Leading the social enterprise

Reinvent your company with a human focus.

In spite of the technological advances and disruptive changes in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, organisations must put humans at the centre of their business strategies and bring meaning back to the workplace.

Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report examines ways organisations can drive the reinvention of the workforce, the organisation and HR on a broad scale, and change every aspect of how they interact with, motivate and create meaningful experiences for workers.

From employee experience to human experience

One of the biggest challenges and trends we identified this year is the need to improve what is often called the “employee experience”. However, the concept of employee experience fails to capture the need for meaning in work that people are looking for.

There is an opportunity for employers to refresh and expand the concept of employee experience to address the “human experience” at work – building on an understanding of worker aspirations to connect work back to the impact it has on not only the organisation but society as a whole.

In this ‘human experience’, relationships are enduring, learning is continuous and work has meaning that is centred around human identity.

The digital, always-on world of work has been challenging for people and, based on the results from our study, it’s clear that those issues have resulted in significant dissatisfaction with the job itself. This year, we found that, at a global level, only 49 percent of respondents believed that their workers were satisfied or very satisfied with their job design. Only 42 percent thought that workers were satisfied or very satisfied with day-to-day work practices, 38 percent said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with work-related tools and technology, and 38 percent thought that they have enough autonomy to make good decisions.

Slightly more than half of South African respondents said that they are ‘satisfied’ with current work-related tools and technology available, whilst most did not believe that they have enough autonomy within their jobs to make good decisions, providing further evidence that significant reinvention is required.

Therefore, in order to bring meaning back into the workplace and a human identity back to the worker, it’s clear that traditional human capital programmes, processes and policies should be fundamentally reinvented with the worker in mind.

Learning in the flow of life

Another noticeable trend is the need for organisations to change the way people learn. Leading organisations are empowering individuals’ need to continuously develop skills by investing in new tools to embed learning not only into the flow of work but the flow of life. In South Africa, 89 percent of respondents cited this as an important or very important issue. In the SA context, evolving work demands and skills requirements are creating an enormous demand for new skills and capabilities, while a tight labour market is making it challenging for organisations to hire people from outside.

@Kekepile from @SasolSA, Tswelo Kpdisang from @Discovery_SA, Sinenhlanhla Magagula from @Tigerbrands, Sthembiso Phakathi from @Absa, and @PaulNormanMTN from @MTNza. Facilitated by @PamMaharaj


Developing leaders is the perennial issue of our time. We see leadership pipelines and development at a crossroads at which organisations must focus on both the traditional and the new.

South African companies have new leadership needs in 2019. Our study shows that 17 percent of South African organisations say they are not effective at developing leaders to meet evolving challenges, and 46 percent report they are only somewhat effective in identifying leaders to move rapidly to the digital economy. This reflects a significant percentage of SA companies not effectively developing leaders, which is concerning.

Reinvention with a human focus offers a path forward through the challenges and uncertainties facing organisational and HR leaders.

The future belongs to leaders who can look ahead and define a destination that works for their organisations, customers, people and society at large.

So how should human capital leaders lead reinvention? Our recommendations are the following:

Refresh: update and improve the way you work now;
Rewire: create new connections that change the way you work; or
Recode: start over and redesign from scratch.

Pam Maharaj is the Human Capital Leader at Deloitte Consulting Africa, www.deloitte.co.za.

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