April 2 2015

Top 10 Global Human Capital Trends for 2015 | Part 2

Written by Nimritta P.

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Last week we provided the the first five out of ten global human capital trends, as reported by Deloitte University Press. Deloitte's report is research based on interviews and surveys involving over 3,300 businesses and HR leaders from over 100 countries, asking HR leaders to determine the talent challenges their organizations face, and to assess their preparedness to meet these challenges. Each of these trends correlate with capability gaps - specific ones that would benefit from prioritization. This year, “softer” areas such as culture and engagement are becoming more prevalent priorities, involving revamping entire strategy to adhere to new needs. Here is part 2, of the top 10 global human capital trends for 2015.

5. Workforce on Demand

A reported 34% of all workers in the U.S. are a part of the contract workforce, also known as “open talent” or “external talent”. Companies benefit greatly from this population because they provide them the opportunity to temporarily tap into a diverse pool of skills and capabilities. What companyies are lacking, however, are systems of organization to manage this contingent workforce. The shift to contracts requires a shift in HR systems for employee management. How can you go about doing this? There are a few different ways. First, whether you currently have contract workers or not, prepare for them. Assess your skills and capabilities to see where there are gaps for potential external talent, and adjust your management plans to include a hybrid team. HR leaders should take the reins and do their research on the contract workforce to provide business leaders with the information they need to dip into the contract workforce.

4. Reinventing HR

Human Resources is no longer just seen as a service provider - it is becoming tightly intertwined with business strategy. HR is now primarily responsible for recruiting, developing, managing, and maintaining talent. Despite this crucial responsibility, reports show that only 28% of business leaders find HR to be efficient, and an even lower 22% find HR to be evolving to accommodate changes in the workforce.  There is a large capability gap here - businesses need much more from HR leaders than what is currently being provided. HR programs need to be redesigned to encompass these changes in requirements, and in particular, to focus on consulting and service delivery. Companies also need to make a greater investment into HR, not only to ensure that HR values are integrated into all facets of the organization, but to guarantee that they have the most efficient talent.

3. Learning and Development

This particular issue was #8 last year, but has quickly become a higher priority. Corporate learning capabilities are in decline, and organizations are scrounging to find leaders with these skills. Business leaders feel that their employees don’t have the skills required to move up the ladder, so they hesitate to hire internally. In the last few years there has been an influx of new learning methods, such as MOOC’s (Massive Online Open Course), e-Learning tools, video-based learning, and open source learning systems. Even with all of these learning tools available, companies are still choosing to use outdated learning management systems. The reason for this seems to be that about 25% of them do not feel comfortable with today’s online learning environment. Wading into the water, and taking advantage of the developing learning management systems would provide employees with flexible and diverse learning methods, and would greatly improve development. The online learning market is continuing to grow and thrive, so re-evaluate the learning systems you currently have set in place and take part of the growth.

2. Leadership

Building leadership is a clear problem for many, but there has been very little improvement from last year, despite it being the #1 issue reported in 2014. Eighty-six percent of global HR and business leaders named leadership as a critical issue. There is a clear capability gap, as many companies address leadership as a leading issue, but very few are actually working towards progressing - Why? Because these companies are working on developing leadership in select, top level individuals, instead of instilling leadership into the entire pipeline. Less than 50% of corporate level executives feel like they’re provided with the right tools and resources for development. Additionally, a mere 6% of survey participants claimed “excellent” leadership systems. A major problem is that there is not enough investment in developing leadership in all areas of an organization, at all levels. Investment in leadership must be consistent, and it must be seen as a priority, despite whether the company is going through highs or lows. Well developed organizations spend 1.5-2% more on leadership programs compared to their competitors, and achieve triple or quadruple the success. As well, mid- and top-level leaders need the same attention. This is essential.  If you provide the right leadership programs, when top level leaders retire or leave the business, you can move first level leaders up the pipeline, and have confidence in their abilities.This frees up mid and first level positions for millennials to take on.

1. Culture and Engagement

87% of companies name culture and engagement as an important issue, and 50% deemed it “very important.” A company’s culture reflect its people, and its values. Because of social media and the culture of sharing that we live in, a oragnization's culture is no longer a private matter, as the way things work at your workplace become evident to everyone. The obvious downside here is that you are put under a magnifying glass - every facet of your company is open to speculation and inquiry. However,the upside to this is that companies can use their culture to their advantage, as a selling point. This is where engagement comes in. A good culture drives employee engagement - high levels of engagement lead to high levels of productivity. Having a company culture that is rooted in hard work, strong engagement and leadership will allow you to surpass your peers and competition.


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