Top Concerns for South African Millennials
Why expatriates choose South Africa

Deloitte has released its Human Capital Trends report for South Africa from 2017. The Global Human Capital survey measures both the importance of critical trends and issues, as well as an organisation’s perceived readiness to address the challenge. It labels the difference between the importance and readiness for specific trends the “capability gap”– a measure of how prepared organisations are to respond to the most urgent human capital issues.  The theme for the 2017 report was “Rewriting the rules for the digital age,” to centre the importance and need for change and adaptation in our quickly changing world. The report plots out the major trends in South Africa, and how businesses can effectively harness these trends.

The top five Human Capital trends for South Africa in order of importance for 2017 are:

  1. Organisation of the Future (83%)
  2. Employee Experience (83%)
  3. Talent Acquisition (81%)
  4. Careers and Learning (81%)
  5. Diversity and Inclusion (80%)
  6. Performance Management (80%)
  7. Leadership (76%)
  8. Digital HR (74%)
  9. People Analytics (71%)
  10. The Augmented workforce (64%)

Discussion of report results:

Overall, the report argues that “The problem is not simply one of reskilling or planning new and better careers. Instead, organisations must look at leadership, structures, diversity, technology, and the overall employee experience in new and exciting ways”.

Because businesses today do not operate the same way they did 10 years ago, organization of the future has become increasingly important. A lack of organization can greatly hinder a business. The Global report explains, “Despite the need for change, many organisations continue to operate according to industrial-age models, weighed down by legacy structures, practices, systems, and behaviours that must be confronted and discarded before true change can take hold”. Importantly, while 83% of executives mark this organization of the future as highly important, 68% are not ready for it. The report suggests that businesses create conditions for flexible teams, embrace the speed of change and identify and develop new skills for leaders.

Employee experience centre’s the importance of a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience. Culture and engagement are essential to this. While 83% mark this as second most important, 59% are not ready. According to the report, many South African companies do not have a comprehensive culture and employee experience strategy in place and those that have such a strategy in place are not updating it regularly to keep pace with employees’ needs. There is thus a need to prioritise employee engagement and develop and integral employee experience.

At 81%, talent acquisition is the third most important concern for South African executives. However, 57% are not ready for it. The report suggests businesses prepare by creating a millennial employee strategy and a compelling candidate experience, and to integrate talent sourcing channels.

New learning models challenge the idea of a static career and reflect the declining half-life of skills critical to the 21st-century organisation. Careers and learning are thus integral to the new workplace. While 81% mark this as highly important, 58% are not prepared. To combat this, the report suggests a greater responsibility for skills development, development of people for productivity and not only compliance, and an evaluation of internal mobility.

Diversity and inclusion has featured in the top 5 of the report for the past 3 years, revealing its importance within a South African context. The digital organisation of today, which operates as a network of teams, thrives on empowerment, open dialogue, and inclusive working styles. 80% of those surveyed mark it as highly important, but 50% are not ready. As solutions, the report suggests development of new policy and work culture, an understandable and accountable leadership, and for businesses to embed key principles for D&I in key HR processes.

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Top Concerns for South African Millennials
Why expatriates choose South Africa
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