Trends in human capital show employees asking companies to have a bigger social purpose

Aurel Dragan 10/10/2018 | 10:37

The profound changes in human capital expectations are challenging organizations and business leaders, according to Deloitte’s survey 2018 Global Human Capital Trends. Employees are asking companies to combine the economic and social purpose, to have a stronger social role.

Only 18 percent of respondents say the company’s impact on society is a major priority in the organization’s strategy.

“Human capital trends indicate a paradigm shift: from the traditional organization, which is only economically oriented, to the one focused on creating an impact in the society as a whole through a new type of enterprise: the social enterprise. This means organizations are judged not only for their financial results and their impact on the economy, but also for their impact on the environment they operate in, on their members and on society as a whole. Lately, amid the loss of confidence in political leaders, people have begun to believe that business is a driver of change in society. That is why organizations must be receptive to all the voices of society and invest in the broader social ecosystem, becoming models of social responsibility. Companies have to inspire in their own employees a sense of a collective goal towards a superior mission, because the reputation and, ultimately, their success or failure are at stake,” says Raluca Bontas, Global Employer Services Deloitte Romania partner.

Symphonic leadership

  • 85 percent of respondents consider a symphonic leadership necessary, a new leadership model that implies an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary collaboration and common vision of executives in an organization. To do this, executives play together as a team, while also leading their own teams, all in harmony.
  • 51 percent of respondents say that their organizations are not prepared or are only partly prepared for the level of collaboration needed, despite the fact that this was the main problem identified.

“The most important trend in the human capital area is the need to break up the functional hierarchies and build an organization on a collaborative basis. The message is clear: leaders need to work with each other and act as one. However, the transition to full symphonic leadership seems to be at the beginning,” explains Bontas.

New career models

  • Only 42 percent of the respondents say that their organizations are mainly made up of employees and estimate that dependence on contractors, self-employed workers and other forms of collaboration will increase dramatically in the coming years.
  • However, only 16 percent have set policies to manage this variety of types of workers.

“We note that traditional career models are changing and that there is a redefinition of the employer-employee relationship in the context of the arising collaborative economy. Many organizations may consider this change as an opportunity. To take advantage of it, HR specialists and business leaders should develop integrated strategies and programs that address all aspects, from legal to career development, mobility or benefits,” says Florentina Munteanu, partner with Reff and Associates, member of the Deloitte Legal network.

The leverage of technology

  • 72 percent of the respondents see artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation as being very important.
  • Personal skills become more required in this context, such as complex problem solving (63 percent), cognitive skills (55 percent) and social skills (52 percent).
  • Over 40 percent believe that automation will have a major impact on jobs.

“Over the past year, organizations have increasingly focused on how automation changes will impact individuals. As routine work is automated, new job-based skills will be created and only companies that rethink how they use the work force to increase these skills, will be able to stay ahead of the competition,” says Munteanu.

The 2018 survey included the responses of over 11,000 executives and HR professionals around the world, being the largest longitudinal survey of its kind.

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