Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report 2014

No solution for "overwhelmed employees" in sight in Belgium

Deloitte Human Capital Trends report 2014 indicates Belgian organisations intend to invest less in HR programmes than competitors across Europe.

Brussels, 7th April 2014 - Belgian businesses rank leadership as the most urgent human capital issue they need to address according to a new report from Deloitte. Despite this, the report reveals that companies plan to invest less in HR, including talent development, in the coming months than competitors across EMEA.

The Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey, of over 2,500 business leaders worldwide, including 79 from Belgium, identified leadership as the top human capital concern both globally and in locally, while also highlighting that over half (58%) of Belgian organisations have no plans to increase HR investment in the coming 12-18 months, compared to 47% globally.

In addition to leadership, the other top trends in human capital for Belgium are the reskilling of HR, workforce capability and the need to simplify the work environment, dubbed “rescuing the overwhelmed employee”.

Yves Van Durme, Human Capital Leader, Deloitte Belgium: “Rescuing the overwhelmed employee’ is a slowly emerging theme across the globe that is already a big concern for Belgium. However, most respondents did not rate themselves capable of embracing that particular challenge just yet. So, expect more overwhelmed employees.”

Leadership is a real concern
Belgian respondents clearly identified leadership as their most important human capital issue while also acknowledging it as one of the challenges they are least prepared to address. The gap between the importance that organisations attach to this challenge and the extent to which they are ready to deal with it (the “capability gap”) is particularly wide (39%). In fact the gap in Belgium is bigger than it is both in EMEA (31%) and worldwide (34%).

Yves Van Durme states: “Without robust leadership programmes at all levels, coupled with a stronger commitment to succession planning, businesses run the risk of becoming increasingly uncompetitive at both a European and global level.”

HR professionals must be kept up to date
The survey shows that Belgian organisations consider the reskilling of HR teams to be the second most important human capital trend. New technologies, shifting workplace demographics and the changing nature of work itself require HR professionals to embrace a broader set of skills in order to deliver impact in their organisations.
Reskilling the HR function is the second-largest trend for EMEA and the third worldwide. The capability gap of 22% shows that Belgian companies are not yet ready for this particular trend. Yet the score in Belgium is somewhat better than it is in EMEA (25%) and worldwide (26%). The fact that Belgian respondents are less optimistic about the outlook for growth in 2014 may explain this.

Guaranteeing talent for tomorrow
Securing employees with scarce technical and professional skills, and creating an environment where those skills can be learned and honed, is ranked as the number three human capital trend by Belgian businesses. The capability gap of 16% is somewhat higher than in EMEA (12%) and worldwide (15%), which proves that these companies think they are doing better in the face of this challenge than their rivals.

Overcoming the challenge of information overload
Finding the means to rescue overwhelmed employees who are wrestling with a technology-driven working environment that operates 24/7 is the fourth most important trend mentioned by Belgian companies. This is a new trend, ranked only ninth and tenth by EMEA and globally, suggesting that Belgian businesses have a head start on finding ways to recover individual productivity in today’s complex workplace.

Assessing the state of Belgian HR
Belgian businesses make a largely positive assessment of their own HR and talent programmes, rating them mainly as good (30%) or adequate (44%), which compares favourably with EMEA and global respondents.

However, investing in HR is less of a priority in Belgium. While just over a quarter (27%) of organisations look to increase HR spending by up to 5%, this is lower than both EMEA (33%) and global (34%). Only one in ten (10%) Belgian organisations look to invest over 5% more in HR, which again is less than EMEA (12%) and global (13%).

Yves Van Durme: “There is a dichotomy between closing the gap indicated in the readiness factor on ‘leadership’ & rescuing ‘overwhelmed employees’ and the lesser intention of investing in HR.”

Communication contact

Sophie De Meyer

Deloitte Belgium

+32 2 600 60 21


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