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A government perspective: Human capital trends

The rise of the social enterprise

Our annual 2018 global human capital trends report showcases a profound shift facing leaders worldwide, the rapid rise of what we call the social enterprise. What does this mean for human capital in government organizations? The rise of the social enterprise demands the public sector focus on building social capital by engaging with diverse stakeholders, accounting for external trends, devising strategies that manage new societal expectations, and creating a sense of mission and purpose throughout the organization.

By the numbers

This year’s global survey delivers insights from more than 11,000 business and human resource leaders across 124 countries—our largest survey to date. The government and public sector perspective includes data from more than 800 global public sector respondents and addresses the challenges ahead for government organizations in a dramatically changing digital, economic, demographic, and social landscape.

Among public sector respondents in our global human capital survey:

  • Only 30 percent feel that their organizations effectively empower employees to manage their careers
  • 78 percent of public sector respondents recognize the importance of C-suite collaboration, while only 21 percent believe their C-suite leaders actually work together on projects or strategic initiatives
  • 15 percent have a well-defined strategy for the hybrid workforce
  • 20 percent are working on well-being initiatives
  • Only 6 percent use people data analytics as an integral part of business and talent decisions

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

The workforce ecosystem: Managing beyond the enterprise

The growth of new workforce models is redefining the employer-worker relationship, especially in the public sector. Fifty-nine percent of public sector respondents rated hybrid workforce management as important or very important, while only 15 have a well-defined strategy for the hybrid workforce.

red people wandering

New rewards: Personalized, agile, and holistic

The expectation for rewards is changing, and the data show that both private and public sector organizations are equally challenged with this issue. Over 63 percent of public sector respondents consider their rewards strategy either “misaligned” or “somewhat aligned” with their organizations goals.

Red and gold trophy

Careers to experiences: New pathways

The expectations of one’s career path is changing; the desire for a traditional hierarchical career path is no longer the norm. Seventy-eight percent of public sector respondents see “careers to experiences” as important or very important, yet only 35 percent feel ready for this trend.

Red woman doorway

The longevity dividend: Work in an era of the 100-year lives

As individuals stay in the workforce longer than they ever have before, retaining, retraining, and recruiting older workers can provide organizations with a powerful combination of skill and institutional knowledge. About 59 percent of public sector respondents have not incorporated the aging workforce into their organizational strategy.

Blue scale

Citizenship and social impact: Society holds the mirror

Although public sector agencies generate social impact by the virtue of their mission-driven work, there is an opportunity to strengthen the impact of their efforts by making “social responsibility” an imperative component of their organizational strategy. Roughly 63 percent of public sector organizations have few or no focus at all on social responsibility program.

Mirror to the sun

Well-being: A strategy and a responsibility

Leaders can acknowledge and embrace the powerful impacts of well-being on employee productivity, engagement, and retention. Seventy-nine percent of public sector respondents agree that employee well-being is important, while nearly 49 percent indicated the purpose of their well-being programs is to comply with requirements, rather than out of care for employees.

Person atop rocks

AI, robotics, and automation

Organizations are looking to get the most out of the benefits of a surge of new artificial intelligence (AI)-based software, robotics, workplace connectivity tools, and people data applications, while also mitigating potential downsides and unforeseen effects. A significant reason 69 percent of public sector respondents don’t use AI or robotics at the moment is because of their concern with how staff will react to the change and interact with the technology. However, 63 percent believe AI and cognitive technology will have the “same” or “significant” impact on their workforce by 2020.

Mechanical Michaelangelo

Hyper-connected workplace: Will productivity reign?

The way people communicate these days is changing, and the public sector is not exempt. Some public sector organizations lag behind in implementing connected workplace tools due to other pressing priorities and constrained budgets. About 66 percent of public sector respondents view connected work tools as a positive driver of productivity, but 40 percent report their organization does not permit access to emerging communication channels.

Finger to ball

People data: How far is too far?

Public sector organizations function at different levels of maturity with big data, and some are struggling with how to make use of the avalanche of data to create efficiencies. While 79 percent of public sector respondents see people data as important, only 35 percent acknowledge they are ready to take on big data.

Person on scale
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