Leadership, Engagement, Culture, and Learning Top Global Trends SurveyDeloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified the top ten organizational issues through surveys and interviews with more than 7,000 business and HR leaders from 130 countries. Other than using the dehumanizing phrase “human capital” (treating people as breathing assets with skin, things, or “head count“), this report provides strong research on what’s needed to build stronger people and stronger organizations.

Here’s a brief summary of the top five trends:

  • Organizational design – over 80% of respondents are currently restructuring or have just restructured their organizations. The shift is toward highly empowered teams driven by networks of internal and external talent to keep pace with a fluid, unpredictable world.
  • Leadership awakened – 89% see leadership as important or very important while 28% reported weak or very weak leadership pipelines. “High-performing companies outspend their competitors on leadership by almost four times. Not only do they spend more, they spend smarter.”
  • Culture – 82% believe culture is a competitive advantage. “Only 28 percent of survey respondents believe they understand their culture well, while only 19 percent believe they have the ‘right culture.'” “The CEO and executive team should take responsibility for an organization’s culture.”
  • Engagement – employees are looking for more flexibility, creativity, and purpose. They want their leaders to be empowering, supportive, and open. “Employees value ‘culture’ and ‘career growth’ at almost twice the rate at which they value ‘compensation and benefits’ when selecting an employer.”
  • Learning – more than 84% view learning as important or very important. Everyone expects dynamic, self-directed, and continuous learning. “Many learning and development organizations are still struggling with internally focused and outdated platforms and static learning approaches.”

We’re seeing these trends at the top of our Client’s lists driving the improvements they’re aiming for. If I had to boil down our decades of experience the top five failure factors on why most change programs and improvement initiatives fail it points directly at the senior leadership team. As I outlined in my webinar, Executive Team Building and Culture Development, no organization can exceed the effectiveness of the team leading it.