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See the results from our 2020 Talent Management Survey

Research & Papers
Development & Performance

See the results from our 2020 Talent Management Survey

We set out to discover the top talent trends experienced by our HR network in 2020. Read on for the insights shared from your fellow talent management professionals....

2020 was a year of significant change. Overnight, teams had to adapt to working from home, organisational restructuring became more common than ever, and selection ground to a halt. It fell to HR to help lead the organisation and its people through these changes.

“I think as HR we were front and centre for the year that was - and the whole team was present to ensure we put our people first”

What were the top challenges experienced by HR teams in 2020?

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Three of the main challenges that HR faced in 2020 were Working virtually, Employee wellness, and Employee engagement and motivation. Other areas that were mentioned less frequently were challenges with onboarding new staff, performance management, succession planning and internal development.

The idea of how to maintain, and even grow, Employee wellness and Employee engagement were key questions that arose out of the COVID-19 pandemic and sudden shift in the day-to-day work expectations. If employees are working virtually, how can we ensure that motivation and team cohesion are maintained? Many organisations attempted to solve this issue by scheduling virtual hangouts and sessions devoted entirely to socialising with co-workers.

How well did organisations adapt to remote working?

More than half of respondents felt that remote working was quickly adopted in their organisation and that they were able to maintain team effectiveness. In comparison, one-third of respondents noticed a negative impact on their team effectiveness as a result of working virtually.


Is Learning Agility a priority for HR?

Learning Agility is one of the critical skills that relate to coping with change and adapting effectively. As a result of COVID-19, many organisations turned to Learning Agility as a way to measure and manage the impact of these related changes on their employees. But how do the HR community in South Africa incorporate agility into their talent management strategy?

The current focus seems to on highlighting Learning Agility within development programmes. Relatively fewer respondents consider agility as part of their selection criteria, while some are aware of the concept but don’t currently actively measure it within their talent management strategy.

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How important is succession planning in organisations?

Is succession planning something that your company is actively working on? If it isn’t, it should be. When asked this question, almost two-thirds of respondents indicated that it is important to their business and will be a focus for 2021. Only a small proportion of respondents indicated that their organisation has a well-developed succession strategy, indicating a general need for additional guidance and capacity in this area.


Overall, our survey showed four key focus areas that emerged during an extraordinary year

  • How to get the most out of employees in the virtual workplace – while maintaining wellness, happiness and motivation
  • How to adapt most effectively to the demands of remote teamwork
  • How to leverage Learning Agility for development
  • How to make time for succession planning and build a well-developed succession strategy

What’s clear is that our respondents are looking to 2021 as a year of action. With many programmes being put on hold in 2020, this year is shaping up to be the moment for organisations to act.

If you are looking for advice, strategy consulting, workshops or succession planning, get in contact with our team of talent experts, and let us help you get the most out of your human capital in 2021.


Southdowns Ridge Office Park, Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa