The world has changed—and so has Deloitte’s approach to its Global Human Capital Trends research. We connected with global business and HR leaders and, for the first time ever, with workers themselves. The results are captured in our 2021 Global Human Capital Trends and 2021 special report: The worker-employer relationship disrupted.

Bring your curiosity and questions and join Chris Havrilla, Head of Technology Research & Advisory for Deloitte’s Human Capital Ecosystems & Alliances, as she shares perspectives from this research, their recent landscape research on digital workplaces, and how leader’s views have shifted on preparedness, navigating disruption, and work transformation

40% of employees are thinking about quitting their job. I don’t really believe that’s a big aha, but 80% of the job losses were among the lowest-earning 25% of workers, and 70% of firms are having trouble finding employees with the necessary combination of talents and skills.

Talent Supply and Government Impact

We currently have limited control over the future due to the effect of outside factors and unknowns. Although neither employees nor organisations have any control over which feature manifests, they do have some control over how they prepare for and react to certain circumstances. imagining potential outcomes. rather than certainties. As we begin to consider how significant forces in the workplace, like the role of automation and AI and how machines are kind of entering our workforce, the use of the extended workforce ecosystem, so that not just our employers, but how do we tap into the entire workforce, and this rapid shift between hybrid and remote ways of working might play out the lens of possible futures can help us clarify what outcomes could ensue and what we want to do with them.

If you consider it from the perspective of talent supply, the most obvious impact of talent supply is the different actions that organisations or workers may take, depending on how simple or challenging it is to secure a job, the right resources, the right workers, or the appropriately skilled workers, as well as how heavily the organisation may rely on technology to either replace, augment, or—as we hope—collaborate with the workforce. could all have an impact on the employment relationship.

The success of the government in bringing about social change, such as through laws addressing worker representation or protection, or through initiatives addressing issues like social inequality or climate change, could alter workers’ expectations of their companies. So many of these factors, such as increasing social safety nets and benefits, securing jobs and earnings, facilitating access to education, and investing in reskilling, among others, can have an effect on or lessen employees’ dependency on their employers. They might begin to look more to the government to, say, effect or influence some of these issues, as well as public laws that impose restrictions or an additional burden on businesses looking to hire people.

Three Potential Responses at Work

We outline three strategies organisations use to deal with its features. When presented with the dynamics and conditions of that world, we will provide an instinctual response, the course of action that we think the majority of organisations would adopt. So what do we naturally do, but that natural reaction isn’t actually a purposeful, conscientious plan of action by any stretch of the imagination? Doing what is required to achieve now is what a surviving strategy is all about, right? We’re going to suggest the Thrive technique in place of either of these alternatives.
Because disruption is ongoing and organisations that flourish use it as a catalyst, a Thrive strategy or attitude focuses on what you need to achieve not just today but also tomorrow.

Those of us who welcome this disruption and do so as quickly as possible while maintaining our focus on the goals are those who will succeed. We can kind of embrace this disruption and get to the outcomes despite it by using it to our advantage. Let’s look at these four alternatives while keeping in mind, you know, that mental model.

We will therefore go deeply into one: Fashion is the future of this work. And the way we kind of named it implies that this is a fleeting future that is always changing. In order to capture consumers’ ephemeral attention and genuine needs, brands often launch new clothes lines swiftly, bringing them from the catwalk to retail. In this situation, adopting the goal that is currently popular in an effort to keep the workforce engaged or maintain access to the future, is even utilised by employers as a strategy to encourage and attract employees. Therefore, we anticipate that work will be in style in 2021 and 2020.

In this situation, the connection between employees and employers is quite reactive; businesses feel forced to react to all of these competition activities and express pepper preferences without tying those actions to a sustainable workforce strategy. The North Star, if you will. And in fact, that is how we essentially cultivate that mindset. When considering what is currently conceivable, it’s vital to consider what we can foresee rather than what is likely. As a result, when we start looking more and more at those things, it’s a sign that we’re moving in that direction—increased employer activity, benchmarking against competitors, and industry growth. That’s a big one, and aligning practises with benchmarks is really important.

Workforce Architecture

When I say that work is changing, I really mean it. Work is evolving into more than a list of activities, and I think we all recognise this. It really is about how people interact, create, learn, grow, team up, and innovate to produce value-based outcomes, not just those financial metrics, correct? Instead, we should be thinking about the entire ecosystem of stakeholders we have, including our customers, employees, partners, and suppliers, who all contribute to these right value-based outcomes, with an outcomes focus. This process-oriented approach has always been a part of us, right? We’ve all seen the process maps that each of us uses. Although activities, tasks, and outputs are quite conventional and rigid, we all have them and these process maps.

This emphasis on results is crucial if we’re to continue being agile. We discussed how the world is now one of the probabilities rather than absolutes. Questions are significant for this reason. Therefore, we’re talking more about questions, how we ask the proper questions, and outcomes rather than activities, assessments, and outputs. And in the midst of it, where the flow occurs, is where we decide what to do and how to do it. And I’m setting this up because this conference is so crucial for discussing these issues. Because when we discuss digital adoption, transformation, and workspaces, we’re actually enabling that we’re bringing technology and integrating it into the team, and doing our part to empower people with how to make decisions and take actions and work in different ways. 

The Changing Workplace

A lot of factors are transforming the workforce. We are viewing the worker-employer relationship from many angles, which is why we notice this kind of change in it. The desires of the workers vary. However, in their eyes, a right business may still be sort of focusing on that business enterprise, where workers may be, especially as the workforce continues to shift, right to be more heavily weighted on. There is some really fascinating data that you can look at on this. Only 37% of millennials think corporate executives have a beneficial influence on society.

Rescaling at scale is basically impossible in a society where the average lifespan of skill is 18 to 24 months. Right. How can we intensify our efforts, go beyond skills, and actually concentrate on capabilities? So these worker viewpoints are incredibly interesting. In the next third, you know, the next three years, between half and all of their staff, according to 53% of our respondents, will need to improve their skills and capabilities, but only 17% do so. They were able to foresee the abilities that were required to a large extent because the shelf life is changing so drastically, and just 16% of respondents expect their organisation to significantly boost investment in this area. You know, readiness versus awareness of the situation.

Digital transformation for the changing workforce

There isn’t, in my opinion, a better time to begin considering digital workplaces, digital workplace adoption, and digital transformation with the goal of maximising human potential. Not merely how do we replace something? But how do we train people to collaborate with these new coworkers in novel ways? Right, not only updating the systems or providing training on them but also considering how you interact with one another. The ability to work together will make a genuine difference between incremental change—yawn—and what we can actually accomplish to thrive. How can we really combat productivity? How do we view productivity, then? Not simply in terms of how to squeeze out more lemon juice.

But how do we unleash human potential to achieve results we never even dared to imagine? How does that begin to foster development and impact? And how can we train individuals to use technology in a variety of ways? People solve issues, using tools and technology in conjunction with data and information, not tools. So, you should recall that flow. And how can we maximise human potential so that we can support their decision-making? Take better activities, not as a result of what we told them, but rather as a result of how we connected them to the work.


Chris oversees Deloitte’s strategy and research practice for HR technology and solution providers, which she uses to demystify the constantly shifting HR Tech market for their corporate and solution provider members. As an internal HR & HR technology/strategy practitioner or as a consultant/adviser, she has carefully worked with business and HR leaders throughout her career on significantly transforming talent strategy, technology, and leadership—as well as the suppliers who service them.