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; to truly become a social enterprise.
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. This includes interacting, motivating, and personalizing experiences with the workforce. This will 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 say the role of the social enterprise is more important now than ever. They also note 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. I agree that it is important; but what’s missing is the focus on the individual and the challenges workers are facing,” said Erica Volini, Deloitte. “The reality is that while technology is helping organizations gain competitive advantage, 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; and 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.
More than 86 percent of respondents cited reinventing the way people learn as important. Leading organizations are empowering individuals’ need to continuously develop skills. They do so by investing in new tools to embed learning into the flow of work.
There’s a need to sustain 50 to 60 year careers as part of a 100-year life. Consequently, 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 say their organizations are “very ready” to address this topic.
The ongoing adoption of automation technologies increases the need for continuous learning as 64 percent of respondents say 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.
Part of the workforce reorganizes into superjobs, Volini shares. However, lower-wage-work across service sectors continues to grow, along with non-traditional contract, freelance, and gig employment. It is imperative that these jobs remain as is.
“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 have 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.
Organizations look to provide technology to support employees’ work. However, only 38 percent of respondents said that they were 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 necessary.
“Over the last five years, issues related to productivity, well-being, overwork and burnout have grown,” said Jeff Schwartz, Deloitte. “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.”
Different type of leader
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. This makes 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. This includes 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, 76 percent of survey respondents believed new tools and models for internal mobility are important or very important.
Organizations 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 in line 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, Deloitte. “But HR cannot do this alone. The entire organization, led by the symphonic C-suite, needs to come together. Otherwise, organizations will never truly take the lead in the future of work.”