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2020 global human capital trends

The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward

How can organizations remain distinctly human in a technology-driven world? This year’s Global Human Capital Trends report calls upon organizations to embrace three attributes—purpose, potential, and perspective—that characterize what it means to fuse people and technology to perform as a social enterprise at work.


This year’s report calls on c-suite leaders to humanize the world of work by addressing one of the biggest challenges facing enterprises today—can organizations remain distinctly human in a technology-driven world?

In light of the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19, the future of work has become a reality before our eyes—in real time. Over the past several months, leaders have been forced into action—compelled to make swift, bold choices in an effort to soften the shockwaves that have been felt across industries and ecosystems around the globe. Some of the results have been inspiring, with many leaders mobilizing at rates previously unimaginable to blend people and technology through virtual and remote work, and challenge previous thinking about how, where, and when work can be done effectively.

What’s next is critical: As organizations look to stage the return to work, they will have a unique opportunity to reimagine work itself—drawing on the lessons, practices, and goodwill built during accelerated crisis response. Will organizations embrace the possibility that lies ahead? Or will they try to return to old ways of working and risk quickly falling behind?

Deloitte’s 2020 Global Human Capital Trends offer organizational leaders a sustainable path forward to help them fundamentally recode their DNA for the future by embedding three attributes into the organization’s core: purpose, potential, and perspective.

  • Organizations that embrace purpose embed meaning into every aspect of work every day, optimizing the power of individuals by harnessing workers’ complementary strengths in the service of a common goal
  • Organizations that embrace potential are designed and organized to maximize what humans are capable of thinking, creating, and doing in a world of machines, increasing their people’s potential for long-term success in work
  • Organizations that embrace perspective view uncertainty as offering possibilities rather than threats, positioning themselves to take decisive action to shape an unknown future

By embracing these attributes, organizations have the power put the social enterprise to work in 2020 and shape the decade ahead.

This year’s report, the 10th annual, is the world’s largest longitudinal study of HR, talent, and related topics ever conducted. It draws on the insights of nearly 9,000 survey respondents from 119 countries and includes actionable strategies and stories from organizations that are at the forefront of putting the social enterprise to work.

Returning to work in the future of work: 


Embracing purpose, potential, perspective, and possibility during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic drives profound societal and organizational shifts, leaders have the opportunity to return to work by designing the future of work, building on the lessons and practices their organizations executed during the crisis.

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