Deloitte Releases ‘2024 Global Human Capital Trends’ Report

Over 14,000 survey respondents in 95 countries identify internal constraints as the top barrier to making meaningful progress against top human capital trends.

By HRTech Series News Desk 

Deloitte’s annual “Global Human Capital Trends” report has its finger on the pulse of the most pressing issues for organisations, leaders and workers. The 2024 report, “Thriving Beyond Boundaries: Human Performance in a Boundaryless World,” identifies seven trends that showcase how a combination of business and human outcomes plays a role in organisational success. This year’s analysis reveals that organisations making meaningful progress on these key issues are nearly twice as likely to achieve desired business and human outcomes. 

Understanding Human Sustainability

Prioritising human sustainability — the degree to which an organisation creates value for people as human beings, leaving them with greater well-being, employability and equity — can drive better outcomes for humans and businesses. The interaction of these outcomes leads to human performance, a measure that reflects the expectations of today’s workers and the rapidly shifting marketplace.

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  • While 89% of executives say their organisation is advancing human sustainability in some capacity, only 41% of workers say the same.
  • Less than half (43%) of workers say their organisations have left them better off than when they started. Workers identified increasing work stress and the threat of technology taking over jobs as the top challenges to organisations embracing human sustainability.

Defining new metrics for human performance

Given work’s current dynamic, cross-functional, and less quantifiable nature, traditional productivity metrics like hours worked and time on tasks may be inadequate to capture human performance. Technology and data collection advancements are leading to more meaningful metrics for organisations. As data increases, organisations may have to consider what information should be transparent to their workers.

  • Half (53%) of respondents agree that their organisation is in the early phases of identifying better ways to measure worker performance and value, and only 8% say their organisations are leading in this area.
  • Organisations that build workers’ trust in transparent data practices stand to benefit: When workers are confident that their organisation is using their data responsibly, they are 35% more likely to trust the business, but only 37% say they are very confident their organisation is using data in a highly responsible way.

Bridging the gap from knowing to doing

This year’s research also includes several trends that focus on how organisations can evolve their mindsets and approaches to meet new challenges. One of the specific challenges highlighted is the rapid advances of artificial intelligence (AI) and Generative AI, which are putting a spotlight on the importance of workers honing their enduring human capabilities like curiosity and empathy to spark imagination.

  • Most (73%) respondents note ensuring human imagination keeps pace with technological innovation is important, but a mere 9% are making meaningful progress toward achieving that balance.
  • To close the imagination deficit, organisations should encourage innovation through digital playgrounds — which give workers the psychological safety to explore intentionally, tapping into their capabilities as they experiment with new technologies.

In addition to having the opportunity and tools to experiment, today’s workers also want the freedom to build microcultures tailored to each team’s needs, while still staying true to broad organisational values. To support these more autonomous and diverse teams, HR will also need to build “people expertise” capability throughout the organisation to provide these skills at the point of need, rather than acting as a standalone function.

  • Seventy-one percent of respondents say that focusing on individual teams and workgroups as the best places to cultivate culture, fluidity, agility and diversity is very or critically important to their success.
  • Leaders also recognize that changing an organisation’s approach to HR can be very challenging — 31% of C-suite respondents identified it as one of the three most difficult trends in this year’s report.

Key Quotes

“As technology and cultural shifts reshape work and the workplace, it’s our human capabilities and outcomes that remain at the heart of growth and innovation. Leaders, many of whom are already aware of this, should now turn this understanding into actionable strategies. This latest Global Human Capital Trends research can serve as a roadmap for organisations to dismantle siloes and traditional constructs and move towards collaborating with their workforce to enhance human performance.”

— Dan Helfrich, chair and chief executive officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

“While organisations grapple with a myriad of challenges, a fundamental shift they should embrace is putting humans back at the centre of work — after all, it is humans, more than any physical assets, that drive business performance. To achieve this, leaders should focus less on how much people benefit their organisation and more on how much their organisation benefits people.”

— Art Mazor, global human capital practice leader and principal,  Deloitte Consulting LLP

“Leaders have an overwhelming amount of workforce data at their fingertips, but this newly available data transparency can be both a gold mine and a land mine. For workers, it’s especially important to understand what data can be collected, why it’s being collected, and who has access to it. This is crucial for fostering trust.”

— Simona Spelman, U.S. human capital national leader and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

“Collaboration between humans and technology is a new frontier for work. Leading organisations exploring this interplay are encouraging their workers’ creativity and curiosity. By empowering employees to experiment with new tools and allowing them to explore how these technologies can be additive to their work, we can drive better business outcomes faster. This dynamic will propel businesses and their people into a tech-enabled future.”

— Ramona Yan, Asia Pacific human capital leader and partner, Deloitte Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

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