What’s Top of Your People Agenda?

What’s Top of Your People Agenda?

26 Jun 24 3mins Jon Midmer

Leadership talent-management

At JMA we’re privileged to have access to a broad range of senior leaders across consumer-facing industries and beyond. Over the past month or so, Sarah and I have asked a number of our most trusted CEOs, CPOs and Heads of Talent what’s on their People agenda, both currently and over the next six months. Below is a snapshot of what they said they’re focusing on and seeing (in the order of most to least frequently mentioned):


  • With sales under pressure, costs and interest rates still high, and many investors scaling back on investment, there’s a focus on productivity to drive profitability  
  • Restructuring, simplifying, delayering and removing unfilled jobs from org charts 
  • ‘Double hatting’ of senior executives being increasingly common 

Digital Acceleration 

  • Pursuing digital acceleration across all business areas and integrating AI to reduce costs and remove administrative tasks 
  • Reinventing how to spend on human capital to align with future capability needs, in particular, more on digital, tech, data, bots, automation and AI
  • Integrating AI into all aspects of the People lifecycle and encouraging front-line employees to ‘self-serve’ as much as possible 

Internal Development 

  • Internal (as opposed to external) hiring, mobility and promotions, talent development, succession planning, career progression, upskilling and (re-) training 
  • Through lateral moves, building transferable skills that help employees succeed irrespective of function or role, and give them a deep understanding of how the business connects 
  • Empowering career advancement in leaner organisations by offering part- and full-time secondments that build expertise without impacting overheads or management structures 

Right Team & Organisation 

  • Ensuring the leadership team is the right one to lead the next phase of business growth 
  • Re-learning how to have honest conversations about performance and potential 
  • Ensuring suitable organisation and job design, succession and career development in a world in which technology has reduced the number of entry-level roles  

Team Retention  

  • Retaining talent in a world in which enterprise valuations, particularly for pre-IPO tech companies, are lower and less tangible than they were a few years ago 
  • Doing everything possible to improve the front-line team member experience and increase employee engagement, when reducing staff turnover is critical and pay increases for hourly-paid employees are often impossible 
  • Evolving the employer value proposition in a world in which traditional approaches to reward and benefits can no longer be fit for purpose or align with the job flexibility and personal time particularly younger generations are looking for  

Employee Wellbeing & Culture 

  • A continued expectation for employers to support employees’ physical, mental and financial wellbeing 
  • Aligning roles as much as possible with people’s lifestyles and career aspirations 
  • Holding not just employees, but all business partners, accountable for living by a company’s set of cultural principles  

Doing Right 

  • With Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging as valued by employees as ever, employees are embedding DEIB leaders and initiatives into organisations, as opposed to having them stand alone 
  • In the context of increasing female and minority representation, focusing on fixing the ‘broken rung’ from entry-level to manager-level, as much as helping senior executives break the ‘glass ceiling’ 
  • Candidates increasingly asking at interview about companies’ sustainability and social impact strategies as part of their decision-making process