Reinventing your organisation with a human focus

Our five-minute take on this year’s Global Human Capital Trends Report from Deloitte

We like this research because it gives weight and rigor to the trends and advancements we know anecdotally to be the case. It also provides lots of helpful stats to help persuade budget holders of the critical aspects of investing in the future success of ‘the people stuff’ and to target this investment in the most effective way. This year Deloitte surveyed over 10,000 people across 119 countries on a range of workplace issues.

So you don’t have to read 100+ pages, here are some of the the highlights, together with our comments and recommendations:

For starters:

86% of respondents believe they must reinvent their ability to learn – this is largely because of the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and automation. The report says that “the number one reason people quit their roles now is their inability to learn and grow”.

84% said that they need to rethink their workforce experience to improve productivity – this is not only about digital transformation though also, as a result of technological revolution, the differing expectations of today’s employee.

80% believe they need to develop leaders differently – because of the pressures to move faster in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous climate and adapt to an ever more diverse, demanding and scarce workforce.

This is nothing new. Deloitte link the context in which these challenges lie to the concept of the social enterprise and this is where things become really interesting. Put simply a social enterprise is less about mission statements, CSR and philanthropy and more about an approach that is authentically and intrinsically one of ‘human focus’. The organisation understands and embraces its responsibility to internally and externally become a ‘good citizen’, aligning its shareholder obligations with those of all stakeholders including its people, customers, supply partners and the community. According to the report, CEOs’ most important measure of success in 2019 is “impact on society including income equality, diversity and the environment”.  The required change is not going to be achieved without a clear plan, a willingness to invest in this change and the will to drive it through to success. Deloitte discuss “reinvention on a broad scale”. Combine this with today’s employee’s need to make a difference in the wider sense, and it’s not going to be about making some adjustments and introducing a few initiatives; it will involve an authentic, comprehensive, cohesive and courageous focus on the whole organisation and determining what needs to change to future-proof it.

Key considerations:

  • Purpose and meaning: Culture lies at the heart of everything a successful organisation does. Bin old-school mission and vision in favour of a clear and simple purpose (why we’re all here) together with sensible, embedded values (how we do things around here) as measured against the right behaviours.
  • Ethics and fairness: Create trust through allowing the same opportunities for all whilst enabling them to demonstrate individuality and personal preferences. Examples include offering learning in a variety of ways as and when people want to access it, utilising digital tools for a consistent and open approach.
  • Growth and passion: Give people a voice so they can contribute to the organisation whilst enabling them to drive their own progress. Ensure middle managers possess the attitudes and skills to allow people the ‘freedom within a framework’ they need to make a difference. Create an environment where people want to come to work, do well and enjoy doing so without excessive stress and burnout.
  • Collaboration and personal relationships: Ensure leaders place a high emphasis on building and developing great teams. As work and personal life increasingly merge into one, make sure that strong business relationships can flourish so as to offer mutual support, respect and kindness.
  • Transparency and openness: Yes! This is going to be a game changer for so many organisations yet there’s a long way to go considering that, according to Harvard Business Review trust is at an all-time low with, 58% of employees saying they’d trust a stranger more than their manager. Simple things such as holding ones hands up to a mistake, giving kind yet straightforward feedback and sharing information openly will all make a difference.

What this means for the people function:

  1. Accessing talent: Recruiting the right people has arguably never been tougher. So rather than recruiting for a specific vacancy, organisations will need an always on approach to seeking out and attracting good people and a spot on approach to the internal development pipeline which can feasibly only be achieved through technology.
  2. Learning in the flow of life: the pace of change is creating an enormous demand for learning which will become more integrated with the day to day, more personal with a focus on the identification of new skill requirements and always on ability to access it when needed. L+D professionals are becoming curators of content rather than creators and deliverers.
  3. Talent mobility: as the competition for talent becomes increasingly fiercer, organisations must realise that they’ll have to ‘grow their own’ rather than sourcing job ready people. The emphasis will be, therefore, on internal mobility. With opportunities available to all and any who wish to drive themselves through. Again technology is paramount.
  4. The HR Cloud as a launch pad: aside from digitising traditional HR processes, the emphasis here is on great processes, on encouraging innovation, raising productivity and growing internal talent. Example here.

According to the Deloitte report, “reinvention with a human focus offers a path forward through the challenges and uncertainties facing organizational and HR leaders.”  This makes sense, though for many will need a refined and well structured strategic and tactical approach with careful handling throughout. Let us know if you need a helping hand…

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2019-09-16T11:34:40+01:00 August 27th, 2019|