Skip to main content

Human Capital Trends Survey 2020: An Irish perspective

The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward

Human Capital Trends Report 2020

Click to view

The future of work after COVID-19

Click to read

In response to Covid-19, the Irish government has shut almost all businesses across the island, closing the economy and society at large for the first time in our history. The lockdown in Ireland has caused a large-scale move to remote work. Along with the rest of the world, the way which Irish people work and live was changed almost overnight, in ways that stress-tested our ability to fuse people and technology in an unprecedented business environment. However, The Human Capital Trends report offers a solution to the challenges Irish businesses are facing by shining light on the unique opportunity that the crisis has presented for organisations willing to adapt to meaningful change.

2020 Theme

For the 10th anniversary of the Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte explores what the Social Enterprise at Work paradox is, how it impacts organisations and the individuals within it. We challenge the view that technology and humanity are distinct domains, or fundamentally at odds with each other. Undoubtedly, this pandemic has changed our relationship with technology. We are using technology to connect us to each other and negate some of the challenges we face in connecting with our customers and our teams. The value of the social enterprise lies in its ability to bring a human focus to everything it touches, empowering Irish people and organisations to work productively with technology to prevail against this pandemic.

Three Key Attributes

As the scale and nature of this pandemic continues to disrupt, the key attributes that Irish businesses should embody in order to succeed and emerge stronger from the crisis are;


An organisation that doesn’t just talk about purpose, but embeds meaning into every aspect of work every day. This global crisis has reminded us that people are motivated at the highest levels when they can connect their work contributions to a greater purpose and mission. Irish organisations should consider each element of their purpose in more detail than ever before and be committed to activating it. In such an environment, prudence in planning is critical, however organisations will find a way through these changes by living their purpose, supporting their customers and clients, their people, their community and the planet we live in in a whole new way. To put this into practice, and to ensure that businesses and their people can navigate these uncertain times safely, a strong emphasis on designing work for well-being is highlighted. Now is the time to embed every aspect of well-being into the design of work, bringing your organisation’s purpose to life.


An organisation that is designed and organised to maximise what humans are capable of thinking, creating, and doing in a world of machines. Organisation’s have the opportunity to capitalize on the current situation by cultivating and investing in their workforce resilience. While the skills gap in the Irish labour market has always been prevalent across a number of sectors, the pandemic has made this shortage more urgent. Organisations that employ workforce development strategies to not only reskill workers but also to build worker resilience will equip workers, and thus the organisation, with the capability, capacity, tools and strategies to adapt to our uncertain future. In a world where the only constant is change, supporting workers in reinventing themselves offers organisations a sustainable path forward as they aim to equip their workforces to the new ways of working in a global pandemic. The time to act is now.


An organisation that encourages and embraces a future orientation, asking not just how to optimise for today, but also how to create value tomorrow. Covid-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the need for access to future-oriented workforce data and insights in order to meet new demands. As uncertainty about the future of the workplace remains, organisations must start asking new questions in order to make bold decisions today. Our workbook for Post-COVID-19 recovery bridges the gap from responding to the crisis to preparing to thrive in a new normal, complimenting this attribute well.

As organisations shift into the next phase, they need to start thinking about how some short term solutions they had put in place during the respond phase will be sustained through the recovery phase and towards the thrive phase. Deloitte’s trend report offers a path forward, by focusing on the core attributes that businesses need to embrace and embed into their DNA moving forward in today’s climate.

Explore Human Capital trends from previous years:

2019 Irish Human Capital Trends Survey report

2018 Irish Human Capital Trends Survey report

2017 Irish Human Capital Trends Survey report

2016 Irish Human Capital Trends Survey report

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey