Deloitte’s 2021 Global Human Capital Trends report, "The social enterprise in a world disrupted," examines how organizations and leaders can leverage the lessons of this pandemic to fundamentally reimagine work, shifting from a focus on surviving to the pursuit of thriving.

Luxembourg, 17 December 2020: amid unprecedented workforce disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are enacting radical new ways of working and operating—and the C-suite is taking action to reimagine the future of work, with human capital issues heading the agenda. Executives are shifting preparedness strategies from planning for the familiar and are instead synchronizing across the C-suite to develop human-centric strategies that allow organizations to better adapt to ongoing disruption.

Completed by more than 3,600 executives in 96 countries, Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends report included responses from more than 1,200 C-suite executives and board members, in addition to other management functions. For the first time in the report’s 11-year history, business respondents (56%), including 233 CEOs, outnumbered HR respondents (44%) in the survey—underscoring the growing importance of human capital in organizational decision-making.


Reimagining preparedness and workforce potential

The report shows that human capital issues are at the center of leaders’ thinking as they shift organizational views on preparedness. In the 2021 report, 17% of executives said their organizations would focus on planning for unlikely, high-impact events moving forward, as opposed to just 6% before the pandemic. Nearly half (47 %) of executives said their organizations planned to focus on multiple scenarios, notably up from 23% pre-pandemic. To effectively deal with multiple possible futures and unlikely events, the importance of real-time workforce insights and data has become even more critical.


However, the most important factor in making this preparedness shift is unleashing worker potential through a new focus on capabilities. Almost three-quarters (72%) of executives identified “the ability of their people to adapt, reskill and assume new roles” as a priority for navigating future disruptions. However, only 17% of these same executives said their organization was “very ready” to adapt and reskill workers to assume new roles. This points to a substantial disconnect between leaders’ priorities and the reality of how their organizations support workforce development.


C-suite collaboration is critical to set new workforce direction

HR is beginning to embrace the new critical role of re-architecting work and setting a new direction for the workforce itself. Due to HR’s adept handling of COVID-19’s challenges, the percentage of HR executives who are very confident in the department’s ability to navigate future changes in the next three to five years has doubled from 1 in 8 in 2019 to nearly 1 in 4 in 2020. Among business executives, the proportion that was “not confident” in HR dropped dramatically from 26% in 2019 to 12% in 2020.


“The way that we managed the current COVID-19 crisis so far reflects our capability to overcome any challenge that lies ahead,” stated Stephan Tilquin, Partner and Talent Leader at Deloitte Luxembourg. “Working hand-in-hand with HR and all departments, we had already implemented a more flexible and future-oriented work environment before the pandemic hit—we were ready for the unexpected. A close collaboration between stakeholders can clearly help achieve organizations’ broader economic and human goals.”


With the CHRO at the helm, propelling this level of organizational change requires collaboration and leadership across the entire C-suite. In fact, survey respondents identified leadership as the top factor that drives change. However, as executives of large organizations begin to re-architect work, they have identified some barriers that they will need to overcome, such as too many competing priorities (57%), lack of readiness (43%) and lack of future visioning (27%).


Integrating wellbeing into work

As the lines between work and life blurred even further during COVID-19, leaders moved from prioritizing work-life balance to designing wellbeing into work—and life—itself. In fact, 69% of executives reported they implemented policies during COVID-19 designed to empower workers to better integrate their personal and professional lives. Among executives, seven in 10 said shifts to remote work had a positive impact on wellbeing.


“At Deloitte Luxembourg, in addition to our flexible working policy, we are offering a diverse wellbeing program to our employees and clients that includes fitness and yoga classes, as well as educational programs for body and soul like healthy nutrition sessions or positive psychology—all taking place virtually at the moment of course. It is essential for organizations to integrate wellbeing into the design of work at every level in order to build a sustainable future where professionals can grow personally and professionally,” added Pascal Martino.


Looking ahead to the next one to three years, however, executives ranked improving wellbeing as their second-to-last priority in the context of transforming work, yet workers ranked improving wellbeing within their top three priorities. This points to an ongoing debate about how the focus on wellbeing will be sustained in a post-pandemic world.


Read more about the 2021 Global Human Capital Trends here:


Press Release by Deloitte Luxembourg

Publié le 17 décembre 2020