Deloitte’s top resources industry human capital trends

Deloitte’s 2018 Human Capital Trends report is the most extensive to date, with input from more than 11,000 businesses and HR leaders around the world, including 952 from the global energy and resources (E&R) industry.

Respondents were from a broad cross section of industries, from energy and resources, public sector and financial services to technology, and media and telecommunications.

As covered in Australian Mining‘s summary of the report, wellbeing is viewed as the top priority for resources and business leaders, with 85 per cent regarding it as important or very important to their organisation.

Here are Deloitte’s 10 human capital trends for 2018 in more detail (in order of importance):

Wellbeing: a strategy and a responsibility
As the line between work and play continues to blur, employees are seeking benefits across a wide range of programs for physical, mental, financial and spiritual health. As noted, wellbeing has been identified as the priority within the E&R industry.

People data: how far is too far? (data as opportunity & risk)
Organisations face a tipping point: develop a well-defined set of policies, security safeguards, transparency measures, and ongoing communication around the use of people data, or risk employee, customer and societal backlash. Encouragingly, two-thirds (65 per cent) of E&R respondents said moderate to strong people data management policies were in place, however, only a fifth (21 per cent) were managing the potential impact on their consumer brand.

The Symphonic C-suite: teams leading teams
Rated third by the E&R sector, this is the next stage in the ongoing evolution of leadership models, in which the organisation’s top executives play together as one team, while also leading their own functional teams, all in harmony, to drive more responsive, coordinated and agile organisations.

Deloitte Australia energy, resources and industrials human capital lead partner, Julie Harrison, commented: “Shortening business cycles, functional and organisational globalisation, increased M&A activity and new employee expectations are leading E&R executive teams to need to be global and local, visionary and responsive, and work in symphonic ways whilst enabling empowered employees to engage with the organisation through a variety of talent models.”

From careers to experiences: new pathways (21st century careers)
The concept of a career is evolving towards a model that empowers individuals to acquire valuable experiences, explore new roles and continually reinvent themselves. Despite traditional career models becoming defunct in the new world of work – 63 per cent of E&R respondents indicated career paths in their organisation were not based on a traditional organisational hierarchy – the report found more than half of the business leaders surveyed in E&R (51 per cent) have no programs in place to build the skills of the future.

Harrison commented: “Whilst many E&R organisations recognise the Future of Work will bring about significant change, few have a clear understanding of what it really means for their organisation, talent models, and the way they develop their people. Reinvention within an organisation will be critical in the near future, and providing experiences, education, exposure, and the environment from which to learn and grow will have an impact on talent choosing to work with E&R organisations.”

Citizenship and social impact: society holds the mirror
An organisation’s track record on corporate citizenship and social impact now has a direct bearing on its core identity and strategy. Engagement with external stakeholders on topics such as diversity, gender pay equity, income inequality, immigration, social licence to operate, and climate change can lift financial performance and brand value, while failure to engage can destroy reputation, alienate key audiences and impact licence to operate within specific locations. Nearly half (47 per cent) of E&R respondents said social responsibility was not well-developed or invested in, however, more than half (53 per cent) said it was either high or top of their list of strategies. E&R companies are ahead of the global responses in this area.

The hyper-connected workplace: will productivity reign?
As communication tools like instant messaging and social media migrate from personal life to the workplace, the challenge for organisations is to ensure they actually improve organisational, team and individual performance and promote the necessary collaboration for the organisation to truly become a social enterprise. Of E&R respondents, 49 per cent said they expected face-to-face meetings and phone calls (27 per cent) would decrease in the near future. To replace them, 63 per cent predicted an increase in instant messaging and 67 per cent an increase in online collaboration platforms.

AI, robotics and automation: putting humans in the loop
While E&R respondents see AI, robotics, and automation as important, only a third feel ready to navigate associated changes. Leading organisations recognise that to gain maximum value from new technologies they need to find ways for humans to work alongside robots – reconstructing work, retraining people and rearranging the organisation. The greatest opportunity is not just to redesign jobs or automate routine work, but to fundamentally re-think ‘how work works’ to benefit employers, teams and individuals. Only 6 per cent of E&R respondents said they were currently doing this.

New rewards: personalised, agile and holistic
Employees are increasingly asking for more personalised, agile and holistic rewards, including a focus on fair and open pay (e.g. the UK recently introduced gender pay gap reporting). There’s a long way to go – only 4 per cent of E&R respondents said they offered personalised reward programs.

Harrison commented: “Choice and flexibility are the key in this space and finding ways to provide more choice within a framework might be a positive contribution to attract and retain people within the E&R sector.”

The longevity dividend: work in an era of 100-year lives
Forward-thinking organisations see extended longevity and population ageing as an opportunity to retain or employ highly skilled workers. Currently 19 per cent of E&R respondents said they were partnering with older workers to develop new career models that leverage their expertise, considerably more than the 8 per cent of all the Australian respondents who said they were doing this.

Harrison commented: “This ‘silver lining’ in E&R could be used to partner with young graduates in areas such as mechatronics or data science to help them rapidly apply their skills in real life situations that would make a real difference to solving specific business problems, whilst also bringing the older workers up to speed with some of the more advanced and modern day skills available.”

The workforce ecosystem: managing beyond the enterprise
Business needs strategies to engage, manage and retain an increasingly hybrid workforce. Over the next two years, 43 per cent of E&R survey respondents expect a rise in contractors, 26 per cent an increase in freelancers and 23 per cent growth in gig workers.

Harrison commented: “This shift in talent models will require new styles of work contracts, management skills and strategic workforce planning to ensure the right skills are available as and when needed within the organisation.”

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