HR Policy Association
Press Release

Press Release: Survey Reveals Top Concerns of HR Executives in America

Contact:  Amanda H. Beck
(202) 789-8604
[email protected]

March 25, 2021

Survey Reveals Top Concerns of HR Executives in America

HR Policy Association Annual Membership Survey Focuses on Racial Justice Initiatives and Impact of COVID-19 on Future of Work

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, HR Policy Association, representing chief human resource officers (CHROs) of more than 390 of the largest employers in the United States and globally, releases its top findings from its annual spring survey, devoted to the major issues currently facing CHROs—racial justice and inclusion, pay equity, and the impact of COVID-19 on the future of work.

Collectively, HR Policy Association represents employers of more than 11 million Americans, or nearly nine percent of the U.S. workforce. CHROs are responsible for finding, hiring, and developing the talent needed for their organizations to thrive in the global marketplace. 

President and CEO of HR Policy Association Timothy J. Bartl said, “Our survey data show that HR Policy Association members continue to focus on the overall wellbeing of their employees and stakeholders.  Whether it is a working toward a culture of more inclusion and belonging, creating a more flexible work environment, or promoting better health, large employers are continuing to innovate and lead.”

With over one-third of all HR Policy Association members responding, the top questions and responses of the spring survey are:

  1. Top CHRO ConcernsMost respondents agree that diversity and inclusion (82%) and cultural transformation in anticipation of the post-COVID work environment (71%) are top issues of concern at their companies. About half agree that executive development (50%) and talent management (49%) are issues of concern. A smaller but still significant number of respondents (32%) report that both digitization of the workplace and employee engagement are issues of concern. 
  1. COVID-19/Return to Office: What approaches are you considering to encourage your employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19? A majority of respondents are using two main approaches to encourage their employees to get vaccinated: paid time off (53%) and manager encouragement (50%). Some are not encouraging their employees to get vaccinated at all (13%), while few are mandating that certain populations be vaccinated (7%). Other methods of encouragement include: education campaigns; communication plans; global marketing campaigns; on-site vaccination events; health care premium/wellness credits; and encouragement from local experts, scientists and doctors. 
  1. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Since the death of George Floyd, what changes have you made to your company’s approach to diversity, inclusion, and belonging/equity? Two changes made by most respondents (85%) include the expansion of inclusiveness activities and increased C-suite involvement. Additional changes include starting/expanding unconscious bias training (70%), evaluation of disaggregated workforce demographic data (57%), and a focus on hiring from educational institutions with strong minority talent (51%). Examples of other approaches taken include: listening sessions and sharing experiences; removal of names from resumes; community partnerships to help source/prepare diverse talent; creating DE&I positions; piloting separate initiatives with commitment to advancing racial equity; and adding/strengthening incentive metrics on diversity.




HR Policy Association is the lead organization representing chief human resource officers of major employers.  The Association consists of more than 390 of the largest corporations doing business in the United States and globally, and these employers are represented in the organization by their most senior human resource executive.  Collectively, their companies employ more than 11 million employees in the United States, over nine percent of the private sector workforce, and 20 million employees worldwide.  They have a combined market capitalization of more than $8 trillion.  These senior corporate officers participate in the Association because of their commitment to improving the direction of human resource policy. Their objective is to use the combined power of the membership to act as a positive influence to better public policy, the HR marketplace, and the human resource profession. For more information visit

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Authors: Amanda H. Beck



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