Global HR Trends from 10,000 HR Professionals

In 2019, Deloitte – one of the largest professional service organizations in the world – surveyed nearly 10,000 HR and IT professionals from 119 countries to pinpoint the HR trends happening in the world of human resources around the globe.

Although this survey was done before Covid-19, we highlight five important HR trends that are relevant in 2020 both pre-pandemic and recovering from its longer term impacts.

1) Societal impact is now the number one measure of success

When asked to rank their most important measures of success, CEOs most frequently picked “impact on society” as their top choice, over and above customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and financial performance.

This points to a widespread desire among organizations around the world to address issues such as the environment, income inequality, and diversity today.

2) The need to change how people learn is the number one HR trend

86% of those surveyed identified ‘learning’ as an important trend within organizations today, making it the most significant HR trend of 2019.

Given the large and ever-growing demand for employees to acquire new skills and capabilities to tackle constantly evolving challenges, especially now in the wake of the pandemic, the need to reinvent how learning happens within organizations is widely seen as an urgent issue.


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3) For the issue of employee experience, there is a gap between ideals and reality

Although 84% rated the topic of employee experience as important (28% of whom rated it as urgent), only 9% of respondents believed their organizations were ready to address the issue.

Furthermore, only 42% of participants felt that employees in their organization were satisfied with their day to day work.

Yet, research from MIT suggests that organizations in the top quartile of employee experience achieve twice the innovation and customer satisfaction, and have 25% high profits than those who are in the bottom quartile. Finding new ways of improving employee experience is, and will continue to be, a massive priority among organizations around the world.


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4) The ability to lead through ambiguity is the number one requirement for leaders

The gap between ideals and reality is also true for leadership – while 80% of respondents rated leadership as a high priority within their organizations, only 41% thought that their organizations were ready to meet leadership needs.

The requirements for leaders in today’s economy are also different than those of the past – 81% of the participants reported in the 2019 report that leaders now need to have the ability to lead through complexity and ambiguity.

Yet, only 30% felt their organizations were effectively developing leaders who can meet evolving challenges – there is an enormous need for leaders who have the competencies to lead in today’s constantly-changing environment. This HR trend is bound to continue.


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5) Working in teams is the new norm

31% of those surveyed shared that they now operate completely or almost wholly in teams, while 65% say that they have some cross-functional team-based work despite still working under a hierarchical model.

The shift from a hierarchical leadership model to one that is more team- and network-centric was identified by 65% of participants as important; yet, only 7% felt ready to execute this shift.

Here, we see another place where there is a gap between ideal and reality.

Unfortunately, most organizations have not refreshed their leadership, job design, and compensation structure to adapt to the increasingly team-focused working environment.

High performance teams are more valuable and sought after than ever before, and this HR trend is likely to continue to grow as virtual and hybrid teams continue.

Overall, one of the biggest themes we at Summit see from Deloitte’s 2019 report is a massive gap between ideals and reality.

One question that we challenge you to ask of yourself, your team, and your organization, “is the gap of ideals and reality widening or narrowing as a result of the pandemic?”

Organizations are continuing to grow in their recognition of the importance of social impact, learning, employee experience, leadership, and teamwork; yet for some, it is still a struggle to turn those ideals into reality.


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We’re Here to Help!

Our mission for the remainder of 2020, then, is to continue to empower organizations and to give them the tools they need to turn what they recognize as their ideals into reality.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help your organization do this. Alternatively, please check out our Virtual Training Workshops and learn about what we offer.

Read the full report here.