Amid rapid technological, economic and social change, it is important for organizations to move beyond mission statements and social impact programs to put humans at the center of their business strategies.
In its “2019 Global Human Capital Trends” report, “Leading the social enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus,” Deloitte examines ways organizations can reinvent themselves on a broad scale, including interacting, motivating, and personalizing experiences with the workforce to help build identity and meaning for workers.
Completed by nearly 10,000 respondents in 119 countries, Deloitte’s ninth annual Global Human Capital Trends report is the largest longitudinal survey of its kind. In the report, respondents said the role of the social enterprise is more important now than ever and noted a positive link between leading the social enterprise and an organization’s financial performance. In fact, 73 percent of industry-leading social enterprises expect stronger business growth in 2019 than in 2018, compared to only 55 percent of those where the social enterprise is “not” a priority. However, only 19 percent of respondents reported being “industry leaders” in their organization’s maturity as a social enterprise.
Today, more than 4 in 10 (44 percent) of respondents said social enterprise issues are more important to their organization than they were three years ago, and 56 percent expect them to be even more important three years from now.
“There is a lot of discussion about organizational purpose and while I agree that it is important, what’s missing for many organizations is the focus on the individual and the day-to-day challenges that workers are facing,” said Erica Volini, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. human capital leader. “The reality is that while technology is helping organizations gain competitive advantage, if not managed appropriately, it can simultaneously mean that workers lose their identity in the workplace. We see a call to action for organizations to reinvent their approach to human capital with the worker in mind to create opportunities for continuous learning, accelerated development, and professional and personal growth.”
The future of the workforce
As organizations look to effectively lead the social enterprise, they must adapt to the forces restructuring work and the implications to the workforce – both in composition and capability – while embedding a meaningful experience for workers.
This focus on the workforce comes as more than 86 percent of respondents cited reinventing the way people learn as important or very important – the No. 1 trend for 2019. Leading organizations are empowering individuals’ need to continuously develop skills by investing in new tools to embed learning not only into the flow of work, but the flow of life. With the need to sustain 50-60 year careers as part of a 100-year life, lifelong learning has evolved from a matter of career advancement to workplace survival. However, even with this emphasis on learning, only 10 percent of respondents said their organizations are “very ready” to address this topic.
Amplifying the need for continuous learning is the ongoing adoption of automation technologies as 64 percent of respondents said that automation is important or very important. Yet even with these advancements, human skills remain critical to augmenting the value of this technology. In response, organizations should consider redesigning work into a new category of “superjobs,” which combine the work and skill sets across multiple domains, opening up opportunities for mobility, advancement and the rapid adoption of new skills desperately needed today.
But even as part of the workforce reorganizes into superjobs, Volini shared, lower-wage-work across service sectors continues to grow, along with non-traditional contract, freelance, and gig employment – and it is imperative that these jobs are not left behind. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to the workforce of the future. Organizations need to explore all options and create the culture and infrastructure where everyone has a place. That will be part of how organizational inclusion will be defined in the future,” said Volini.
The future of the organization
In the age of the social enterprise, organizations are being challenged to up their game when it comes to the employee experience. This emphasis comes as only 49 percent of respondents believed that their organizations’ workers were satisfied or very satisfied with their job design and only 42 percent thought that workers were satisfied or very satisfied with day-to-day work practices.
As organizations look to provide technology to support employees’ work, only 38 percent of respondents said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the current work-related tools and technology available. Finally, only 38 percent of respondents thought that they have enough autonomy within their jobs to make good decisions, providing further evidence that significant reinvention is required.
“Over the last five years, issues related to productivity, well-being, overwork and burnout have grown,” said Jeff Schwartz, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. future of work leader. “As a result, organizations need to shift from the traditional employee experience to a new category we call ‘human experience,’ where relationships are enduring, learning is continuous, and work has meaning centered around human identity.”
Creating this human experience requires a different type of leader. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents believed that “21st-century leaders” face unique challenges and requirements, making it critical for organizations to extend leadership pipelines to find and build leaders from within the organization. Developing new leaders from within can help them hone critical skills, including managing through influence, promoting transparency, and thriving in a more collaborative and connected world.
Underlying this shift is the continued reinvention of the traditional hierarchical organizational model. One-third (31 percent) of survey respondents said their organizations now operate mostly in teams within a hierarchal framework and another 46 percent said that they are somewhat team-based. However, most C-suite leaders, tools, cultures and incentives are still struggling to adopt and support the team-based model. With the advent of new technology, organizations can use data and insights to complete this shift.
The future of HR
In this 10th year of the economic recovery, organizations are finding themselves in a job-seekers’ market as the war for talent rages on. “As organizations’ workforce needs drastically change, leaders should shift from focusing on acquiring talent to accessing capabilities. While the change may seem nuanced, taking a more expanded view of where skills can be found – whether it’s in automation, the gig economy or current employees – can pay dividends in today’s fast-paced and high-demand business environment,” said Volini.
As a result, the importance of internal, enterprise-wide talent mobility has become paramount. In 2019, three-quarters (76 percent) of survey respondents believed new tools and models for careers, and internal mobility are important or very important. Beyond mobility, organizations are finding that they need to look at the technology provided by the cloud as a launchpad, not a destination. But despite investing billions in HR technology, 65 percent of respondents report that this technology is inadequate or only fair at achieving its overall objectives.
With new talent approaches, the way many organizations compensate and reward workers has fallen out of date. Today, only 11 percent of respondents felt that their rewards systems are highly aligned with their organizational goals and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) do not feel they know what rewards their employees value.
“The combination of shifts in the work, the workforce, and the organization have created a new mandate for HR to shape the future,” said Heather Stockton, principal, Deloitte Global, global human capital leader. “But HR cannot do this alone. The entire organization, led by the symphonic C-suite, needs to come together to help organizations truly take the lead in the future of work.”
Commitment to ESG Reporting is Driving Change within Global Corporations
New case studies from the World Economic Forum show how comprehensive environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) reporting has started to drive corporate transformation around the world, particularly in sustainability efforts and company culture.
Based on case studies from companies reporting on the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics, the white paper found examples of specific strategy and operations changes as a result. These include initiatives such as new approaches to water management in real estate and implementing biodiversity strategies and targets.
The case studies also indicate that despite some progress, companies are still struggling with competing and disparate ESG frameworks around the world. As regulators begin to roll out mandatory ESG reporting across regions, alignment will be key to ensuring that the clarity and efficacy of ESG reporting continues to improve globally.
We’re happy that support continues to grow for this set of metrics even in the face of geopolitical challenges, the lingering global pandemic and economic disruptions of the past two years,” said Emily Bayley, Head of Private Sector Engagement, ESG, World Economic Forum. “As this growth continues and jurisdictions transition from voluntary to mandatory sustainability reporting standards, we hope these learnings can provide valuable insights for companies that are just getting started on sustainability reporting and those that have been doing it for years.”
ESG-Driven Corporate Impacts
The Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics Initiative case studies engaged a global set of companies to gather how, and if, their ESG reporting has informed corporate transformation both internally and externally.
Examples of these transformations include:
Stakeholders told Ecopetrol their report was too long – the Forum’s core metrics helped the company focus on reporting topics that are most material and will generate value.
The metrics go beyond ESG to capture commercial metrics on employment, economic contribution, investment and tax. This delivers “an annual dashboard of comparable data on both sustainability and prosperity that will provide us with a snapshot of how healthy our company is”.
The core metric on water consumption and withdrawal in water-stressed areas led the company to encourage its teams and clients to agree water management plans and targets. It may even influence where the company rents office space in the future.
Accurate reporting on the environmental and social impacts of its operations. For example, the metric on resource circularity points customers towards the most impactful products on the market and drives the company’s innovation agenda to design more sustainable solutions.
Reporting on the Forum’s metrics has increased the value of transparency within the company, leading to conversations and progress on difficult issues.
The metric on land use and ecological sensitivity contributed to Schneider’s new approach to biodiversity, as it adapted its reporting and asked all sites to set specific biodiversity action plans.
ESG Regulatory Landscape
While progress has been made on the creation and implementation of meaningful and effective ESG disclosures globally, concerns remain about the disparate nature of the competing and complex ESG reporting mechanisms that exist today.
There are also concerns that as reporting becomes mandated there could be less transparency because people will not want to disclose more than they have to. As mandated ESG reporting becomes more widespread, both regulators and internal advocates should ensure corporations understand the full value of transparency on sustainability and other ESG issues.
Addressing this issue is particularly important as regulators in different regions begin to roll out their mandatory reporting requirements. Focus on a common set of comprehensive and material metrics will be important for both the efficacy and feasibility of ESG reporting in the coming months. As much as possible, the European Union, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation should align their metrics to ensure companies are able to implement effective ESG reporting globally.
Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics Initiative
The World Economic Forum and the coalition of companies adopting the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics, engaged with the preparatory working group and are continuing the dialogue with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) technical teams under the IFRS Foundation as they go through the standard-setting process. The metrics are expected to form part of the ISSB “exposure draft” next year on cross-thematic disclosures and metrics.
Announced at the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Meetings 2022, these case studies build on the earlier report to showcase progress on the commitment made by companies at the Annual Meeting in 2020. Since then, 186 global companies, with a combined market capitalization of over $6.5 trillion, have adopted the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics. Of these, 126 companies have disclosed against the metrics in their mainstream reports for either one or two years.
Trade in 25 Technologies Can Help Climate Action
Based on 30 interviews with industry and academia, the Accelerating Decarbonization through Trade in Climate Goods and Services report highlights technologies with high, immediate emissions-cutting potential, in five categories – refrigerants, energy supply, buildings, transport and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The list of technologies can guide trade ministers looking to support climate action.
“Climate change is a global concern,” says Sean Doherty, Head of International Trade at the World Economic Forum. “Our response must draw upon the innovation and capacities of the whole world, not be held back by protectionism.”
Trade collaboration on climate has been limited to date with trade and climate practitioners working in separate silos. New efforts are emerging now, however, to address the linkages between these two areas.
“There is no time to waste to limit global warming to 1.5°C,” adds Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric. “We need to decarbonize three times more, three times faster. The good news is that we have the technologies to do it. Solutions are not limited to renewable energy. It actually starts with energy efficiency, electrification and digitization. If deployed at full potential, we can eliminate 70% of what we’re emitting today.”
The report also highlights non-tariff barriers that affect trade in climate technologies. Regulatory cooperation around product testing or labelling requirements, for example, could reduce friction in getting emissions-cutting goods to market. Interviewees also noted that climate action is held back by trade barriers to the services needed to operate climate technologies. The report suggests a way to identify these climate services for priority trade cooperation.
“Our transition to a low-carbon economy will hinge on the deployment of a number of key technologies that are both mature and widely available, as detailed in this important report on the nexus of decarbonization and international trade, including energy efficiency, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, smart buildings and more,” says Björn Rosengren, Chief Executive Officer of ABB. “ABB’s contributions to this new report from the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders underscore our support for removing and reducing barriers to trade in climate goods and services to speed the drawdown of global emissions.”
More efforts are needed to engage developing countries in trade efforts on climate. Over 750 million people worldwide lack reliable electricity access, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Developing economy industries must decarbonize and leapfrog the latest technologies to remain competitive in global value chains moving towards net zero. Some developing economies will need support in creating a climate-friendly trade and technology strategy. Global and local industries can help policymakers understand the criss-crossing of value chains that drive economic activity and how to align these flows to the climate agenda.
“Climate change knows no borders and encouraging better trade between countries can ensure the transfer of valuable knowledge, new technologies and skills to improve energy efficiency in homes around the world,” says Hakan Bulgurlu, Chief Executive Officer of Arcelik. “It is critical to our ultimate goal of achieving net-zero targets.”
To support an increased understanding of trade, value chains and climate action, the Climate Trade Zero community will host dialogues and support countries with actionable analysis.
East Asia and Pacific Sustaining Growth, Restraining Inflation, but Facing Risks Ahead
Growth in most of developing East Asia and the Pacific rebounded in 2022 from the effects of COVID-19, while China has lost momentum because of continued measures to contain the virus, a World Bank report said on Monday.
Looking ahead, economic performance across the region could be compromised by slowing global demand, rising debt, and a reliance on short-term economic fixes to cushion against food and fuel price increases.
Growth in developing East Asia and the Pacific outside of China is forecast to accelerate to 5.3% in 2022 from 2.6% in 2021, according to the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific October 2022 Economic Update. China, which previously led recovery in the region, is projected to grow by 2.8% in 2022, a sharp deceleration from 8.1% in 2021. For the region as a whole, growth is projected to slow to 3.2% this year from 7.2% in 2021, before accelerating to 4.6% next year, the report says.
“Economic recovery is under way in most countries of East Asia and the Pacific,” said World Bank East Asia and Pacific Vice President Manuela V. Ferro. “As they prepare for slowing global growth, countries should address domestic policy distortions that are an impediment to longer term development.”
Growth in much of East Asia and the Pacific has been driven by recovery in domestic demand, enabled by a relaxation of COVID-related restrictions, and growth in exports. China, which constitutes around 86% of the region’s output, uses targeted public health measures to contain outbreaks of the virus, inhibiting economic activity.
The global economic slowdown is beginning to dampen demand for the region’s exports of commodities and manufactured goods. Rising inflation abroad has provoked interest rate increases, which in turn have caused capital outflows and currency depreciations in some East Asia and Pacific countries. These developments have increased the burden of servicing debt and shrunk fiscal space, hurting countries that entered the pandemic with a high debt burden.
As countries of the region seek to shield households and firms from higher food and energy prices, current policy measures provide much-needed relief, but add to existing policy distortions. Controls on food prices and energy subsidies benefit the wealthy and draw government spending away from infrastructure, health and education. Lingering regulatory forbearance, aimed to ease lending through the pandemic, can trap resources in failing firms and divert capital from the most dynamic sectors or businesses.
“Policymakers face a tough tradeoff between tackling inflation and supporting economic recovery,” said World Bank East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Aaditya Mattoo. “Controls and subsidies muddy price signals and hurt productivity. Better policies for food, fuel, and finance would spur growth and insure against inflation.”
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