The world has changed—and so has our approach to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends research. Our 2021 report seeks to identify which characteristics can support organizations shifting from survive to thrive by revisiting some key trends from our 2020 research. We also explored critical strategies to help leaders prepare for—and thrive—in the face of future disruptions.

Completed by more than 3,600 executives in 96 countries, this year’s 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 (59%), including 233 CEOs, outnumbered HR executives (41%) in the survey—underscoring the growing importance of human capital in organizational decision-making.

From this research, we learned the organizations best prepared for the COVID-19 crisis were already adopting a “thrive” mindset, using disruption as an opportunity to propel the organization forward. The 15% of executives who said their organization was “very prepared” for the pandemic were 2.2 times more likely to pivot investments for changing business demands. The “very prepared” group was also twice as likely to use technology to transform work.

And most importantly, those who were “very prepared” were twice as likely to recognize the importance of organizing work to facilitate rapid decision-making. They were also nearly three times more ready to leverage worker adaptability and mobility to navigate future disruptions.


In contrast to the idea that disruption can be a catalyst for reinvention, many human capital topics—and particularly those we are exploring in more depth in this report—have traditionally been approached through discrete programs and initiatives. As organizations make the shift from survive to thrive, these solutions must become dynamic to better support the human strengths that enable the broader organization to flourish.


It is our view that the shift from survive to thrive depends on an organization becoming—and remaining—distinctly human at its core. This is not just a different way of thinking and acting. It is a different way of being, one that approaches every question, issue and decision from a human angle first. And it is not just a good idea, but a mandate for growth.

Today’s environment of extreme dynamism calls for a degree of courage, judgment, and flexibility that only humans and teams led by humans can bring. A predictable world can be effectively dealt with through algorithms and equations. A messy world cannot, even in an age of increasingly intelligent machines.


In our upcoming articles, we will dive deeper into five topics we covered in our 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report to further explore how organizations can bring out the human strengths that make organizational thriving possible.

   • Integrating workers’ physical, mental, financial, and social health into the design of work itself rather than addressing well-being with adjacent programs.

   • Capitalizing on worker agency and choice as a means to drive learning, adaptability, and impact.

   • Creating teams and superteams that use technology to enhance natural human ways of working.

   • Developing and acting on forward-looking insights using real-time data to harness workforce potential.

   • Shifting HR’s role from standardizing and enforcing workforce policies to a new responsibility of re-architecting work across the enterprise.


If you would like more information on Diving deeper: Five workforce strategies to watch in 2021, please contact the Deloitte Banking and Human Capital Leader, Pascal Martino (

And if you would like to view the full 2021 Human Capital Trends report, please download it here:


Look for our next article “Designing work for well-being: The end of work/life balance” to learn how organizations integrate well-being into the design of work at the individual, team, and organizational level to build a sustainable future where workers can feel and perform at their best.


Article by Deloitte Luxembourg

Publié le 01 février 2021