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10 human capital trends you must know about in 2019 and beyond



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Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report collated responses from nearly 10,000 HR and business leaders in 119 countries to identify 10 human capital trends. These have been divided into three actionable categories: future of the workforce; future of the organisation; and future of HR.

We’ve summed up the 10 trends below:

#1 The alternative workforce is now mainstream

Contract, freelance, and gig employment have been considered alternative work or options supplementary to full-time jobs so far. Today, this segment has grown and gone mainstream, while organisations are looking strategically at all types of work arrangements in their plans for growth.

However, few respondents have established processes for managing this ‘alternative workforce’, with one in five having little or no processes in place for this demographic:

 

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#2 Jobs will be designed as ‘superjobs’

As organisations increase their use of AI, cognitive technologies, robotic process automation, and robotics, they’re finding that virtually every job must change, and that the jobs of the future are more digital, more multidisciplinary, and more data- and information-driven.

Thus, organisations must redesign jobs to focus on finding the human dimension of work. These new roles, or ‘superjobs’ will be jobs that combine parts of different traditional jobs into integrated roles that leverage the productivity and efficiency gains that can arise when people work with technology.

 

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#3 Leadership’s new approach to be effective in the 21st century

Four in five (80%) of survey respondents said that leadership was an important or very important issue, and an equal number said 21st-century leaders face unique and new requirements.

Going forward, leaders must take a nuanced approach to pursuing traditional business goals: take into account the new context in which such goals must be achieved, and draws on critical new competencies, such as leading through change, embracing ambiguity, and understanding digital technologies.

 

ALSO READ: The four X factors of exceptional leaders

#4: From employee experience to human experience

A majority of respondents (84%) rated the need to improve the employee experience as important, while 28% rated it urgent. But the concept of employee experience falls short in that it fails to capture the need for meaning in work that people are looking for.

The opportunity for employers lies in refreshing and expand the concept of employee experience to address the ‘human experience’ at work — that is, finding a way to connect employees’ work back to the impact it has on not only the organisation, but society as a whole.

 

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#5 The shift from hierarchies to teams is well underway

Close to one-third (31%) of respondents now operate mostly or almost wholly in teams, with another 65% percent saying they are mostly hierarchical but with some cross-functional team-based work. Yet most organizations have not yet refreshed leadership, job design, and rewards to adapt.

The research shows that many leaders have not yet adopted the team model of engaging with each other. Further, many organisations are still struggling to build programmes and incentives that support teaming. The opportunity lies within using technology to make team models of work easier.

 

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#6 Keeping perks and rewards relevant to motivate employees

Only 11% of respondents said their rewards systems were highly aligned with their organisational goals, while 23% reported they did not know what rewards their workers value.

How can organisations develop rewards that align with performance measurement, and at the same time address workers’ legitimate expectations and needs? A focus on building relationships with workers—and avoiding external benchmarking in favour of curating a differentiated suite of rewards.

 

ALSO READ: How FOREFRONT International leverages rewards to keep attrition below 20%

#7 Recruiting has become harder than ever

As the job market remains competitive and organisations’ skills requirements undergo rapid change, it’s time for them to think about how they can continuously access talent in varying ways: mobilizing internal resources, finding people in the alternative workforce, and strategically leveraging technology to augment sourcing and boost recruiting productivity.

#8 An enormous demand for new skills and capabilities

The number-one trend for 2019 is the need for organisations to change the way people learn; 86% of respondents cited this as an important or very important issue.

Within this context, there are three broader trends in how learning is evolving: It is becoming more integrated with work; it is becoming more personal; and it is shifting—slowly—toward lifelong models. Effective reinvention along these lines requires a culture that supports continuous learning, incentives that motivate people to take advantage of learning opportunities, and a focus on helping individuals identify and develop new, needed skills.

#9 Internal, enterprise-wide talent mobility has become paramount

Organisations can no longer expect to source and hire enough people with all the capabilities they need; they must move and develop people internally to be able to thrive.

Mobility should be perceived as a natural, normal progression instead of as a major change in one’s career; opportunities to move should be extended to workers at all levels, not just managers and team leaders; and technology should enable a streamlined mobility process for moves between functions, jobs, and projects as well as geographies.

#10 HR cloud: A launch pad, not a destination

Cloud computing has gone mainstream, and organisations have spent millions on new platforms to make HR systems more engaging, personalised, and data-driven. Yet while cloud systems have gone a long way toward integrating the messy back office of HR, they aren’t all that’s needed to better support innovation, raise employee productivity, and lower cost.

In 2019, organisations must rethink their HR technology strategy, considering cloud as a foundation and exploring innovative new platforms, automation, and AI-based tools to complement their core systems.

Lead photo / 123RF
Graphics / Deloitte 

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