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Deloitte human capital study

Deloitte human capital study shows a need for increased executive team collaboration

Human capital priorities for 2018 include responding to interconnected and complex issues around rapidly evolving technology, skills gaps, workplace shifts, a more vocal and empowered workforce, and a societal call to action

Auckland, April 4, 2018 With human resources (HR) and business leaders weighing in from all over the world, including from New Zealand, this year’s Global Human Capital Trends report from Deloitte, “The Rise of the Social Enterprise,” examines the trends shaping organisations’ human capital priorities – including rapidly evolving technology, skills gaps, workplace shifts, a more vocal and empowered workforce, and a societal call to action.

Respondents overwhelmingly point to the need for a symphonic C-suite — a team-based, cross-disciplinary approach for executive teams to tackle these complex issues — with 85 percent (83% of NZ respondents) calling this trend important or very important. Survey results show companies where C-suite executives regularly collaborate are one-third more likely to be growing 10 percent more than companies whose leadership operates in siloes. Despite being necessary to advance the enterprise, 73 percent (77% NZ) say their executives do not regularly collaborate.

Deloitte partner Sonia Breeze says that one driver of this unprecedented level of complexity is the need for executive teams to consider broader societal issues.

“Organisations are increasingly being judged on the basis of their relationships with their workers, customers and communities, as well as their impact on society at large – transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises,” says Ms Breeze.

“This year’s report is a wake-up call for organisations to look beyond their own four walls and reimagine their broader roles in society. Integrating the C-suite to build a more social enterprise will be a differentiator for businesses to attract the right talent, drive customer loyalty and sustain long-term growth.”

In fact, 77 percent of survey respondents (79% NZ) cited citizenship as important or very important. And despite the emerging link between social impact and companies’ financial performance, only 18 percent of respondents (10% NZ) say citizenship is a top priority in corporate strategy. Thirty-four percent (30% NZ) have few or poorly funded citizenship programs, and 22 percent (34% NZ) are not focused on this at all.

Ms Breeze says this year’s survey shows that human capital is inextricably tied to social capital in this new era.

“Empowering employees’ well-being is a strategic imperative in today’s more socially-focused enterprise and is a significant contributor to building an organisation’s social capital,” she says.

Well-being now encompasses everything from health assistance and financial wellness to stress management and volunteerism. Forty-three percent of respondents (same for NZ respondents) say well-being reinforces their organisation’s mission and vision, which is essential for younger generations. And forty-six percent (42% NZ) say that well-being programmes are a critical part of their employment brand.

Other trends shaping organisations’ human capital priorities this year collectively fall under the umbrella of what is often referred to as “the future of work.” These include:

The alternative workforce: As constituencies look to how companies treat their own employees, tackling the alternative workforce takes center stage for socially-conscious organisations. By 2020, 37 percent of organisations expect a growth in contractors, 23 percent in freelancers, and 13 percent in gig workers. Despite this anticipated growth, only 16 percent said they have an established set of policies and practices to manage this variety of worker types. It is critical to successfully implement hybrid workforce strategies because they can have a significant impact on an organisation’s employment brand and external reputation.

Increasing automation: In the past year, organisations have become laser-focused on how automation induced job shifts will impact individuals. The Deloitte research shows that more than 4 in 10 companies believe automation will have a major impact on jobs, and 61 percent are now actively redesigning jobs around AI and robotics. With the deployment of AI, robotics, automation, and people analytics showing no signs of slowing down, companies are reconciling a demand for human skills and the need for increased productivity. While 72 percent of respondents see this area as important, only 31 percent feel ready to address it.

Deloitte director Chris Boggs says automation is here to stay and will improve scale, speed and quality.

“But it’s important to remember that as routine work is automated, new jobs will be created — jobs that are more service-oriented, interpretive, social, and play to our essential human skills. Only companies whose C-suite embraces this transformation and redesign how work gets done to leverage these skills will be able to stay a step ahead of their competition,” says Mr Boggs.

You can access the “2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends” report and gain further insights into the data via Deloitte’s digital-first trends research progressive web app.


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