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Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2017

This week the long-awaited Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2017 hit the press.
I love this report as it is a striking reminder of just how dramatically fast our workplaces are changing. With the steadfast number of organisations, worldwide, contributing to this pool of significant 21st century empirical evidence, the voices of over 10,000 recipients from 140 countries cannot be silenced.

Simply put, this year’s report highlights the need for organisations to focus more heavily on career strategies, talent mobility and organisational ecosystems and networks aiding both individual and organisational reinvention, a necessity for survival in this day and age.
The top ten trends are as follows:
TREND 1:  The organisation of the future – arriving now
The significant level of interest seen, signals a shift from designing the new organisation to actively building organisational ecosystems and networks. The drive to empower teams to take action has arrived, with agility playing a central role to any organisation’s success.

TREND 2:  Careers and Learning – real time, all the time 
The move towards ‘always-on’ learning has driven companies to rethink the concept of ‘career’.   In fact, the report says it has been shaken to its core.  New learning models challenge the idea of a static career and reflect the declining half-life of skills critical to the 21st century workplace.

TREND 3:  Talent Acquisition – enter the cognitive recruiter
This trend highlights how leading organisations use social networking, analyt­ics, and cognitive tools to find people in new ways, attract them through a global brand, and determine who will best fit the job, team, and company. A new breed of cognitive technologies is radically trans­forming recruiting, which stands at the early stages of a revolution.

TREND 4: The Employee Experience: culture, engagement and beyond
With culture and engagement still playing a significant contribution to em­ployee experience, leading organisations are broadening their focus to include a person’s first contact with a potential employer through retire­ment and beyond. Companies are looking at employee journeys, studying the needs of their workforce, and using net promoter scores to under­stand the employee experience. Workplace redesign, well-being, and work productivity systems are all becoming part of the mandate for HR.

TREND 5:  Performance Management – playing a winning hand
Companies have been experi­menting with new performance management ap­proaches emphasising continuous feedback and coaching, reducing the focus on appraisal. Companies are now moving beyond experimentation to deploy new models on a wide scale. Even though HR technology tools have not quite caught up, new approaches to performance management are work­ing, and they are increasing productivity and chang­ing corporate culture.

TREND 6:  Leadership Disrupted – pushing the boundaries
As companies transform and digital organisational models emerge, leadership needs change as well. Organisations are demanding more agile, diverse, and younger leaders, as well as new leadership models that capture the ‘digital way’ to run businesses. While the leadership development industry continues to struggle, companies are push­ing the boundaries of their traditional leadership hi­erarchies, empowering a new breed of leaders who can thrive in a rapidly changing network.

TREND 7:  Digital HR – platforms, people and work
As organisations become more digital, HR must become a leader in the digital organisation. This means going beyond digitising HR platforms to developing digital workplaces and digital work­forces, and to deploying technology that changes how people work and the way they relate to each other at work. The path to digital HR is becoming clearer, with expanded options, new platforms, and a wide variety of tools to build the 21st-century digital organisation, workforce, and workplace.

TREND 8:  People Analytics – recalculating the route
People Data at work has become more impor­tant than ever, but the focus of people analytics has changed. Formerly a technical discipline owned by data specialists, people analytics is now a business discipline, supporting everything from operations and management to talent acquisition and financial performance. Readiness to capitalise on people ana­lytics remains a challenge.

TREND 9:  Diversity and Inclusion – the reality gap
Fairness, equity, and inclusion are now CEO-level issues around the world. A new focus on accountability, data, transparency, and ‘diversity through process’ is driving efforts around unconscious bias training and education throughout the business community. Despite these efforts, a reality gap is still recognised. Issues around diversity and inclusion continue to be frustrating and challenging for any organisation.

TREND 10:  The Future of Work – the augmented workforce
Robotics, AI, sensors, and cognitive computing have gone mainstream, along with the open talent economy. Companies can no longer consider their workforce to be only the employees on their balance sheet, but must include freelancers, “gig economy” workers, and crowds. These on-and off-balance-sheet workers are being augmented with machines and software. Together, these trends will result in the redesign of almost every job, as well as a new way of thinking about workforce planning and the nature of work.

The findings of this year’s Human Capital Trends Report are powerful.  The report is not only easy to read, but also provides some wonderful clarity between the ‘old rules’ versus the ‘new rules’ resulting in practical solutioning to specific challenges any organisations may be facing today.
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