The 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte reveals that almost 90% of HR and business leaders around the world rate building the organisation of the future as their highest priority.
The report, dubbed: “Rewriting the rules for the digital age”, includes a call-to-action from Deloitte for companies to completely reconsider their organisational structure, talent and HR strategies to keep pace with digital disruption. “Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and these innovations have completely transformed the way we live, work and communicate, both globally and here in South Africa,” says Trevor Page, Director Human Capital at Deloitte Consulting.
With more than 10 000 HR and business leaders in 140 countries participating – 295 of them from South Africa – this is Deloitte’s largest and most extensive Global Human Capital Trends survey to date. The hallmark study – in its fifth year – reveals that leaders are turning to new organisation models, which highlight the networked nature of today’s world of work.
However, as business productivity often fails to keep pace with technological progress, Deloitte finds that HR is struggling to keep up, with only 35% of global HR professionals rating their capabilities as “good” or “excellent”.
“Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), mobile platforms, sensors, and social collaboration systems have revolutionised the way we live, work, and communicate; and the pace is only accelerating,” says Page.
“This creates increased workplace stress for individuals as well as society as a whole. Research shows that employees and organisations are more ‘overwhelmed’ than ever.”
Apart from identifying the organisation of the future as the most important trend of 2017 (83% said it was very important/important), HR and business leaders also flagged employee experience (83%), talent acquisition (81%), careers and learning (81%), and diversity and inclusion (80%) as key issues. Other notable trends to consider are performance management (80%) and leadership (76%).
The report makes it clear that the world is changing at a rapid pace and employee needs are changing dramatically. Their working life needs include different types of working arrangements to match flexible and dynamic working styles for the digital age.
Research conducted during the drafting of the report found that collaborating as a network of teams is becoming increasingly important and the traditional organisational models with many layers of management, complex organisational structures, procedures and red-tape will increasingly hamper competitiveness in the disrupted future world of work.
Organisations will have to become more flexible and fluid, with a new breed of leaders who are able to make decisions and implement changes in a quick and efficient manner. In addition, the trends highlighting employee experience and talent acquisition talk directly to the need for a radical rethink of how companies engage with both existing employees and potential employees using smart technology. The employee experience trend this year includes both engagement and culture which research shows are key drivers of attracting, retaining and getting the best from particularly the millennial employees in the workplace.
Organisations should start demonstrating that they have the intention and purpose to give back to the community and to contribute to the society at large to a greater extent than in the past. The millennial generation in particular have a greater attraction and loyalty to companies that can demonstrate these factors. Below is an infographic summarising key points in the 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report.