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Energy and Resources a leader in the importance of wellbeing

Wellbeing has been rated as the most important priority by global energy and resources (E&R) respondents to the latest Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, with 85 percent saying it is important or very important within their organisation. However, the industry is falling behind when it comes to redefining work to keep pace with the rapidly expanding foothold of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation in the workplace. Just 31 percent indicate a readiness to tackle these challenges, despite 76 percent recognising it as a priority.

Now in its sixth year, and surveying more than 11,000 HR and business leaders around the world, Human Capital Trends 2018: The rise of the social enterprise is the largest longitudinal survey of its kind.

Julie Harrison, Deloitte Australia Energy, Resources and Industrials Human Capital lead partner says: “With many in the E&R sector dealing with FIFO work arrangements, true globalisation and exploration, expansion taking place in developing countries, and diversity and inclusion issues, it is perhaps no surprise employers in the industry are investing in wellbeing programs to support employees and also deliver a greater productivity dividend.

“The rapid expansion of these programs is reflective of wellbeing, as both a social responsibility and a talent strategy, becoming increasingly important. Yet in many areas gaps remain between what employees value most and what E&R organisations are delivering through comprehensive wellbeing programs – only half say they are ready to deliver effectively in this space. Safety of course remains the core cultural and wellbeing construct across E&R.”

Harrison adds: “Interestingly, we see AI, Robotics and automation still rated relatively low by the industry, despite robotics in particular taking a significant foothold in the industry over the past 12 to 18 months. However, whilst many across the industry might be automating today’s processes, they won’t necessarily reap the real rewards available from redefining how work could be delivered in a fundamentally different way to drive greater productivity.”

The 10 human capital trends for 2018 (in order of importance to the E&R sector):


Wellbeing: a strategy and a responsibility

As the line between work and play continues to blur, employees are seeking benefits across a wide range of programs for physical, mental, financial and spiritual health. As noted above, wellbeing has been identified as the priority within the E&R industry.

People data: how far is too far? (data as opportunity & risk)

Organisations face a tipping point: develop a well-defined set of policies, security safeguards, transparency measures, and ongoing communication around the use of people data, or risk employee, customer and societal backlash. Encouragingly, two-thirds (65 percent) of E&R respondents say moderate to strong people data management policies are in place, however only a fifth (21 percent) are managing the potential impact on their consumer brand.

The Symphonic C-suite: teams leading teams

Rated first globally, and third by the E&R sector, this is the next stage in the ongoing evolution of leadership models, in which the organisation’s top executives play together as one team, while also leading their own functional teams, all in harmony, to drive more responsive, coordinated and agile organisations.

Harrison says: “Shortening business cycles, functional and organisational globalisation, increased M&A activity and new employee expectations are leading E&R executive teams to need to be global and local, visionary and responsive, and work in symphonic ways whilst enabling empowered employees to engage with the organisation through a variety of talent models.”

From careers to experiences: new pathways (21st century careers)

The concept of a career is evolving towards a model that empowers individuals to acquire valuable experiences, explore new roles and continually reinvent themselves. Despite traditional career models becoming defunct in the new world of work – 63 percent of E&R respondents indicate career paths in their organisation are not based on a traditional organisational hierarchy – the report found more than half of the business leaders surveyed in E&R (51 percent) have no programs in place to build the skills of the future.

Harrison says: “Whilst many E&R organisations recognise the Future of Work will bring about significant change, few have a clear understanding of what it really means for their organisation, talent models, and the way they develop their people. Reinvention within an organisation will be critical in the near future, and providing experiences, education, exposure, and the environment from which to learn and grow will have an impact on talent choosing to work with E&R organisations.”


Citizenship and social impact: society holds the mirror

An organisation’s track record on corporate citizenship and social impact now has a direct bearing on its core identity and strategy. Engagement with external stakeholders on topics such as diversity, gender pay equity, income inequality, immigration, social licence to operate, and climate change can lift financial performance and brand value, while failure to engage can destroy reputation, alienate key audiences and impact licence to operate within specific locations. Nearly half (47 percent) of E&R respondents said social responsibility is not well-developed or invested in, however, more than half (53 percent) said it is either high or top of their list of strategies. E&R companies are ahead of the global responses in this area.

The hyper-connected workplace: will productivity reign?

As communication tools like instant messaging and social media migrate from personal life to the workplace, the challenge for organisations is to ensure they actually improve organisational, team and individual performance and promote the necessary collaboration for the organisation to truly become a social enterprise. 49 percent of E&R respondents say they expect face-to-face meetings and phone calls (27 percent) will decrease in the near future. To replace them, 63 percent predict an increase in instant messaging and 67 percent an increase in online collaboration platforms.

Harrison says: “Given the global nature of many E&R organisations or the remoteness of their workforces, E&R organisations need to find engaging ways of delivering virtual team meetings and workshops through the use of current technologies to increase collaboration and engagement.”


AI, robotics and automation: putting humans in the loop

As noted above, while E&R respondents see AI, robotics, and automation as important, only a third feel ready to navigate associated changes. Leading organisations recognise that to gain maximum value from new technologies they need to find ways for humans to work alongside robots – reconstructing work, retraining people and rearranging the organisation. The greatest opportunity is not just to redesign jobs or automate routine work, but to fundamentally re-think ‘how work works’ to benefit employers, teams and individuals. Only 6 percent of E&R respondents say they are currently doing this.

New rewards: personalised, agile and holistic

Employees are increasingly asking for more personalised, agile and holistic rewards, including a focus on fair and open pay (e.g. the UK recently introduced gender pay gap reporting). There’s a long way to go – only 4 percent of E&R respondents say they offer personalised reward programs.

Harrison says: “Choice and flexibility are the key in this space and finding ways to provide more choice within a framework might be a positive contribution to attract and retain people within the E&R sector.”


The longevity dividend: work in an era of 100-year lives

Forward-thinking organisations see extended longevity and population ageing as an opportunity to retain or employ highly skilled workers. Currently 19 percent of E&R respondents say they are partnering with older workers to develop new career models that leverage their expertise, considerably more than the 8 percent of all the Australian respondents who say they are doing this.

Harrison says: “This ‘silver lining’ in E&R could be used to partner with young graduates in areas such as mechatronics or data science to help them rapidly apply their skills in real life situations that would make a real difference to solving specific business problems, whilst also bringing the older workers up to speed with some of the more advanced and modern day skills available.”


The workforce ecosystem: managing beyond the enterprise

Business needs strategies to engage, manage and retain an increasingly hybrid workforce. Over the next two years, 43 percent of E&R survey respondents expect a rise in contractors, 26 percent an increase in freelancers and 23 percent growth in gig workers.

Harrison says: “This shift in talent models will require new styles of work contracts, management skills and strategic workforce planning to ensure the right skills are available as and when needed within the organisation.”

About the 2018 Human Capital Trends Survey

The 2018 survey is Deloitte’s largest and most extensive to date, with input from more than 11,000 businesses and HR leaders around the world, including 952 from the global energy and resources industry. Respondents were from a broad cross section of industries, from public sector and financial services to technology, media and telecommunications and energy and resources.

For further information

View the full global 2018 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, via the interactive app here.

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