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Deloitte Government Human Capital Trends Reveal Need for Greater C-suite Collaboration

Results show how a focus on a growing individualized workforce, automation and societal impact can help governments respond to evolving needs of workforce

Concerns about automation, the need for new skills, and an aging workforce, underscore the need for greater collaboration and coordination among government C-suite leaders.

Yet, only 21 percent of public sector leaders work together on projects or strategic initiatives, according to Deloitte’s “2018 Government Human Capital Trends.” In this overview, “The Rise of the Social Enterprise, A Government Perspective,” Deloitte also examines the specific meaning of the social enterprise for government organizations and how such organizations can listen to all stakeholders, internal and external, to accomplish their missions.

“By engaging with diverse stakeholders, accounting for external trends, and creating a sense of mission and purpose throughout the entire organization, government can expand on its role as the original social enterprise,” said Sean Morris, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and government and public services human capital leader. “This focus can help governments retain their workforce, be more nimble and responsive to the needs of employees and, in turn, citizens.”

“With only 21 percent of government respondents saying that their C-suite leaders work together on strategic projects, it is not surprising that government respondents also had low scores related to new technologies and career pathways trends,” said John Forsythe, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and government and public services human capital leader. “Automation, gig workers, and other big changes necessitate a more holistic approach across an organization to drive real, meaningful adoption.”

The report outlines nine key trends facing government organizations:

The Workforce Ecosystem: Managing beyond the enterprise – The growth of new workforce models is redefining the employer-worker relationship, especially in the public sector. Fifty-nine percent of public sector respondents rated hybrid workforce management as important or very important, while only 15 percent have a well-defined strategy for the hybrid workforce.

New Rewards: Personalized, agile, and holistic – The expectation for rewards is changing, and the data show that both private and public sector organizations are equally challenged with this issue. Over 63 percent of public sector respondents consider their rewards strategy either “misaligned” or “somewhat aligned” with their organizations goals.

Careers to Experiences: New Pathways – The expectations of one’s career path is changing; the desire for a traditional hierarchical career path is no longer the norm. Seventy-eight percent of public sector respondents see “careers to experiences” as important or very important, yet only 35 percent feel ready for this trend.

The Longevity Dividend: Work in an era of the 100-year lives – As individuals stay in the workforce longer than they ever have before, retaining, retraining, and recruiting older workers can provide organizations with a powerful combination of skill and institutional knowledge. About 59 percent of public sector respondents have not incorporated the aging workforce into their organizational strategy.

Citizenship & Social Impact: Society holds the mirror – Although public sector agencies generate social impact by the virtue of their mission-driven work, there is an opportunity to strengthen the impact of their efforts by making “social responsibility” an imperative component of their organizational strategy. Roughly 63 percent of public sector respondents have little or no focus at all on social responsibility programs

Well-being: A strategy and a responsibility – Leaders can acknowledge and embrace the powerful impacts of well-being on employee productivity, engagement, and retention. Seventy-nine percent of public sector respondents agree that employee well-being is important, while nearly 49 percent indicated the purpose of their well-being programs is to comply with requirements, rather than out of care for employees.

AI, Robotics & Automation – Organizations are looking to get the most out of the benefits of a surge of new AI-based software, robotics, workplace connectivity tools, and people data applications, while also mitigating potential downsides and unforeseen effects. A significant reason 69 percent of public sector respondents don’t use AI or robotics at the moment is because of their concern with how staff will react to the change and interact with the technology. However, 63 percent believe AI and cognitive technology will have the “same” or “significant” impact on their workforce by 2020.

Hyper-connected Workplace: Will productivity reign? – The way people communicate these days is changing, and the public sector is not exempt. Some public sector organizations lag behind in implementing connected workplace tools due to other pressing priorities and constrained budgets. About 66 percent of public sector respondents view connected work tools as a positive driver of productivity, but 40 percent report their organization does not permit access to emerging communication channels.

People Data: How far is too far? – Public sector organizations function at different levels of maturity with big data, and some are struggling with how to make use of the avalanche of data to create efficiencies. While 79 percent of public sector respondents see people data as important, only 35 percent acknowledge they are ready to take on big data.

Another key finding in this year’s Global Human Capital Report showcases a profound shift facing leaders worldwide: the rise of the social enterprise. A social enterprise is an organization whose mission combines fiscal responsibilities with the need to respect and support its environment and stakeholder network. These organizations shoulder their responsibility to be good citizens, both inside and outside of its organization, and serve as a role model for its peers and promoting a high degree of collaboration at every level of its organization.

For the public sector, the rise of the social enterprise may require that the public sector bring a more determined focus on building social capital by engaging with diverse stakeholders, accounting for external trends, devising strategies that manage new societal expectations, and creating a sense of mission and purpose throughout the entire organization.

“This growing call for social enterprises means that the public sector must also increasingly strive to overcome challenges and roadblocks to meet the needs and expectations of the public,” said Libby Bacon, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and a government and public services human capital leader. “In doing so, the public sector has an opportunity to revitalize its role as the original social enterprise – a collection of institutions dedicated at their core to serving society at large.”

“As a whole, these trends demonstrate the many forces coming together that present challenges and opportunities for today’s public sector leaders,” said Jennifer Cowley, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and a government and public services human capital leader. “Public sector leaders who can work across their organizations, harness the power of automation and other emerging tech, and engage with their people to improve their well-being and individualized career paths can improve mission delivery of their organizations.”

The “2018 Global Human Capital Trends Survey” was Deloitte’s largest and most extensive human capital survey to date. It included responses from over 11,000 businesses and HR Leaders across 124 countries. The government and public services perspective includes more than 800 global public sector respondents and assesses the challenges ahead for organizations and HR leaders alike in a dramatically changing digital, economic, demographic, and social landscape.