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Trust and human sustainability: the 2024 top human capital trends

February 28, 2024

With one eye on the most pressing issues for organizations, leaders and workers, Deloitte’s new report, “Thriving Beyond Boundaries: Human Performance in a Boundaryless World,” identifies seven trends that showcase how a combination of business and human outcomes plays a role in organizational success. The 2024 analysis reveals that organizations making meaningful progress on these key issues are nearly twice as likely to achieve desired business and human outcomes.

According to the study, prioritizing human sustainability — the degree to which an organization creates value for people as human beings, leaving them with greater well-being, employability and equity — can drive better outcomes for humans and businesses. The interaction of these outcomes leads to human performance, a measure that reflects the expectations of today’s workers and the rapidly shifting marketplace:

  • While 89% of executives say their organization is advancing human sustainability in some capacity, only 41% of workers say the same.
  • Less than half (43%) of workers say their organizations have left them better off than when they started. Workers identified increasing work stress and the threat of technology taking over jobs as the top challenges to organizations embracing human sustainability.

“Given work’s current dynamic, cross-functional, and less quantifiable nature, traditional productivity metrics like hours worked and time on tasks may be inadequate to capture human performance. Technology and data collection advancements are leading to more meaningful metrics for organizations. As data increases, organizations may have to consider what information should be transparent to their workers,” the report says.

  • Half (53%) of respondents agree that their organization is in the early phases of identifying better ways to measure worker performance and value, and only 8% say their organizations are leading in this area.
  • Organizations that build workers’ trust in transparent data practices stand to benefit: When workers are confident that their organization is using their data responsibly, they are 35% more likely to trust the business, but only 37% say they are very confident their organization is using data in a highly responsible way.

“Bridging the gap from knowing to doing”

This year’s research also includes several trends that focus on how organizations can evolve their mindsets and approaches to meet new challenges, such as the rapid advances of artificial intelligence (AI) and Generative AI, which are putting a spotlight on the importance of workers honing their enduring human capabilities like curiosity and empathy to spark imagination.

“As technology and cultural shifts reshape work and the workplace, it’s our human capabilities and outcomes that remain at the heart of growth and innovation. Leaders, many of whom are already aware of this, should now turn this understanding into actionable strategies,” said Dan Helfrich, chair and chief executive officer at Deloitte.

“Collaboration between humans and technology is a new frontier for work. Leading organizations exploring this interplay are encouraging their workers’ creativity and curiosity. By empowering employees to experiment with new tools and allowing them to explore how these technologies can be additive to their work, we can drive better business outcomes faster. This dynamic will propel businesses and their people into a tech-enabled future,” Ramona Yan, Asia Pacific human capital leader and partner, concluded.

Source: Deloitte Insights