Leadership tops list of concerns for HR: Survey

Culture, engagement next on list

Organizations are struggling to develop leaders in the modern, multigenerational workplace, according to the Canadian edition of Deloitte’s Human Capital 2015 Trends report, Canadian perspectives on the new world of work.

Leadership once again tops the list of concerns amongst 90 per cent of survey respondents followed by culture and engagement (86 per cent), found the survey of118 business and HR leaders.

In a time of transition when workers are getting younger and older, as millennials step into the roles left by retired boomers, as new jobs are being created that did not exist five years ago and as senior leaders choose to remain in the workforce, only 58 per cent of respondents felt their organization provides adequate leadership programs for all levels.

“Leadership and culture work in tandem. The decisions, attitudes and behaviours of leaders shape an organization’s culture,” said Heather Stockton, partner and human capital leader at Deloitte.

“When an organization’s values and business goals are aligned, its culture tends to drive better employee engagement, customer experience and financial performance.”

There’s a shift in the balance of power in the talent market towards the employee, making employee engagement even more critical to organizational success, found the report. Employee motivations such as purpose and passion matter just as much or more than personal ambition. Work-life balance can also have an impact on employee engagement — an area that employees find difficulty in striking the right balance with 44 per cent of respondents feeling poorly equipped to balance personal and professional priorities.

Redesigning work for on-demand workforce

Almost one-half (47 per cent) of respondents indicated plans to increase the use of contingent, outsourced, contract or part-time workers in the next three to five years.

Setting new parameters for HR

There’s a need for HR to redefine its core responsibilities to be more agile and closely integrated with the business to identify, attract, retain and develop talent, said the report. Only seven per cent of respondents rated their HR teams for delivering excellent performance while 39 per cent felt HR teams fail to deliver programs that align with business needs.

“Canadian businesses are not destined to struggle with these issues for years to come, but it will take bold steps in leadership, commitment and action to abandon the comfortable familiarity. Organizations need to fast forward their thinking around how to develop leaders who inspire and lead new and different workforces” said Karen Pastakia, partner in consulting at Deloitte.

Top 10 2015 human capital trends in Canada

· Leadership - Companies are struggling to develop leaders at all levels and are investing in new and accelerated leadership models.

· Culture and engagement - Organizations are recognizing the need to focus on culture and dramatically improve employee engagement as they face a looming crisis in engagement and retention.

· Learning and development - Companies are actively exploring new approaches to learning and development as they confront increasing skills gaps.

· Reinventing HR - HR is undergoing an extreme makeover to deliver greater business impact and drive HR and business innovation.

· Workforce capability - Companies are taking a more sophisticated approach to managing all aspects of the workforce, including the hourly, contingent and contract workforce.

· HR & People analytics - Too few organizations are actively implementing talent analytics capabilities to address complex business and talent needs.

· Performance management - Organizations are replacing traditional performance management with innovative performance solutions.

· Simplifying work - Organizations are simplifying work environments and practices in response to information overload and increasing organization and system complexity, and information overload.

· Machines as talent - The increasing power of computers and software to automate and replace knowledge workers is challenging organizations to rethink the design of work and the skills their employees need to succeed.

· People data everywhere - HR and talent organizations are expanding their HR data strategies by harnessing and integrating third-party data about their people from social media platforms.

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