The Top 10 Human Capital Trends of 2014 Part 2

November 12, 2014

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human capitalLast week we introduced the first four human capital trends of 2014 that were uncovered in Bersin by Deloitte's annual human capital survey. The three key areas of strategic focus in human capital management centered around leadership development, attracting and engaging top talent and reinventing the HR Management System (HRMS) so that they are robust and flexible. Continue reading for the final six human capital trends of 2014!


5. North American Employees Reported Being Highly Overwhelmed

In their research Bersin by Deloitte found that while human capital trends remained globally consistent, North American employees reported the highest feelings of being overwhelmed at work—to be precise 2/3’s of today’s employees are overwhelmed. When employees are overwhelmed at work they are more likely to not be actively engaged. With the plethora of devices that bombard us with constant communication, research has shown that the average employee can only remain focused for seven minutes before switching to another task or checking another window. In order to increase engagement in 2015, organizations will need to get creative in finding ways to decrease the amount of information influx for employees.


6. Industries cited different Human Capital Needs with One Exception…

Leadership. This came up time and time again in Bersin by Deloitte’s research. In this particular case, leadership rose as the number one priority for the following surveyed industries: consumer business, energy & resources, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, manufacturing, professionals, public sector and technology, media & telecom.


7. Companies that Excelled in HR Focused on Urgent Human Capital Trends

In other words, organizations that understood which human capital needs were most urgent and took measures to resolve them had better HR and talent management programs in 2014. This means that the Top HR teams of 2014 saw an immediate need to focus on acquiring the right leaders, acquiring the right talent, reskilling current HR professionals, improving retention and engagement and purchasing more powerful talent and HR analytic programs.


8. Business Leaders do not believe their Organizations are Ready to Meet Future Human Capital Needs

Bersin by Deloitte’s survey indicated a discrepancy between the beliefs’ of business leaders and HR leaders. Namely, business leaders rated their readiness to meet future human capital challenges as 13% lower than their HR leader counterparts. An important consideration to note is that business leaders from larger organizations were more likely to indicate that they were not ready to address future human capital needs. Given that HR teams understand their programs well, the results may indicate that business leaders do not. If this is the case, HR managers must continue to engage business leaders so that business goals are inline with HR programs.


9. HR Executives gave themselves a Grade of C-

In 2014, HR executives rated their overall performance as a C-minus. While this was better than an average self-given grade of a D-plus from last year, it is still only a minor improvement. In essence, general consensus from HR executives this year was that of mediocrity—many recognize that the challenges presented to create revolutionary HR programs are both very real and still far from being achieved.


10. Modest HR and Talent Investment in 2014

While Bersin by Deloitte found that 47% of surveyed companies increased their HR investments, only 13% of organizations increased said investments by 5% or more. They also found that 8% of organizations are actually planning to decrease HR investment with 39% of organizations election to keep HR investment on par. The fact that there is only modest investment going into HR may explain why HR executives give their overall performance a C-. The urgent needs we have discussed throughout this two part-series are massive endeavors that will take significant time, resources and innovation to resolve. It is an ongoing process that has undoubtedly improved in 2014; but not in the massive strides that are required to attract and develop better leaders, improve retention and engagement, and create talent and analytic programs that meet the modern demands of today's workforce.

For more infor on Big Data in HR, check out our guide to predictive analytics. With the explosion of Big Data from talent and performance management systems, HR executives are beginning to see the benefit in utilizing this information for predictive analytics and ultimately, better decision making. This whitepaper explains the types of questions HR managers can answer with Big Data and predictive analytics.

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