2021 Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte Ukraine

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Deloitte Ukraine presents 2021 Human Capital Trends

On 13 April, Deloitte Ukraine held an online presentation of 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends. The event was attended by over 500 participants, including managers, top managers and representatives of the HR function of leading Ukrainian companies.

2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends takes a fresh look at the key trends highlighted in the 2020 report and presents them in the light of the changes that have affected the world. 6,000 professionals from 99 countries, including 211 respondents from Ukraine, were surveyed to obtain understanding of how the crisis affected leaders’ and organizations’ capacity to deal with future disruptions. Though around half of the respondents were board members and senior executives; this being a distinguishing feature of this year's survey.

The results of 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends were presented by Olena Boichenko and Natalia Tymchenko, HCAS at Deloitte Ukraine. At the event, the experts gave a clear account of how the labor market changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what was happening in human capital management during the year, and what key characteristics could support organizations in the shift from survive to thrive.

Below are the key takeaways from the presentation.

The pandemic year brought dramatic changes in the work environment, workforce, and work itself: the hybrid model of work came to dominate, the boundaries between work and personal life blurred, the mental health and well-being challenges grew bigger, digitalization accelerated, digital skills became even more important, and autonomy in the workplace increased. To be successful, organizations need to track these trends and incorporate them into their HR policies.

The past year showed that organizations and the workforce may be extremely resilient — able to adapt, change the direction, and survive—in the face of an unprecedented crisis. In a world of perpetual disruption, a survival mindset is no longer enough. What is really needed is a thrive mindset – recognizing that disruption is continuous rather than episodic and embracing disruption as a catalyst to drive the organization forward.

The organization's shift from surviving to thriving depends on its ability to become and remain distinctly human at its core: the better organizations understand their workforce, the better chances they have to succeed.

Design of work to ensure well-being

Remote work has become the dominant type of work, producing an oppositely directed effect on employee well-being. 83% of organizations in Ukraine observe both the positive and negative impacts of remote work on worker well-being. Examples of positive impacts include boosted productivity, reduced absenteeism and staff turnover. 69% of millennials believe that work from home will relieve stress in the future.

Among the negative impacts noted by the respondents were a decreased employee involvement, team unity, and focus on work. 34% noted that they made more breaks during the working day, so they had to work longer hours.

In Ukraine, the major human capital challenges during the pandemic were:

  • Employees felt emotionally burnt out.
  • Team communication left much to be desired.
  • Tasks were distributed unevenly within or between teams.

High workload was cited as primary source of stress among employees in most organizations (78%), followed by various factors directly or indirectly related to the pandemic.

At the same time, employees rank well-being as a higher priority than employers do, when it comes to the expected results in job transformation.
COVID-19 reminded us of the dual imperatives of worker well-being and work transformation, but executives are still missing the importance of connecting the two. Organizations that integrate well-being into the design of work build a sustainable future where workers can feel and perform at their best.


Courage, judgment, and creativity are the crucial qualities in the journey from surviving to thriving. These are the capabilities that only teams led by humans can bring.

Across the world, virtual interaction has become the dominant form of team interaction. Most organizations have handled the transition to remote work quite seamlessly. Of their employees, 86% have the necessary technical knowledge and skills, 82% can make good use of video conferencing tools, 80% have the necessary technologies to work effectively.

Managers realize how important it is to combine capabilities of both the workforce and technology to transform work. Among the most powerful actions that are or will be taken by managers to transform work are building a culture that celebrates growth, adaptability, and resilience; developing workforce capability through upskilling, reskilling, and mobility, as well as implementing new technologies.

Superteams prompt organizations to change the architecture of work, using technologies to increase opportunities for development, training, creation, and ultimately for achieving amazing results by employees.

Beyond reskilling

Since the pandemic began, managers have encouraged workers to take on new roles and new tasks – workers have successfully coped with this call. In other words, it's about giving workers more freedom to choose how they can best help tackle critical business problems, letting them unleash their potential.
63% of Ukrainian executives identified “the ability of their people to adapt, reskill and assume new roles” as the top-ranked item to navigate future disruptions. Yet only 11% of executives say that their workers are very ready to rapidly adapt and reskill.

To address the problem of reskilling, companies focus on such skills as critical thinking and decision making (44%), leadership and workforce management (41%), advanced data analytics skills, and mathematical skills (36%).

Trust in employees, their greater autonomy and responsibility create more value than detailed orders and instructions. Organizations that give their employees more freedom and opportunities to explore passion areas and do what they can do best will be able to effectively activate workers around emerging business priorities, especially during the crisis.

Governing workforce strategies

The pandemic has added challenges to state regulation, morbidity, and employee sentiment. Therefore, businesses are forced to keep their finger on the pulse, constantly adapting their strategies to remote work.

COVID-19 has identified a number of talent management issues that leaders should consider when developing strategies and managing data. More than 80% of workers said that their adaptation to teleworking, flexitime options, and greater autonomy was easy or very easy. At the same time, leaders predict that profits will return to their pre-pandemic levels faster than the number of employees; the number of alternative workers will increase significantly.

Leaders have come to realize that, in an ever-changing environment, thriving depends on their ability to consider multiple possible scenarios and unlikely events. To do this, organizations need a quick access to personnel data to be able to identify new areas for development, including the move to the office of the future. Ukraine is still halfway to realizing the importance of such planning.

We are entering a world in which it's becoming paramount that organizations shift from using workforce insights to improve old patterns of work to using it to set new directions.

We are entering an era of people strategy: all that is done by people and for people is business. The better an organization knows its employees and their potential, the better it is able to build strategies at the micro and macro levels, analyze data about its employees and their experience, the more chances it has to translate its plans into action and thrive in the future.

The presentation was also attended by Ukrainian market leaders, who presented the cases of their companies, shared their experience of responding to challenges caused by the pandemic and told about the strategies they were planning to implement or were already actively implementing in their businesses.

Watch the broadcast in Ukranian

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