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Employee experience, engagement, and learning key factors in driving social enterprise

Deloitte’s ninth annual Human Capital Trends report looks at the disruptions to the workforce, organization, and HR arising in a whole new context—the social enterprise–and outlines the next steps organizations must take to address them

Toronto, April 16, 2019 – An intensifying combination of economic, social and political issues is challenging organizations and business strategies on a global scale. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, Leading the social enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus, reveals that employee experience and engagement, learning, leadership, and talent are all factors in transformation toward the social enterprise. The social enterprise, as Deloitte defines it, is an organization whose mission combines revenue growth and profit-making with the need to respect and support its environment and stakeholder network.

In this latest report, Deloitte examines ways organizations can reinvent themselves on a broad scale, including interacting, motivating, and personalizing experiences with their workforce to help build identity and meaning for workers. Over the past year, the pressures that have driven the rise of the social enterprise have become more acute. They are forcing organizations to move beyond mission statements and philanthropy to learn to lead the social enterprise – and reinvent themselves around a human focus.

The 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report draws on input from nearly 10,000 respondents in 119 countries, including 250 Canadian business and HR leaders. It proposes how organizations can respond to 10 trends organized into three categories – the future of the workforce, the future of the organization and the future of HR – to help them direct their effort to make a meaningful impact and, ultimately, lead the social enterprise.

The future of the workforce: developing 21st-century leaders

The future of the workforce is diverse, hungry and complex to manage and lead. No surprise then that developing effective leaders continues to be the perennial issue of our time. Despite its importance, only 48 per cent of respondents said their leaders were ‘very effective’ in leading and managing teams, compared to 61 per cent for global respondents. Canadian responses indicate the leadership programs are not as effective in Canada as in other countries.

In addition to ineffective leadership programs, Canadian respondents cited ineffective organizational operating models, a lack of empowerment, and inadequate performance management as the main barriers to developing the next generation of leaders that require resolution.

“Canadian executives need to look deeper and broader within the four walls of their organization and leverage learning, talent mobility and rewards to identify, stretch and grow the next generation of leaders,” said Jodi Baker Calamai, a Human Capital partner at Deloitte Canada. “What are Canadian respondents asking for when it comes to fostering effective leadership? The 21st-century leader must understand demographic expectations, cultivate diversity, and develop next-generation talent.”

The future of the organization: employee experience is key

The future of the organization is experience-focused, team-oriented and personalized. Among Canadian respondents, the key factors associated with experience and engagement resonate as more important compared to global respondents. For example, 21 per cent more respondents in Canada claim collaboration and communication are key factors in defining employee experience than did global respondents, and 17 per cent more respondents in Canada claim positive work environment and trust in leadership are key factors in defining employee experience compared with the global data.

“In line with the social enterprise and the importance of meaning at work, Canadian organizations need to expand this concept of ‘employee experience’ to address the ‘human experience’ at work – aligning with workers’ aspirations to connect work to both the impact on the organization and society at large,” said Baker Calamai.

The future of HR: learning is lacking

The HR function must step up to assess capabilities, embed learning, promote mobility and take full advantage of technology. Learning emerged as the most important trend this year. In Canada, the speed of learning was revealed as a core challenge: in fact, the number-one reason survey respondents cited looking outside the organization for new talent was due to employees’ inability to learn fast enough. This differs from the answers of global respondents, who believe the driver for acquiring external talent was about accessing new capabilities proliferating outside the organization.

In addition to speed, Canadian respondents cited the need for learning organizations to reinvent the way in which they facilitate employee learning. Sixty-six per cent of respondents rated the ability of their learning function to meet evolving workforce needs as ‘fair’ or inadequate’. This is 16 per cent higher than the global response. A key capability in this area is experiential learning, which 59 per cent of Canadian respondents indicated their organizations have ‘limited’ to ‘no use’.

“When you combine the exponential pace of change with the 100-year life and the 50-60-year career, our research highlights a clear gap in how prepared Canadian organizations are to equip their employees with the constant learning opportunities needed to adapt,” said Baker Calamai. “We need to rethink the concept of learning and create experiences that cultivate growth multiple times throughout the day.”

Reinvent with human focus: refresh, rewire, recode

“The call to action for the C-suite is significant,” added Baker Calamai. “Recognizing that reinvention can be a scary prospective, this year we have focused not only on the why and the what, but also the how. This year’s report concludes by looking at how organizations need to reinvent across the trends to refresh, rewire or recode to deal with such change.”


About Deloitte

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