Deloitte 2023 Global Human Capital Trends Report
While Most Business Leaders Believe the Right Workplace Model is Key to Success, only 24% are Very Ready to Make Needed Changes
Over 10,000 Survey Respondents in 105 countries rank leadership among the top barriers in the majority of reported trends
- Reimagining work: The end of jobs
- Reimagining workforce: Worker agency is key
- Reimagining the workplace: Designing work for a boundaryless world
Nearly three years after the pandemic, business leaders still face a slew of global, economic and societal changes, all impacting work and workers at a blistering pace. Deloitte's “2023 Global Human Capital Trends” report, "New Fundamentals for a Boundaryless World," examines how leaders are managing these challenges and how their organizations may succeed in a constantly evolving environment if they evolve with it.
Overall, respondents to the study, which include more than 1,500 C-suite executives and board members, recognize the boundaries that have traditionally governed the rules of work — the way jobs are organized, where work happens, and who qualifies for specific roles — are falling away. However, while many understand the need for new fundamentals in today's world of work — 87% say finding the right workplace model is important to their organization's success — only 24% feel their organizations are very ready to address this trend. In the near term, 59% of respondents report focusing on the next steps for reimagining their workforce models. Their dedication indicates they see great potential for reward in a new approach toward work, workers and the workplace. However, survey respondents ranked leadership among the top barriers for seven of the nine trends explored in the report showing there is still much work ahead collectively for organizations to evolve for future success.
“In a growing wave of new challenges, HR issues remain front and center for executives across the world; Ukraine is no exception. The changes, which started a few years ago, are spreading rapidly and crashing traditional work models. Our global research shows that organizations, though recognizing the inevitability of changes, are still poorly prepared to harness them efficiently. New approaches may be implemented successfully only through proactive engagement of employees. Changes must be driven by executives who, in this context, need to rethink the way they lead their teams, make better use of existing technologies and data to take weighted decisions, modernize business processes to achieve their greater flexibility. Undoubtedly, global trends will significantly impact companies in Ukraine. Later we will present an overview of expectations expressed by Ukrainian business regarding the effects of such trends on the local labor market,” said Iakiv Akulov, Leader of Human Capital Advisory Services at Deloitte Ukraine.
Reimagining work: The end of jobs
Even though work today is primarily defined by jobs and descriptions of specific tasks, many see this as an outdated notion. According to Deloitte's skills-based organization survey, only 19% of executives and 23% of workers say work is best structured that way. This reflects what many are already seeing in their workplaces, with 63% of executives reporting that workers are focused on team and project work outside their current job descriptions.
With this changing idea of what makes teams most effective, organizations are seeking ways to change the work and how it is organized and inclusively accessible. For example, 93% of the respondents to the trends survey said moving away from a focus on jobs is important or very important to their organization's success. Yet only 20% believe their organization is very ready to tackle the challenge, representing the largest readiness gap of all trends surveyed. Should organizations decide to urgently address this gap, additional benefits of transitioning away from jobs include unleashing worker potential to drive tremendous value, making their teams more likely to innovate and improve processes to maximize efficiency.
Reimagining workforce: Worker agency is key
In today's online and interconnected world, public awareness of corporate impact on society is playing an ever-growing role in workers' decisions on where to work. For example, 2 in 5 Gen Z and millennial respondents to a Deloitte survey have rejected a job or assignment because it did not align with their values. By contrast, organizations who commit to a clear purpose or mission see notable benefits — half of the executives surveyed in the trends report saw increased worker retention and well-being.
"Workers today have more influence than ever before and have demonstrated a willingness to use it to shape the work their organizations take on, as well as how they do it," said Steve Hatfield, principal and global future of work leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "To be successful in this new world of work, organizations must abandon the idea of complete control and co-create with workers to shape the new rules and boundaries that will define how they operate."
This includes rethinking the boundaries which dictate the access to and the use of worker data, which 83% of executives believe is important for their organization's success. According to the trends report, 61% of organizations describe their data ownership as either “shared” or “worker-owned,” a notable departure from traditional data models characterized by organizational control.
Reimagining the workplace: Designing work for a boundaryless world
As worker agency grows and technology accelerates, organizations should challenge the idea of workplaces only being physical locations. It's a concept that has been under pressure for some time, with digital work access growing in popularity even before the pandemic. While only 15% of respondents agree that the way work is designed is one of the most important attributes for creating the future of the workplace, other factors point to how crucial it can be. Additionally, respondents indicate that increased worker engagement and well-being are among the most significant benefits they've seen from a future workplace approach.
This evolution of the workplace calls on leaders to evolve with their workforces, as evidenced by 94% of respondents who believe leadership capabilities and effectiveness are important to their organization's success, the highest importance score across all trends. However, only 23% believe their leaders have the capabilities to navigate today's disruptions. This leadership gap is likely due to looking at work and workers through an outdated lens. Nearly half of respondents say their organization's leaders are overwhelmed by disruptions and struggling to identify what they should prioritize.