HR leaders ‘overwhelmed’ by complexity

A new survey of more than 1,300 HR leaders from across the globe has revealed that more than half strongly agree that their role has required them to manage increasing levels of complexity in recent years.

The survey also found that 61% reported feeling overwhelmed by complexity and 52% claimed they did not have the ability to fully cope with it. The research was undertaken to understand which complexities were driven by international and generation differences, and what HR leaders perceived to be the resulting business impact.

In addition, 60% of survey respondents indicated they did not have full confidence in their organisations’ ability to manage complexity, with 45% of “C-Level” respondents in particular sharing that concern. Only 30% of HR professionals rate their leaders as “very able” to manage complexity, and when asked if their organisations included the ability to manage complexity as part of their leadership selection and development process, only 30% said they did.

The key research findings include:

  • 94% of HR professionals globally have to deal with increasing levels of complexity and more than half of them are not fully confident that they can cope with this increase;
  • 61% report feeling overwhelmed;
  • 60% don’t have full confidence in their organisations’ ability to manage complexity;
  • only 30% of respondents rate their leaders as “very able” to manage complexity and 32% only have average to little confidence in their leaders;
  • complexity factors with the greatest business impact include increased complexity of decision making, macro-economic factors, compliance issues and the emergence of new technologies; and
  • nearly two-thirds of HR professionals believe complexity has a significant impact on their ability to increase revenue.


Download your copy of the full research findings.

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