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More than ever, employees want to feel engaged and connected at work but, more importantly, they want to be valued by their employer. New data shows that almost half of employees say their expectations for happiness at work has grown in the last year. These realities make the stakes high for companies looking to build a culture that will help attract and retain the best talent. The workforce of the future is motivated by many things including the desire for better benefits, work-life balance, effective leadership, and a sense of belonging, inclusion, and purpose at work. The pressure is on for companies to implement programs that will exceed these expectations, help maintain and grow their workforce, and build a meaningful culture.

Over the past several years, I have seen organizations hiring Chief People Officers at a record pace as CEOs and other leaders recognize the importance that culture plays in today’s workplace. Additionally, boards of directors – who traditionally focus on compensation, finance, and the overall business – are now inviting CPOs to join in recognition of their valuable insights and recommendations on culture, leadership, and talent. The CPO’s role is critical to meet the shifting demands of employee populations and ensuring there are short- and long-term strategies in place to advance the business strategy and ensure continued growth. These executives have the insights and power to build a productive and engaged workforce with a culture that embraces today’s environment, values inclusivity and belonging, and cultivates the next generation of leadership talent.

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