March 2022

This data suggests that IT departments have not been immune to The Great Resignation, and keeping that talent around has risen to the top of the list of challenges that CIOs face. So how are companies expected to attract the talent they need to forward their technology priorities?

Motor Oil is looking to become the destination rather than the company looking to replace employees by creating an environment that appeals to top talent.

“Unfortunately, we have to live in this era of turnover, but at the same time, we are creating the relevant environment that will attract new talent that will drive our business forward,” Nik Giannakakis, Group CIO at Motor Oil, told SAPinsider. “I truly believe there is a golden opportunity around that. How are we doing this? By offering flexibility, security, convenience, and by touting our transformation project as something extremely attractive to professionals who want to grow their careers.”

Motor Oil is in the process of updating systems, and the new systems they have in place and will have in place are expected to provide a platform for developers and other technologists on the bleeding edge. Couple that with providing appealing employment policies and culture, and that’s one recipe for making a company an attractive place to work.

Looking Inward to Solve The Great Resignation

An essential part of employee retention is investing in people. That’s not just through compensation but through upskilling as well. So it’s no surprise that with the uptick in hiring and retention as a challenge, CIOs are also finding training to be a significant challenge in 2022.

Just 4% of respondents to our 2021 survey indicated training as a top challenge. That took a significant leap to 27% for 2022. That makes sense if companies are losing employees—they need to train those left or new hires up to their established standards.

However, training can also be seen as a potential antidote to The Great Resignation. If employees are upskilled, and their career path moves forward accordingly within an organization, they’ll feel more loyalty to a company.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

  • Create an environment conducive to hiring and retaining top talent. If you are losing key employees to The Great Resignation, remember that means it’s likely that talented people everywhere are also looking for new positions. Become that company that is attracting and keeping people rather than losing people by building a solid culture. And in the case of potential technology-focused recruits, providing attractive tools and projects.
  • Establish your plan for distributing budgets among internal staff and external strategic partners. Your budget will likely have a major impact on investing in more SAP-related staff and/or strategic partners. Based on your reason for changing your budget, assess your in-house skills. If you are increasing your budget, determine if it’s worthwhile to search for permanent employees to fill your needs or if it may work better to get help from partners.
  • Identify employees outside of IT that can help. If you are struggling with retaining IT staff, look at potential super users and other technologically inclined employees on the business side. Providing training and upskilling while helping them find a new career path will help establish your loyalty to them, and in turn, that loyalty may be repaid.

For more on how CIOs are building their 2022 SAP Agendas, download the full report. 

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