A government & public sector perspective: Human Capital Trends 2020

Key trends affecting the future of work in the public sector

The 2020 Global Human Capital Trends report focuses on reinventing the original social enterprise. This year’s trends explore ways organisations can fuse the human and technological to drive toward their respective mission.

By the numbers

Since Deloitte first published the Human Capital Trends in 2011, the perspectives have functioned as predictors of the behavior we see in public sector organisations today. Over the past decade, public sector organisations have adjusted some of their practices to embrace the opportunities that accompany technological advancement. The 2020 Human Capital Trends, which are based on survey data, took shape in fall 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this year’s Trends are critical for organisations outside of the context of the pandemic, COVID-19 has accelerated the speed at which public sector organisations must adapt to the digital environment and the challenges posed by implementing new technology. Each trend plays an important role in responding, recovering, and thriving throughout the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Nearly 9,000 business and HR leaders from 119 countries responded to this year’s survey. The data from hundreds of public sector respondents reveals economic, political, and social macro trends are driving organisations to shift their focus beyond mission statements. The call to action: Rise to the challenge to remain distinctly human in a technology-driven world.

Among the key trends that government and public sector respondents to our 2020 global human capital survey address:

Well-being: 80 percent of GPS respondents believe that well-being is important, yet 38 percent feel ready to address worker well-being.

Reskilling: 50 percent of GPS organisations believe that up to 75 percent of their workforce will need to change their skills in the next three years.

Knowledge management: 75 percent of GPS respondents believe creating and preserving knowledge across the evolving workforce is important or very important to their success, yet 9 percent are ready to address the trend.

Continue reading to discover 10 trends that tell the story.

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A government & public sector perspective: Human Capital Trends 2020

This year’s human capital trends for government

Read about this year’s trends, and then download the full report to see the data and examples of these trends in action—today—in government organisations.

  1. Designing work for well-being: Living and performing at your best
    As part of the social enterprise, organisations have a responsibility to take care of their employees and enable employees to focus on both their professional and personal development.
  2. Belonging: From comfort to connection to contribution
    When employees feel respected and connected, employers experience increased job performance and reduced turnover. 
  3. Evolving role of HR: Expand focus and extend influence
    HR is moving away from its historical role as a back-office function and transforming to a core piece of the organisation, with the ability to influence the most powerful and unique asset of any organisation: its people.
  4. Knowledge management: Creating context for a connected world
    Knowledge is a direct driver of organisational performance—and while organisations are in a time of creating the largest amounts of data they ever have, it can be difficult to capitalise on its full potential.
  5. Ethics and the future of work: From “could we” to “how should we”
    As organisations rapidly integrate people, technology, alternative workforces, and new ways of working as a part of the future of work, leaders must consider an increasing range of ethical challenges.
  6. Beyond reskilling: Investing in resilience for uncertain futures
    Organisations need a worker development approach that considers both the dynamic nature of jobs and the equally dynamic potential of people to reinvent themselves.
  7. The postgenerational workforce: From Millennials to perennials
    Forward-looking organisations are shifting their approach from viewing their workers through a single demographic lens to better understanding the workforces’ attitudes and values.
  8. Governing workforce strategies: New questions for better results
    As technological advances cause the nature and composition of teams to adjust, and skills rapidly surge and become obsolete, public sector organisations are looking for predictive metrics to help gauge and guard against potential risks that may be growing underneath the surface.
  9. The compensation conundrum: Principles for a more human approach
    Organisations need to consider a strategy that is anchored not only on data and benchmarks, but also in a set of human principles that reflects the fact that compensation is more than a set of numbers.
  10. Superteams: Putting AI in the group
    The rise of teams and the growing adoption of AI in the workplace has led to the evolution of Superteams⁠—leaving the public sector with the choice of adoption or risk being left behind in the rapidly changing technological environment.

For more information on each trend, including specific examples of government organisations putting the trends into action, download the full report.

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The journey to digital transformation in the Public Sector

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