Many of today’s employees work in global teams that operate on a 24/7 basis. An increasing number of skilled workers in this new world work on a contingent, part-time, or contract basis, presenting new challenges for organisations to integrate them into talent programmes.
Demographic changes and generational transitions are having major impacts on the make-up of organisations; millennials now make up more than half the workforce, and leading organisations are addressing their needs through accelerated leadership paths and greater flexibility in work places.
Senior business leaders view human capital as an essential driver of growth, so it is critical that organisations are proactive in addressing human capital challenges. But achieving the necessary transformation of work to effectively respond will require bold and innovative thinking, questioning of longstanding practices and habits, and a greater focus on culture as a key element in driving both workplace change and business success.
These are some of the highlights from Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2015 survey, which reveals the top trends shaping the human capital agenda. Valarie Daunt, Director of Human Capital Consulting within Deloitte will be speaking about the results of the survey at the Ibec HR Leadership Summit in October this year.
Top 5 Trends in Ireland:
Culture – no longer a ‘soft’ concept
Culture and engagement are at the forefront of talent issues for the majority of Irish companies, according to the Human Capital Trends 2015 survey. Nine in ten Irish organisations cite culture and engagement as one of their biggest challenges. However, of the respondents, only 28% feel ready and 8% very ready, to tackle this challenge.
An organisation’s culture can be hard to define, and senior leadership continue to grapple with making this concept tangible. Culture should been seen as an enabler of strategy and while it is driven by leaders, it is enacted by all employees. It also forms the basis for increasing engagement among an increasingly mobile, diverse and demanding workforce. Fundamentally, culture needs to align with and support the business strategy. It is no longer seen as a ‘soft concept’ or a ‘nice to have’.”
In order to address this challenge, HR practitioners can take a number of steps such as putting in place real time programmes to evaluate an organisation’s culture using diagnostic models and easily accessible mobile tools to understand and measure it. Reinforcing to leadership that a clear understanding of culture is a top priority ensures that efforts to address this challenge start at the top. Engaging with employees to assess what is meaningful to them, and in particular engaging with millennials will be critical.
Leadership – a perennial challenge
This year’s report indicates a continuing lack of progress in what has become a perennial organisational challenge – leadership. 90% of respondents in Ireland view this as a top talent priority, yet only 26% feel ready to address it. New approaches to leadership development involving better assessment of necessary leadership qualities, and a focus on understanding the career pattern of outstanding leaders, can help HR and talent leaders build development programmes tailored to the unique complexities faced by their leaders.
Learning and development – into the spotlight
In 2014, learning and development did not feature as a top five challenge in Ireland or globally. In 2015, the need to transform and accelerate corporate learning moved to the third highest priority in Ireland. There are signs of progress in addressing this challenge, with 45% of Irish business and HR leaders rating themselves ‘somewhat ready’ to respond, but there is large variation in how ready companies are to address this talent challenge, with only 7% responding that they are ‘very ready’ to redesign their approach to learning. Operationally learning and development continues to run efficiently, however, emerging gaps in capability exist in the ability to adopt new technologies in mobile learning, utilising web based training and access to massive open online course (MOOCs) to enhance access to learning outside of traditional classroom based training.
Performance management – the secret ingredient
This trend is the fourth most pressing talent challenge in Ireland, and comes in at fifth place globally. As business needs for leadership, stronger engagement, and critical skills continue to grow, business and HR leaders look to performance management as the ‘secret ingredient’ that affects all of these challenges. 82% of business and HR leaders in Ireland rate it as important, but only 22% are ready to deal with new challenges in this area. However, findings suggest that efforts in Ireland to address this challenge are well underway, with 50% either planning to review or currently evaluating their performance management system. Encouragingly, 45% have reviewed and updated their performance management process in the last 18 months including Deloitte who have taken an innovative approach to Performance Management.
Workforce on demand – are you ready?
Almost 8 out of 10 Irish business and HR leaders rated building an ‘on demand workforce’ as an important talent challenge, making this the fifth most important trend. To combat talent shortages organisations must engage with the ‘open talent economy’ to tap into a broader range of external talent through non-traditional employment methods such as joint ventures and partnerships, contracted, outsourced and freelance workers. Deloitte data suggests that 41% of companies in Ireland plan to increase the use of contingent, outsourced, contracted and part time employees over the next 12-18 months, rising to 56% over the longer term horizon of 3-5 years. Managing this complex workforce effectively will require new, integrated relationships across HR and procurement, as well as with business leaders.
Valerie Daunt (Director - Human Capital Consulting, Deloitte) commented: “HR faces continuing challenges in generating the investment to begin to close the gap between current practice and desired outcomes. Encouragingly our data shows that 68% of Irish business leaders have plans to increase or significantly increase investment in HR. Key to continued investment will be focused investments which deliver the business strategy including investment in technology, talent management, building of HR capabilities, and supporting business decisions through data and analytics. With targeted investment, HR leaders can begin to really engage with solutions to the people challenges facing their organisations. Investment in HR technology is crucial to begin this process; however, this investment must be accompanied by efforts to redesign processes, talent management programmes and retraining of HR professionals to see the maximum return”.
Friday, 24 July 2015