The war for talent is one of the top five things on the minds of CEOs across the country, and CEOs must remember that culture is why people stay at their jobs.

With the current transient state of employees, employers need to maintain a pulse on their organization, and for one employer, data helps keep HR and senior executives abreast of what’s happening.

“One of the biggest risks for many CEOs is they unintentionally lose touch with reality,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. chairman and senior partner Tim Ryan, in a fireside chat at the Great Place to Work For All summit in San Francisco, Calif.

He encouraged HR to help CEOs see their blind spots, too.

For example, some data points PwC recently analyzed focused on the gender pay gap and underrepresented groups within the organization, and they found room for growth.

Investing in talent development at any and all levels is a huge component of the successes at PwC, he noted last week at the Great Place to Work For All summit in San Francisco, Calif., and at the end of the day, most problems come down to talent, culture and values.

“We want to make sure we have a diverse group of partners,” he said. “In the last two years, I’ve immersed myself in data on people three to six years away from [becoming] partner. I can tell you today how many of the underrepresented groups are in the pipeline.”

This data led him to reinvent how succession planning worked within the organization. “How do you give people the right opportunity?” he asked.

To help address the problem, PwC incorporated unconscious bias training into the hiring and leadership development program. At PwC, workers are promoted roughly every three years. And as part of the development training, at each promotion, employees go through the next step in unconscious bias training.

“We tied it to leadership training, which is more to the heart than tying it to compliance,” he said. “There are already a lot of requirements in life. If it becomes a requirement, it becomes more of a check off the box situation.”

One of the positive aspects about being a great place to work is it pushes the bar to make sure we’re attractive, he said. Wearing jeans in the office isn’t enough. A holistic view built around investing in your people is more important. “That wins your war on talent,” he added.

This requires employers and HR leadership to step back and look inward.

“Change, something we all love to do, but fear stops us from changing,” said Great Place to Work CEO Michael Bush, who moderated the fireside chat with Ryan. “The fear of losing something we have, or the fear that we won’t get something we want.”

For employers looking to be a great place to work, Bush said these six ideas need to be included in an employer’s strategy:

· Trust
· Values
· Maximizing human potential
· Leadership effectiveness
· Financial growth
· Innovation by all

A “for all” leader — the term Bush uses to describe executives that push companies forward and inspire a better place to work— is willing to change and wants to maximize the potential of everyone in the organization, he adds.

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