Tag Archives: Deloitte

Business Depends on Learning

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Every year, the Deloitte Human Capital Trends report is a treasure trove of insight into organization behavior and opportunities for success. You can go back to it multiple times and get something new each time. This is true for the 2016 report as it was for previous reports.

I was re-reading the chapter on Learning:  Employees Take Charge, and was taken, again, with the evaluation of where organizations are today and where they will have to be in the short term in order to attract, retain and deploy the talent they need.

This chart says it all, and should be required reading – not just for HR, but all leaders who hope to hang on to their team long enough to develop them!

deloitte-learning-trends-2016

Deloitte believes that the C-suite really does understand that in order to execute their business plans they need to constantly upgrade skills and focus on quickly developing leaders. I wish I had their faith in the C-suite!

This chapter in the larger trends reports ends with recommended starting points for organizations:

  • Recognize that employee-learners are in the driver’s seat
  • Become comfortable with the shift from push to pull
  • Use design thinking
  • Use technology to drive employee-centric learning
  • Realign and reengage
  • Adopt a learning architecture that supports an expanded vision for development
  • Adopt a learning architecture that supports continuous learning

If you haven’t downloaded the full report yet, do it now. You don’t have to read the whole thing in one sitting. Take it in bite sized pieces. You’ll be glad you did.

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Filed under C-suite, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Employee Development Program, Global Human Capital, Learning/Development

Human Capital Trends To Think About

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Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 Report, The new organization: different by design, is definitely worth a read. It’s long – 124 pages – but it will make you smart. Download it and start browsing.

I won’t say much about the content – you need to read it all – except to show you the 10 trends identified as worth our consideration this year. The trends are:

  1. Organization design/The rise of teams

  2. Leadership awakened/Generations, teams, science

  3. Shape culture/Drive strategy

  4. Engagement/Always on

  5. Learning/Employees take charge

  6. Design thinking/Crafting the employee experience

  7. HR/Growing momentum toward a new mandate

  8. People analytics/Gaining speed

  9. Digital HR/Revolution not evolution

  10. The gig economy/Distraction or disruption?

This is a meaty, insightful discussion of the trends facing organizations, leaders, culture and people. Even if you don’t agree with the conclusions, you need to be educated and thoughtful about these ten trends. Take a look:

Deloitte HCM Trends 2016

Down the report here. Now. It’s that important.

 

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Global Human Capital, HR Analytics, HR Data, HR Trends, Human Capital, Human Resources, Josh Bersin

Should Leaders Wear Their Hearts On Their Sleeves?

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Most readers of Data Point Tuesday know that I’m focused these days on the intersection of culture, organization performance and humanity in the workplace. Deloitte’s new culture change solution unit, CulturePath, has just published a white paper that has an interesting spin on culture, organization performance and employee emotion. This statement in the executive summary of Take your corporate culture off cruise control; Power up the emotive engine in your workplace, really caught my eye:

“A variety of forces are coming together to make cultural alignment a priority for most companies… By getting deeper into how cultures work, and by pushing the emotional connections, companies can actively manage their culture to drive critical business outcomes.”

I believe “emotional connections” is another way of describing humanity. So I read the rest of the report with interest.

Deloitte reports (through its annual Human Capital Trends report) that 87% of executives cite “culture and engagement,” the highest of all HR-related challenges, as one of their top challenges – with a full 50% describing the challenge as very important. This is stunning. Whether or not 87% of executives are expressing their concern about their organization’s culture and the state of employee engagement in that organization is beside the point. Culture is becoming more than strategy’s breakfast. It’s becoming a context within which leaders are beginning to pay attention to human beings rather than skillsets. And this new report gives some insight into just why execs are paying to attention to emotion and humanity.

The section, “Putting emotion in the culture equation” is another attempt by consultants and researchers to emphasize the value of the Deloitte CulturePath 1human. The value of the heart. We need this. Deloitte’s particular push, aligning culture with business strategy, seems the right way to go and suggests that there are three primary avenues to make emotional connections with talent:

 

  • Higher purpose – pride in the mission helps lead to commitment to the organization as a whole
  • Examples from the top – the stories and actions from leaders at the top have power much greater than any “program” communication
  • Participation – by linking the deeds of individuals at every level to larger goals, meaning can be generated across the organization. If every action is linked to the higher purpose, talent will generally be more committed.

It’s becoming more and more clear that connecting emotionally to employees through their humanity is a winning approach to innovation, productivity, competitiveness, and top- and bottom-line growth. Leaders who focus on building their trustworthiness, accessibility and comfort with transparency are far more likely to appear human and to relate more effectively with the humans in their workforce. Turns out, emotions are a good thing. And wearing your heart on your sleeve just might make you a better leader – and improve your organization’s performance.

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Millennials To Business: You’re Doing It Wrong!

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Deloitte’s 4th annual Millennial Survey sends a message from more than 7,800 degreed and employed Millennials from 29 countries around the world to employers: “Business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits.” It’s easy for the Gen Xer and Baby Boomer business leaders to respond to this message with the corporate equivalent of “Get off my lawn!” But that would be short sighted, since the Millennials are now officially the largest age group in the economy and we need them. And we need them pretty desperately.

In this world of Big Data one can find a survey analysis to prove any position. Pretty much. And I am generally wary of survey analyses that play up differences between the generations in the workplace because my go-to research from the Great Place to Work® Institute shows that – in the workplace, at least – every person, regardless of generation, wants 3 things:

  • Resepct – including appreciation and fairness
  • Work that gives meaning to their lives and makes them proud
  • Camaraderie with their workmates

These three dynamics in a culture power all kinds of good outcomes and they show little differentiation between age cohorts regardless of industry, geographic location or size of business.

So I take with a grain of salt the results of surveys like this and still recommend that you read them. They provide interesting insights that can add color to your own questions and planning. And the graphs show some interesting gaps in the perception of what Millennials believe “should be” in contrast to “what is.” These are useful insights.

“Today’s Millennials place less value on visible (19%), well-networked (17%), and technically-skilled (17%) leaders. Instead, they define true leaders as strategic thinkers (39%), inspirational (37%), personable (34%) and visionary (31%).”

Deloitte Millennial survey 1

That’s troublesome for celebrity CEOs but good news for the rest of us.

The last 15 pages of the report show graphs that depict Millennials’ takes on the purpose of business, business performance and employee satisfaction, leadership attributes, their skills, and the gender gap regarding leadership readiness and leadership aspirations. Interesting stuff.

But these data points also underscore the growing global focus on creating more human workplaces. The resounding success of the recent WorkHuman Conference produced by Globoforce, is another piece of this trend. My belief is that while all of us want a more human workplace: Millennials are just demanding it more than those of us who were socialized in a less human era. And they are voting with their careers.

The results of surveys like this one from Deloitte give us directional information to use when considering the challenges of growing our businesses, attracting the right talent, and developing and retaining the talent we need to succeed in our competitive marketplaces. And to make our workplace cultures more human.

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Purpose: A Hedge Against Organizational Challenges

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The Deloitte “2014 Core Beliefs and Culture Study” proves it again, that those workplaces who focus on creating a meaningful environment for all their stakeholders (customers, employees, and communities) foster a culture of purpose that builds confidence, drives investment, and “can lead to competitive advantage in a time of economic vitality.” The survey was conducted in February of this year and is designed to explore the concept of workplace culture, defined by a set of timeless core values and beliefs, as a business driver. This year’s survey looks specifically at whether a strong sense of purpose leads to higher levels of confidences among stakeholders and drives business growth. Methodology included the survey of a sample of 1,053 adults (300 executives and 753 employed adults) employed full time within an organization with at least 100 employees.

Evidence from the survey indicates that focusing on purpose rather than profits is what builds business confidence. What do organizations define as purpose though? When respondents were asked about activities that are part of the purpose of their organization, the top 5 cited answers were:

  • Providing business services and/or products that have meaningful impact on clients/customers (89%)
  • Providing business services and/or products that benefit society (84%)
  • Providing employees with education, experience, and/or mentorship benefits (77%)
  • Encouraging employees to volunteer (74%)
  • Generating financial returns for our stakeholders/shareholders (69%)

Deloitte “2014 Core Beliefs and Culture Study”

Deloitte also found that those respondents who agree they work for an organization with a strong sense of purpose were more likely to say their organization recorded positive growth (81% vs. 67%) and outgrew competitors (64% vs. 44%) in 2013. When looking to the future, respondents who say their organizations have a strong sense of purpose are also much more optimistic about the future prospects of their organizations: 91% of respondents who believe their organization has a strong sense of purpose feel that their company will maintain or strengthen its brand reputation and loyalty vs. 49% of respondents at organizations without a strong sense of purpose.

Organizations with a strong sense of purpose tie confidence to three main factors:

  • a commitment to delivering top quality goods/services
  • focus on long term sustainable growth
  • clear understanding of organization’s purpose and commitment to core values.

Companies reporting they do not have a strong purpose however, find confidence tied almost exclusively to financial factors:

2014 Core Beliefs and Culture Study

When looking at priorities of leadership at these companies, we see a similar trend. For organizations that report having a strong sense of purpose, making a positive impact on clients is ranked most often as the top priority for leadership vs. leadership at companies without a strong sense of purpose, who most often report short-term financial goals as their top priority (the study notes that there were no major differences in top leadership priorities as stated by employees and executives).

Purpose also appears to drive investment. Respondents at organizations with a strong sense of purpose are consistently more likely to say their organization will increase investments year over year than companies without a strong sense of purpose, especially in areas such as:

  • New technologies: 38% vs. 19%
  • Expanding into new markets: 31% vs. 21%
  • Developing new products/services: 27% vs. 17%
  • Employee development and training: 25% vs. 11%

Companies with a strong sense of purpose also perceive higher levels of confidence among key stakeholders – 89% of respondents say their clients trust that they deliver the highest quality products and services (vs. 66% at organizations without strong purpose).

If this data isn’t enough to suggest that there really is something to creating a strong sense of purpose and values at an organization, Deloitte’s data also detail that more fully engaged employees, greater diversity, and encouragement of innovation are also more present at organizations reporting a strong sense of purpose. Despite the benefits though, 20% of respondent’s state that leadership fails to set an example for the rest of the organization by truly living the organization’s purpose and 18% say it is not part of performance evaluations.

Once again, the data are persuasive. Organizations with strong missions that are focused on more than profits are clear winners creating successful, sustainable businesses. Put another way, creating a strong purpose-focused culture may be the best hedge against the difficult economic, political and talent challenges facing most organizations today.

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The Urgency of Leadership Development

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In March I discussed a few takeaways from Deloitte’sGlobal Human Capital Trends 2014” survey. After relooking through the report, I think it would be worthwhile to mention some of the other global trends for 2014. I previously discussed the need to reskill HR teams, one of the top four (out of 12) global trends that survey respondents perceived as most urgent. I did not, however, discuss the top trend perceived as most urgent by responders, that is, the need to build global leadership. Fully 38% of respondents rated this as “urgent,” 50% more than the next trend identified as “urgent.” At the time of the study, companies reported generally low levels of readiness to respond to the global trends mentioned in the report, and despite the fact that at least 60% of respondents identified these global trends as “important” or “urgent,” in all, 36% of respondents reported being “not ready” to respond to the trends. This is a significantly higher percentage than those reporting they were ready to respond to the trends (at only 16%). With us now more than half way through 2014, I’m hoping this particular statistic has shifted a bit, but we don’t have that data yet!

Deloitte urgency graph

We do know that building better leadership is a “hot-topic” trend we’ve seen repeated recently in many reports or white-papers; it’s certainly not unique to only this report. I think with trends like these it’s important to reflect on the proposed reasons: why is building better leadership perceived as so highly important now? Did we have better leadership in the past? Are leaders lacking necessary skills today, or are we simply lacking in an adequate bench of leadership? Deloitte’s study offers some insightful points. “In a world where knowledge doubles every year and skills have a half-life of 2.5 to 5 years, leaders need to constantly develop.” Consider, as well, globalization and the speed (not to mention breadth) of technological change and development, which highly fuel this need to constantly develop. Perhaps another point that highlights the reason that “leadership” remains the #1 talent issue facing organizations today is that this term encompasses leadership at every level of an organization (we’re not solely talking about developing the next CEO or the C-Suite pipeline). “21st-century leadership is different. Companies face new leadership challenges, including developing Millennials and multiple generations of leaders, meeting the demand for leaders with global fluency and flexibility, building the ability to innovate and inspire others to perform, and acquiring new levels of understanding of rapidly changing technologies and new disciplines and fields”.

According to those surveyed in Deloitte’s report, only 13 percent of companies rate themselves “excellent” in providing leadership programs at all levels—new leaders, next-generation leaders, and senior leaders. Furthermore, 66% of respondents believe they are “weak” in their ability to develop Millennial leaders (only 5 percent rate themselves as “excellent”) and only 8% believe they have “excellent” programs to build global skills and experiences. 51% of respondents have little confidence in their ability to maintain clear, consistent succession programs. In terms of skills, Deloitte’s research shows that foundational along with new leadership, these skills are in high demand: business acumen, the ability to collaborate and build cross-functional teams, global cultural agility (the ability to manage diversity and inclusion), creativity, customer-centricity, influence and inspiration, and the ability to develop people and create effective teams.

Deloitte leadership programs graph

With this data in mind, we can then ask the question how can organizations “get ready” to address the trend of building global leadership. Deloitte offers four potential starting points:

  1. Engage top executives to develop leadership strategy and actively govern leadership development,
  2. Align and refresh leadership strategies and development to evolving business goals,
  3. Focus on three aspects of developing leaders (develop leaders at all levels, develop global leaders locally, develop a succession mindset),
  4. Implement an effective leadership program.

While all of these approaches will likely involve a significant investment of time and resources along with a commitment to leadership from the board and executive team, they are doable – companies both small and large on our Best Companies to Work for Lists are a testament to this!

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Business Leaders Don’t Think HR is Up to Snuff

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Deloitte’s annual Global Human Capital Trends Report for 2014 is out. Influenced by the work of Bersin by Deloitte, it examines 12 trends that represent the way employees today are driving their organizations to innovate and transform human capital practices. The report, “Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st Century Worker” surveyed 2,532 business and HR leaders in 94 countries around the world over several months, also drawing upon past research on global business challenges in HR, leadership, and talent management. The result of the report is a wealth of data on human capital strategies in the 21st century workplace that can be examined for perspective and insight into our own organizations and strategies. The year’s 12 critical human capital trends were categorized into three broad categories. “Transform and Reinvent” examines the need to reskill HR teams, capitalize on cloud based HR tech, implement HR analytics as a means to achieving business goals, and create a global HR platform that is robust and flexible enough to adapt to local needs.

So. Reskilling HR teams. Really? Why is this a critical trend? According to the report, less than 8% of HR leaders have confidence that their teams have the skills needed to meet the challenge of today’s global environment and consistently deliver innovative programs that drive business impact. Business leaders unfortunately corroborate this statistic, with 42% believing that their HR teams are “underperforming” or “just getting by”. This is compared to the 27% of business professionals who rate HR as excellent or good when assessing HR and talent programs. At a time when CEO’s are reporting human capital strategies as one of the top priorities for growth, it’s important that HR departments have the skills necessary to acquire, develop, and retain top talent as well as engage employees at all levels. And with a workforce that is increasingly global, tech-savvy, highly connected and demanding, HR departments face the challenge of doing all of this with increasingly creative strategies that meet the needs of this 21st century workforce. While such skills are highly necessary, the statistics indicate that HR departments are not as equipped with them as organizations would like.

Of further interest, Deloitte’s report discusses how many organizations are reporting seeing a “disruption” of the CHRO role in their organizations. This disruption consists of a refocusing HR as a “business contribution” function with deeper skills in data/analytics as well as MBA-level business capabilities. When it comes to organizations’ readiness to respond to the 12 global human capital trends there is a discrepancy between business professionals’ and HR professionals’ perceptions. For the five most urgent trends identified (leadership, reskilling HR, global HR and talent management, retention and engagement, and talent and HR analytics) business executives report that their companies are less ready to address these issues than HR leaders report. For the issue of reskilling HR, 48% of business respondents reported that HR is “not ready,” compared to 36% of HR respondents.

Deloitte’s report links this perceived lack of HR skills to some basic attributes such as the fact that many organizations do not invest in developing the business skills of their HR teams and to the fact that more than 70 percent of all HR professionals enter the field without a specific degree or certification in business or human resources. Of respondents surveyed from Deloitte’s report, 43% stated that their companies are “weak” when it comes to providing HR with appropriate training and experiences.

While disappointing, data like this are great because they clearly identify perceived areas of weakness and allow organizations to challenge their own programs and strategies for HR, as well as draw conclusions more specific to their organization and strategies for transforming, reinventing, and reskilling the HR team.

The bad news? Business leaders think HR isn’t up to the people challenges of the 21st century. The good news? Now we know and can get to work!

Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2014

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