Humanising organizations, that seems to be the key within the global trends of Human Resources (HR) for 2021 and in the years to come, according to a report by Deloitte.
The report, product of a survey carried out with more than 9,000 business leaders and HR managers in 119 countries, indicates that the priority is in all the actions that have to do with how this process of humanization of organizations is done, relations with clients, relations with employees and relations with any stakeholder that works in it.
It also indicates that the sense of belonging is one of the most relevant issues for the future of companies. It refers to the pride of being part of the organization and to what extent it is able to connect its staff with the organizational purpose and know how to maintain it every day, in order to maintain the sense of contribution and thus impact its purpose.
According to the consulting firm’s report, 93% of those surveyed affirmed that pride of belonging drives organizational performance, one of the highest percentages of consensus in a decade of Global Human Capital Trends reports.
The document also indicates that 80% of organizations consider that the well-being of their professionals is important or very important for the success of the company in the next 12 to 18 months.
Well-being does not refer to a set of programs, actions or benefits that are carried out and that do not impact the way in which you work. On the contrary, the full potential offered by technology should be exploited so that people can focus on tasks that are more humane, that have a differential value and that also allow greater well-being in the execution of their jobs.
But this is when the question arises as to whether organizations can maintain their human identity in a world dominated by technology.
During the confinement caused by Covid-19, we have seen how, far from stagnating, technology has managed to take a leap and has come out stronger. Companies like Zoom with their video calls, Google Cloud or the multiple companies with software that monitor workers, have demonstrated their ability to stay afloat and become essential tools for teleworking.
However, as indicated by Joan Pere Salom, Consulting Partner and head of Deloitte’s Human Capital Practice in Spain, before the pandemic, many companies had already been adapting to new technologies applied to teamworks, so it was easy for them to adapt to confinement thanks to their experience. He also assures that the real challenge for organizations is to adapt to these new technologies and take this working method to a more human level.
According to Salom, the confinement by Covid-19 demonstrated that people were better prepared for change than the organizations themselves.
If we talk about the capacity for evolution of people and organizations, in recent years, before the coronavirus, we said that it was the first industrial revolution in which transformation was happening earlier in our homes than in companies”, he explained to Expansión, a Spanish economic and business newspaper.
Speaking of technology, another technological tool that companies have and that are integrating with their teams is Artificial Intelligence. 66% of executives surveyed by Deloitte assure that in the next three years the number of jobs will remain the same or will increase due to their use, however, only 17% of those surveyed are making significant investments to support this strategy.
That gap widens a lot more when it comes to talent management. 65% of those surveyed consider that it is an important or very important element, while only 7% affirm that companies are very prepared. And it is that executives must have the ability to predict the future and even anticipate it in order to develop a predictive vision of talent.
The pandemic has also given force to the terms upskilling and reskilling as part of the need to provide talent with new abilities to develop different jobs.
As Alejandro Melamed points out in an article published for Infobae, it is about improving the skills, competencies and capabilities of all employees and re-training in new ways to all those potentially marginalized with the advancement of technologies. Finding ways to include everyone in the new scenarios (another concrete manifestation of diversity and inclusion) and provide the tools to each one of the collaborators in order to facilitate their employability and insertion in the labor market.
According to the report, 53% of those consulted say that between 50% and the entire workforce will need to change their skills and abilities in the next 3 years. Despite this, organizations may not make a significant investment in the matter, according to 16% of those surveyed.
In times of pandemic, organizations also seek to humanise themselves by trying to maintain the connection of their culture and their sense of belonging with their employees. Mark Holmstrom, Principal with Deloitte in the Global Future Work Practice, explains that culture is a very important part of any organization.
Every company has a unique culture for how they operate and behave. One of the most important things you can do in a virtual environment is to understand what makes your organization unique, and figure out how you replicate some of those behaviors in a virtual way.
- But how can we measure that employee commitment to the organization?
- Besides that, how to also measure effectiveness and efficiency?
Because, although it is true that before the pandemic, companies had control by registering that their personnel were coming to work, today, thanks to telecommuting, they have moved away and it could be more complicated to have more control. However, thanks to the collaborative spaces, people have moved to a shared environment where you can actually see them working with each other in a cloud, allowing the different team members to actually see that other folks are joining in.
Another way to humanise and connect with culture and a sense of belonging is thanks to technologies like G Suite and Google Cloud, that help to create a virtual environment for people to work together and then use physical space as a place for them to come to create a new culture.
When asked on how to humanise an increasingly technology – driven virtual workplace, Holmstrom thinks that the digital world is not the most important thing within organizations, but the human factor.
We believe that the human is the most important element in the future or work. The 21st century companies that thrive are the ones that treat their humans as their most important asset.
With the uncertainty created by the pandemic, which has caused more people to feel comfortable with telecommuting, to the point that “they already want to work on their own because they have seen that through technology they can learn more from home than at home company“, according to Salom, humanising an organization is presented as an uphill task for HR managers.
There are many companies that have decided to adapt to these changes and to close their offices and become 100% virtual, with staff anywhere in the world ready to connect when required, but always from the comfort of their home.
It remains, then, on the part of those responsible for HR, and even the leaders of the companies, to bridge that gap and apply the necessary policies to maintain the culture of the organization and, more importantly, humanise it.