The top 5 Human Capital trends of 2020

Human Capital

The past decade was marked with radical transformations at exponential speed. Technology invaded the domain of work and the workforce demographics shifted considerably. Business structures also advanced with the evolving workforce. The idea of social enterprise – organizations that combine the mission of profit-making and revenue growth with environmental support and stakeholder network, became a concrete business reality. Studying the current cultural, economic and technological landscape from the perspectives of people and business, reveals several trends emerging globally.

Strengthening the sense of belonging

Traditionally every organization focuses on making the employees feel comfortable by creating an inclusive and fair work environment. While comfort lays the foundation to instill the sense of belonging, two more attributes strengthen it – connecting with the teams that they work with and knowing that they contribute to meet the larger organizational goals.

In Deloitte’s survey, 79% of organizations agreed that fostering the sense of belonging is crucial to organizational success while 93% opined that it drives organizational performance. A study by Better Up in 2019 found that “workplace belonging” can yield 56% increase in work performance, 50% decline in turnover risk and 75% reduction in sick leaves.

Designing work to integrate well-being

80% respondents of 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Survey selected worker well-being as a top priority for their organization’s success. The global corporate well-being market is expected to reach US$90.7 billion by 2026, growing at 7% CAGR. Problem is that majority of well-being programs focus on the “individual in work” instead of the “individual at work”. Restructuring work by giving employees more control over their work, using technology for easier team connectivity, making thoughtful adjustments like allowing flexible work hours, affect the holistic well-being of the workforce; and happier employees want to contribute more for achieving organizational goals, that in turn boosts company performance.

Having a “Perennial” workforce

For many years, age has been a criterion of worker selection. The present-day workforce spans across five generations and the workers become who they are due to their personal attributes and age has no role to play. “Perennials” as a concept was articulated by Gina Pell who described perennials as “an everblooming group of people of all ages stripes and types who transcend stereotypes” to connect with the world surrounding them. 70% of organizations surveyed by Deloitte agreed that leading multi-generational workforces is vital for their success. At a time when managers are leading successful teams in their 20’s and people in their 60’s are happily interning, segmentation by generation is an oversimplification best avoided.

Creating “Super-teams”

Commonly perceived as a foe, technology is actually the best friend of today’s workforce. 70% of the global organizations are estimated to be using or exploring AI, and 60% of 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Survey respondents said they are likely to use AI for assisting workers rather than replace them. Super-teams combine the complementary capabilities of humans and machines for problem solving, gaining insights and improving business outcomes. Many forward-thinking organizations have already incorporated AI at three levels – augmentation, substitution and collaboration. Experts believe, organizations that choose to work with super-teams would be capable of creating greater value by restructuring work in transformative ways.

Knowledge management and workforce reskilling

At a time when employees work through digital collaboration tools, knowledge flows dynamically across digital communication channels. 75% organizations surveyed in 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Survey opined that harnessing this knowledge is of utmost importance for business success. Developing new knowledge-management strategies and deploying emerging technologies for creating, understanding and acting on knowledge is expected to yield effective business results.

At a time when the workplace is undergoing a structural reformation dotted with new technological inclusions, 73% organizations feel workforce development is primarily the employers’ responsibility. In 2020 Global Human Capital Trends Survey 53% respondents said that in the next 3 years, 50 – 100% of their workforce would need upgrading their capabilities and skillsets. Organizations must look beyond short-term technical training courses and adopt an approach that perceives workforce reskilling as a strategy to build employee and organizational resilience. This will equip the workforce and hence the organization with tools and tactics to adapt to future uncertainties much more efficiently.

All insights and facts mentioned in the above write-up has been taken from 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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