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A government perspective: Human Capital Trends 2019

Key trends impacting the future of work in government

The 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report continues 2018’s focus on government as the original social enterprise. For the government workforce, success is not about “the bottom line”—it’s about service to citizens.

By the numbers

This year’s responses from government leaders call for putting humans at the center of organizational strategy and emphasizing the meaning behind government work. Government leaders can renew their focus on investing in their people in addition to serving the public—treating them as assets and revitalizing their sense of meaning.

Nearly 10,000 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 organizations to shift their focus beyond mission statements. The call to action: reprioritize the human experience and reignite meaning for the employee.

Among the key trends that government and public sector respondents to our 2019 global human capital survey address:

  • Automation: 70 percent believe increased automation to be the most expected change within the next three years, but only 14 percent indicate they are ready for such change
  • Teams: 75 percent agreed the transition to a team-based organization has improved performance, but only 19 percent indicated their organization’s progress is moving towards a team-based model
  • Rewards: 11 percent believe their rewards systems are highly aligned with their organizational goals, while nearly one quarter do not feel they know what rewards their employees value
  • Cloud: 32 percent indicate they are currently using a cloud-based HR system, yet 78 percent indicate their core HR technologies are fair or inadequate to meet the needs of their full-time employees

Continue reading to discover three categories and 10 trends that tell the story.

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 organizations.

1. The alternative workforce: It’s now mainstream
It’s time for organizations to move beyond “managing” contractors and freelancers and start “optimizing” and “leveraging” the alternative workforce deliberately and well.

2. From jobs to superjobs: Enabling focus on unique human capabilities
To take full advantage of increasing technology in the workplace, organizations should redesign jobs around the human dimension of work.

3. Leadership for the 21st century: The intersection of the traditional and the new
Effective 21st century organizations require leaders to pursue traditional mission goals by drawing on new critical competencies.

4. From employee experience to human experience: Putting meaning back into work
The idea of the employee experience has evolved beyond simply implementing new programs—it’s now about creating meaningful work for the employee.

5. Organizational performance: It’s a team sport
The shift from functional hierarchies to team-centric organizational models is underway.

6. Rewards: Closing the gap
Organizations are prioritizing tailored rewards programs in an effort to accommodate varying needs across the workforce. But there is still much work to be done.

7. Accessing talent: It’s more than acquisition
As the job market remains competitive and skills requirements undergo rapid change, organizations must think about how they can continuously “access talent.”

8. Learning in the flow of life: Reinventing the way people learn
To be able to achieve the goal of lifelong learning, organizations must embed learning not only into the flow of work, but also into the flow of life.

9. Talent mobility: Winning the war on the home front
Organizations can no longer expect to source and hire enough people with all the capabilities they need, they should move and develop people internally to thrive.

10. HR cloud: A launch pad not a destination
Organizations should rethink their HR technology strategy, considering cloud as a foundation and complementing it to better support innovation, enhance employee productivity, and help lower cost.

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

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