Jan 20, 2021

Deloitte: From survive to thrive with a human touch

Janet Brice
3 min
Organisations that use disruption to harness human qualities will not just survive but thrive in the future, according to Deloitte
Organisations that use disruption to harness human qualities will not just survive but thrive in the future, according to Deloitte...

In a world in which Artificial Intelligence (AI), robots and drones are taking centre-stage, Deloitte points out the human touch is essential for organisations making the shift from survive to thrive mode in the post-COVID-19 business world.

“It’s our view that the shift from survive to thrive depends on an organisation becoming - and remaining - distinctly human at its core,” comment Deloitte in a new report, The social enterprise in a world disrupted .

“This is not just a different way of thinking and acting. It’s a different way of being, one that approaches every question, every issue, and every decision from a human angle first. And it’s not just a good idea, but a mandate for growth. 

“Today’s environment of extreme dynamism calls for a degree of courage, judgment, and flexibility that only humans and teams led by humans can bring. A predictable world can be effectively dealt with by algorithms and equations. A messy world cannot, even in an age of increasingly intelligent machines,” states the report.

According to Deloitte, for an organisation to combine revenue growth and profit-making with respect and support for its environment and stakeholder network, it needs to ground itself in the following set of human principles: 

  • Purpose and meaning
  • Ethics and fairness
  • Growth and passion 
  • Collaboration and relationships
  • Transparency and openness

“The human focus these principles bring to an organisation is what puts the social enterprise in a position to thrive - to continually reinvent itself on the back of perpetual disruption,” says Deloitte.

How prepared are you?

Deloitte surveyed 6,000 professionals across every industry and region in 99 countries and, for the first time in the survey’s 11 years, business executives outnumbered HR executives, underscoring the importance they placed on human capital issues in the COVID-19 crisis. 

A total of 15 per cent of executives said who said their organisation was “very prepared” for the pandemic were twice as likely to use technology to transform work and nearly three times more ready to leverage worker adaptability to navigate future disruptions.

“While it may not be obvious, these last findings highlight that organisational preparedness hinges on the ability to bring human strengths such as decision-making and adaptability to the fore, not just during a point-in-time crisis, but continually. 

“It means perpetually cultivating resilience, courage, judgment, and flexibility in order to navigate a turbulent reality. And it means taking the creativity unleashed by the need to survive a crisis - the creativity that is a hallmark of being human - and using it to reinvent the organisation and its future,” comments Deloitte.

How to harness human capital

In a bid to elevate the ‘human’ in human capital Deloitte refer to five topics in their 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report which explore how organisations can harness human strengths to make a company thrive. 

  1. Integrating workers’ physical, mental, financial, and social health into the design of work itself rather than addressing well-being with adjacent programs.
  2. Capitalising on worker agency and choice as the means to drive learning, adaptability, and impact.
  3. Creating teams and superteams that use technology to enhance natural human ways of working.
  4. Developing and acting on forward-looking insights using real-time data to harness workforce potential.
  5. Shifting HR’s role from standardizing and enforcing workforce policies to a new responsibility of re-architecting work across the enterprise.

“Organisations that use disruption as an opportunity to embody human qualities will enable them to thrive through disruption. Organisations that do not will quickly fall behind,” concludes Deloitte.

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Jun 20, 2021

5 Ways Leaders Can Create a Healthy Workplace Culture

5 min
As the world embraces Men’s Health Week, five experts advise how leaders can create a healthy workplace culture for employees

This week (14th-20th June 2021) is Men’s Health Week. Physical and mental well-being have been important considerations for leaders over the past year, and it is essential this focus is maintained as we build back for the future. Here we have asked 5 experts for practical tips leaders can implement to create healthy workplace cultures.


Know the early signs of burnout 

Recently it was reported by the BBC that burnout for health and social care staff had reached emergency levels. 

Monkey Puzzle Training Co-Founder Karen Meager has studied the burnout recovery process in partnership with Coventry University: “The past year has seen people suffer from job-loss worries, work from home challenges, isolation, and feeling overworked. These are continuing, and all have the potential to contribute towards burnout. Healthcare workers, executives, leaders, managers and small business owners will continue to be the top people to suffer from extreme burnout.”

“At the onset of burnout, people commonly enter a phase of denial. So leaders need to be aware of those who are reluctant to take their time off, are compelled to work all hours, or have changes in their behaviour or mood, as these can all be indications of burnout taking hold. Encouraging them to take a burnout self-test provides a starting point to supporting these employees through recovery, as is role modelling healthy sustainable ways of working.Karen suggests.


Encourage professional self-reflection 

Creating an environment that encourages self-reflection is an effective tool for promoting personal development. Journaling may not be something you instantly think of for professional development; however, it is a successful technique for adults to aid mindfulness and productivity. “Journaling is a form of self-expression that can empower you to understand your feelings and ambitions and how to deal with them, therefore promoting positive well-being and a healthy workplace culture,” describes Elisa Nardi, founder of Notebook Mentor


Just 15-20 minutes of journaling a day over the course of four months are enough to lessen the impact of physical stressors on your health,” explains Elisa. “It can also inspire creativity, aid your memory, and help set actionable goals. It is an underused tool that can help employees manage tricky workplace situations such as conflict, illness or new leadership roles.


Manage your stress and resilience too

As a leader or manager, often, your complete focus is on the business or protecting your team, but you cannot pour from an empty cup. Leaders should also have strategies in place to manage their own stress, so they can sustain high levels of positive energy throughout the day. “Fueled by a burning desire for success, I ignored all the warning signs of exhaustion, which eventually took its toll on me - I literally collapsed from stress, and I didn’t even see it coming.” reflects Sascha Heinemann, an expert in Performance Recovery and Stress Resilience.


“When leaders manage their energy, create healthy daily habits, and practice resilience, they are able to perform to their fullest capacity and to provide the best possible support for others.” 


“Taking a break every 90 minutes or so helps you to refuel, recharge, and re-energize and ultimately allows you to get more accomplished, in less time, at a higher level of quality, and more sustainably. This role model contributes dramatically to a healthier, more engaged, sustainable, and productive workplace culture," he adds.


Instil a sense of purpose for your team

The idea that success equals working 12-15 hour days and giving everything of yourself to your workplace continues to prevail in many organisations. This is not healthy, nor is it productive for anyone involved. “The healthiest and happiest workplace cultures are the ones that are organised around purpose.” describes business and life coach Anand Kulkarni. 


“Leaders should be giving meaning to the work they are doing within their business and beyond and sharing this purpose with their staff, rather than focusing on long hours, crippling workloads or someone else’s idea of ‘success’. When people understand why they are doing what they do and how this contributes to something greater, productivity and well-being is increased.” adds Anand. 


Promote well-being from the top down

Leaders need to act as role models if well-being is to become embedded at the very core of the organisation. It’s very unlikely that employees will start acting in a new way that puts their own needs first if the leadership team continues to behave in an entirely different manner.


‘Many organisations have worked hard in recent months to put new policies in place that better support well-being, promote hybrid working and attempt to set clear boundaries, but many leaders seem to assume that they are exempt from it all, that’s when it all falls over’, explains leadership experts Martin Boroson and Carmel Moore, from The One Moment Company. 


A recent ONS report into Homeworking in the UK revealed that people are on average working 6 hours extra per week, and many are working until late in the evening, indicating that the boundaries between work and life are more blurred than ever. 


Despite all of these wonderful opportunities for people to self-organise, if the leadership team continues to work in the office Monday to Friday, or are communicating at all hours, then it’s a clear indicator that hybrid working is simply a ‘bolt-on’ tactic rather than an integral part of the company’s approach to promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.’

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