Employers across the globe are entering into a new industrial revolution, where artificial intelligence and robots are incorporated into the workforce. That means more and more executives are developing new rules and thinking about new ways to best manage an increasing dynamic workforce.
Consulting firm Deloitte’s new “2017 Global Human Capital Trends” report looks at the issues keeping more than 10,000 business and HR leaders in 140 countries on their toes. Deloitte says the trends in this year’s report “identify 10 areas in which organizations will need to close the gap between the pace of change and the challenges of work and talent management.” Here’s what they said are the most important HR trends to watch this year.
The organization of the future
Nine in 10 executives ranked building the “organization of the future” as an important challenge for 2017, according to Deloitte’s study. Employers are expected to become more agile in shifting from designing a new organization to actively building organizational ecosystems and networks.
Careers and learning
Millennials and Gen Z will be among the first generation of workers to live to age 100, and a long career is likely to be a part of that, says Josh Bersin, the study’s lead researcher. The term “career,” however, is likely to get a shakeup, according to the survey. Employees can expect to continually build their skills quickly and easily as a means to challenge the idea of a static career.
Employers are beginning to branch away from standard talent acquisition processes in favor of more innovative, technologically-driven solutions such as cognitive tools and social networking. Four in five employers (81%) said that talent acquisition is a major challenge, especially when HR isn’t attracting candidates that are a cultural fit, according to the study. New technology options will help employers attract talent through a global brand, determine job, team and company fit, and radically transform the early stages of recruitment.
Employers are still struggling with employee engagement despite rolling out benefits and other incentives. In fact, organizations’ ability to address engagement and culture concerns dropped by 14% since last year, according to the report. HR departments feel they are siloed and unable to provide adequate resources to their employees. To combat this problem, employers need to study the needs of their workforce and use net promoter scores to understand the employee engagement experience.
In the last five years, employers have been experimenting with new performance management tools to give employees real-time feedback and continuous coaching while cutting down on paperwork. This trend will continue into 2017 as employers begin to deploy these systems on a wider scale, according to the report.
Employers are discovering that leadership development isn’t as simple as a strict hierarchy. The report notes that “organizations are clamoring for more agile, diverse, and younger workers, as well as new leadership models that capture the ‘digital way’ to run businesses. Younger employees will also continue to be placed in the pipeline for future advancement.
The path toward integrative digital HR systems is clear for employers, most of which have been open toward incorporating new technologies. Digital workplaces and workforces will become the norm, and HR professionals should be able to deploy these platforms.
Organizations are beginning to hire and develop their technical analytics groups across every discipline in 2017 rather than keeping it as a siloed team. The report found that most organizations are not prepared to implement this idea: 8% of employers have usable data, 9% believe they have a good understanding of which talent dimensions drive performance in their organizations and 15% have broadly deployed HR and talent scorecards for line managers, according to the study.
Diversity and inclusion
Compared to last year, the proportion of executives who cited inclusion and diversity as a top priority has risen by 32%, according to Deloitte’s study, and executives are looking at their organizations broadly to close the gap. While the most popular solution is training, employers should also consider making structural changes, implementing transparent, data-driven solutions and immersing executives in bias training.
Robots and artificial intelligence have gone mainstream. More than four in 10 employers (41%) said they have fully implemented or made significant progress in adopting cognitive and AI technologies, while 35% of employers reported pilot programs. Robots and AI will continue to augment the workforce by completing daily tasks, and will be used more broadly in the coming year.
As many as tens of millions of women may never return to the labor force, even after a vaccine is found. Altogether, global gross domestic product could be $1 trillion less in 2030 than it would be without a gender unemployment gap.
By Olivia Rockeman, Reade Pickert and Catarina Saraiva