Amid rapid technological, economic and social change, it is important for organizations to move beyond mission statements and social impact programs to put humans at the center of their business strategies.
In its “2019 Global Human Capital Trends” report, “Leading the social enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus,” Deloitte examines ways organizations can reinvent themselves on a broad scale, including interacting, motivating, and personalizing experiences with the workforce to help build identity and meaning for workers.
Completed by nearly 10,000 respondents in 119 countries, Deloitte’s ninth annual Global Human Capital Trends report is the largest longitudinal survey of its kind. In the report, respondents said the role of the social enterprise is more important now than ever and noted a positive link between leading the social enterprise and an organization’s financial performance. In fact, 73 percent of industry-leading social enterprises expect stronger business growth in 2019 than in 2018, compared to only 55 percent of those where the social enterprise is “not” a priority. However, only 19 percent of respondents reported being “industry leaders” in their organization’s maturity as a social enterprise.
Today, more than 4 in 10 (44 percent) of respondents said social enterprise issues are more important to their organization than they were three years ago, and 56 percent expect them to be even more important three years from now.
“There is a lot of discussion about organizational purpose and while I agree that it is important, what’s missing for many organizations is the focus on the individual and the day-to-day challenges that workers are facing,” said Erica Volini, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. human capital leader. “The reality is that while technology is helping organizations gain competitive advantage, if not managed appropriately, it can simultaneously mean that workers lose their identity in the workplace. We see a call to action for organizations to reinvent their approach to human capital with the worker in mind to create opportunities for continuous learning, accelerated development, and professional and personal growth.”
The future of the workforce
As organizations look to effectively lead the social enterprise, they must adapt to the forces restructuring work and the implications to the workforce – both in composition and capability – while embedding a meaningful experience for workers.
This focus on the workforce comes as more than 86 percent of respondents cited reinventing the way people learn as important or very important – the No. 1 trend for 2019. Leading organizations are empowering individuals’ need to continuously develop skills by investing in new tools to embed learning not only into the flow of work, but the flow of life. With the need to sustain 50-60 year careers as part of a 100-year life, lifelong learning has evolved from a matter of career advancement to workplace survival. However, even with this emphasis on learning, only 10 percent of respondents said their organizations are “very ready” to address this topic.
Amplifying the need for continuous learning is the ongoing adoption of automation technologies as 64 percent of respondents said that automation is important or very important. Yet even with these advancements, human skills remain critical to augmenting the value of this technology. In response, organizations should consider redesigning work into a new category of “superjobs,” which combine the work and skill sets across multiple domains, opening up opportunities for mobility, advancement and the rapid adoption of new skills desperately needed today.
But even as part of the workforce reorganizes into superjobs, Volini shared, lower-wage-work across service sectors continues to grow, along with non-traditional contract, freelance, and gig employment – and it is imperative that these jobs are not left behind. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to the workforce of the future. Organizations need to explore all options and create the culture and infrastructure where everyone has a place. That will be part of how organizational inclusion will be defined in the future,” said Volini.
The future of the organization
In the age of the social enterprise, organizations are being challenged to up their game when it comes to the employee experience. This emphasis comes as only 49 percent of respondents believed that their organizations’ workers were satisfied or very satisfied with their job design and only 42 percent thought that workers were satisfied or very satisfied with day-to-day work practices.
As organizations look to provide technology to support employees’ work, only 38 percent of respondents said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the current work-related tools and technology available. Finally, only 38 percent of respondents thought that they have enough autonomy within their jobs to make good decisions, providing further evidence that significant reinvention is required.
“Over the last five years, issues related to productivity, well-being, overwork and burnout have grown,” said Jeff Schwartz, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. future of work leader. “As a result, organizations need to shift from the traditional employee experience to a new category we call ‘human experience,’ where relationships are enduring, learning is continuous, and work has meaning centered around human identity.”
Creating this human experience requires a different type of leader. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents believed that “21st-century leaders” face unique challenges and requirements, making it critical for organizations to extend leadership pipelines to find and build leaders from within the organization. Developing new leaders from within can help them hone critical skills, including managing through influence, promoting transparency, and thriving in a more collaborative and connected world.
Underlying this shift is the continued reinvention of the traditional hierarchical organizational model. One-third (31 percent) of survey respondents said their organizations now operate mostly in teams within a hierarchal framework and another 46 percent said that they are somewhat team-based. However, most C-suite leaders, tools, cultures and incentives are still struggling to adopt and support the team-based model. With the advent of new technology, organizations can use data and insights to complete this shift.
The future of HR
In this 10th year of the economic recovery, organizations are finding themselves in a job-seekers’ market as the war for talent rages on. “As organizations’ workforce needs drastically change, leaders should shift from focusing on acquiring talent to accessing capabilities. While the change may seem nuanced, taking a more expanded view of where skills can be found – whether it’s in automation, the gig economy or current employees – can pay dividends in today’s fast-paced and high-demand business environment,” said Volini.
As a result, the importance of internal, enterprise-wide talent mobility has become paramount. In 2019, three-quarters (76 percent) of survey respondents believed new tools and models for careers, and internal mobility are important or very important. Beyond mobility, organizations are finding that they need to look at the technology provided by the cloud as a launchpad, not a destination. But despite investing billions in HR technology, 65 percent of respondents report that this technology is inadequate or only fair at achieving its overall objectives.
With new talent approaches, the way many organizations compensate and reward workers has fallen out of date. Today, only 11 percent of respondents felt that their rewards systems are highly aligned with their organizational goals and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) do not feel they know what rewards their employees value.
“The combination of shifts in the work, the workforce, and the organization have created a new mandate for HR to shape the future,” said Heather Stockton, principal, Deloitte Global, global human capital leader. “But HR cannot do this alone. The entire organization, led by the symphonic C-suite, needs to come together to help organizations truly take the lead in the future of work.”