Kristy Delaney

Kristy Delaney, Director with Deloitte Consulting.

Julie Harrison

Julie Harrison, Deloitte Consulting Partner.

By Julie Harrison and Kristy Delaney

THE WORKFORCE has changed! As the world’s population grows, the global workforce is getting older, leaders younger and more urbanised and in more remote locations – all at the same time.

Millennials (those in their 20s and 30s), projected to make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025, are reshaping talent markets with new expectations, and Baby Boomers are extending their working lives but looking to work in different ways.

Technology has transformed the way we work. Collaborative technologies make it possible for teams to work in remote geographies across the world, easily accessing experts within and outside the organisation.

So what does this global, highly connected, technology-savvy and more demanding workforce mean for organisations? How do operational and HR leaders respond to the challenge? How do you create and engage the 21st century workforce?

Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends report outlines 12 critical trends facing organisations and their ability to respond to the changing needs of a global workforce. The survey of 2,500 business and HR leaders across 94 countries highlights 12 critical human capital trends which are grouped into three broad strategic areas:
• Leadership – the need to broaden, deepen, and accelerate leadership development at all levels; build global workforce capabilities; re-energise corporate learning by putting employees in charge; and fix performance management
• Talent management – the need to develop innovative ways to attract, source, recruit, and access talent; drive passion and engagement in the workforce; use diversity and inclusion as a business strategy; and find ways to help the overwhelmed employee deal with the flood of information and distractions in the workplace
• Human resources management – the need to create a global HR platform that is robust and flexible enough to adapt to local needs; reskill HR teams; take advantage of cloud-based HR technology; and implement HR data analytics to achieve business goals.

Leadership; workforce capability; retention and engagement; reskilling the HR Function; and talent acquisition and access top the list for Australian oil and gas organisations,…and in this article we focus on the first two.

Leadership is THE No. 1 HR issue facing organisations – around the world and across all industries.

Companies face an urgent need to develop leaders at all levels—bringing younger leaders online faster, developing leaders globally who are agile and can succeed in both mature and emerging markets, and keeping senior leaders relevant and engaged for longer.

Resource companies cannot maintain their preference for leaders with ‘extensive industry experience’, nor rely on the expatriate talent market to bring critical capabilities to projects in new geographies. They need to invest early at every level and build their future leaders from the ground up.

Alignment between business strategy and leadership development is critical. Major capital projects need leaders who can drive delivery to a timeframe, whereas the transition to operations needs those who can drive efficiency and continuous improvement.

Ultimately, we need to set leaders up for success.

Companies now compete globally for increasingly scarce technical and professional skills, and those that succeed in building a global “supply chain” for skills will be positioned for future success and performance.

This is particularly so in the oil and gas sector, where many companies now have a global footprint and manage their functions and teams as global entities.

As operating environments continue to evolve and become more complex, skill requirements change and become obsolete more rapidly. Critical to addressing this is a global supply chain approach to workforce capability and development where organisations examine capabilities at all levels and forecast future skill needs and gaps based on the business strategy.

Overall, workforce and workplace change is significant, disruptive, and it is here today. Yet our research shows a significant gap between the urgency of the talent and leadership issues leaders face today and their organisations’ readiness to respond. On every critical issue, executives recognise the need to take action, but express reservations about their ability to deliver results.

Doing more of the same is not enough. Today companies need to manage people differently – and create the imperative to innovate, transform, and reengineer human capital practices.