Adapting to new ways of working helps with talent war, report finds

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The recently released Deloitte Africa report says companies need to reimagine work.

Companies, including those in South Africa, need to adopt a skills-based approach in order to attract, manage, upskill and retain quality talent as well as using data to better predict employee behaviour.

This is according to the recently released 12th edition Global 2023 Human Capital Trends Report from Deloitte Africa.


The report, which is based on a survey conducted among 10,000 professionals across 105 countries, including South Africa, said organisations need to adopt a skills-based approach as opposed to formal job boundaries.

Sibongile Mogale, director and human capital offering leader at Deloitte Africa, said results indicated that a growing number of organisations are beginning to imagine work outside of the job – turning workforce management on its head by increasingly basing work and workforce decisions on skills, not formal job definitions, titles, or degrees.

“Digital transformation brings about jobs that did not exist years before and as technology continues to evolve, new skills are required. Therefore, new skills require the development of Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) that cater to skills evolution,” she said.


Furthermore, 79% of business leaders interviewed agree that the organisation has a responsibility to create value for workers as human beings and society. Organisations and leaders, said Sibongile, should work together to co-create the reimagined ways of working, and the relationships that need to exist in a future without boundaries.


“Workforce evolution requires skills development and the implementation of digital transformation within businesses – a concept that has been around for years, however some organisations still struggle with embracing this new world of technology and borderless engagement and operations,” she noted. .

She added that further findings showed only 19% of business executives and 23% of workers say work is best structured through jobs and as such, organisations need to adopt a skills-based approach as opposed to formal job boundaries. “As businesses evolve, the workforce needs to evolve with it to successfully execute the business vision and new blueprint. Issues such as digital transformation introduce jobs that did not exist years before and as technology continues to evolve, new skills are required.”

The report recommends that leaders should embrace humility and empathy, exercise trust, and master the art of letting go in order to effectively manage talent. “To be successful in this regard will also require leaders to take the time to understand the different people in their teams to optimise effective management,” said the report.

Data-driven decisions

The report also highlighted that companies are still not using technology and data to better predict employee behaviour. The survey found that more than 90% of surveyed business leaders believe that using such technology to improve work outcomes and team performance is very important or important to their organisation’s success. Yet only 22% believe their organisations are very ready to use technology to improve work outcomes and team performance.

Data when used effectively, said Sibongile, can be used to analyse trends and predict behaviour in areas such as anticipated absenteeism due to sick leave at specific times of the year, as well as working hours which can be used to decide the optimum time to allocate work for teams. “Employee data, when understood and used effectively, enables organisations to analyse internal trends and benchmark themselves against competitors and industries at large,” she noted.

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