The past decade was marked by considerable economic and social disruption in the world of work. Organizations scrambled to keep ahead of these disruptions, making point-in-time adjustments to their business models and processes to remain competitive in a quickly changing landscape.

But the events of 2020 created disruptions far greater than what organizations had ever tackled. It became unequivocally clear that point-in-time responses were inadequate and that preparedness for the unexpected depends on an organization’s handling of work and the workforce. 2020’s global health, financial, and social equity crises may have most profoundly affected work and workers, with organizations making sweeping changes to what, where, how, and by whom work was done.


As we have explored in our previous deep-dive articles on well-being, reskilling, superteams, workforce strategies and the role of HR, readying work and workers for uncertain futures requires building the human element into everything an organization does. To do this, we believe that organizations must embrace three attributes—purpose, potential, and perspective—that allow them to humanize work to create lasting value for their workers, their organizations, and society at large.


During the pandemic, we observed that organizations that embraced purpose were able to anchor their workers, teams, and leaders to a common understanding of their objectives. These organizations used purpose as a driving force to sift through competing priorities, unite workers under common goals, drive belonging, and focus energy and resources on their most pressing organizational and societal goals.

To thrive amid constant disruption, organizations must capitalize on the potential of their workers and teams. Organizations that understand and activate workforce potential will be better able to capitalize on human ingenuity and achieve organizational speed and agility. The results of our 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey show that most leaders agree: 72% of executives told us that “the ability of their people to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles” was either the most or second most important factor in their organization’s ability to navigate future disruptions.

To act on the perspective that uncertainty is an opportunity to create one’s own future, organizations must be poised to take bold steps forward even if they lead outside their comfort zone. To do this, organizations must make a deliberate effort to re-architect work, putting work reimagination into action by constantly examining work to open new pathways to their goals. Re-architecting work means more than automating tasks and activities. It is about configuring work to capitalize on what humans can accomplish when work is designed around their strengths.


If the past year has shown us anything, it is that putting people at the heart of an organization’s decisions about work and the workforce pays off in the ability to better stay ahead of disruption.

Putting that ability into practice involves thinking about work and the workforce in terms of purpose, potential, and perspective to build an organization that can thrive in an unpredictable environment with an unknown future.


Now may be a unique moment in history that gives leaders the impetus to move into a significantly higher gear of action and vision. It is up to them— to us—to seize this moment, making meaningful changes to how we approach work and the workforce that positions our organizations to thrive.


If you would like more information on Leading forward: Leading the shift from survive to thrive, 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:


Article by Deloitte Luxembourg

Publié le 23 mars 2021