Research Insights

The Social Enterprise in a World Disrupted

Leading the shift from survive to thrive
Deloitte Human Capital
Erica Volini | Jeff Schwartz | Kraig Eaton
Making the shift from “survive to thrive” depends on an organization becoming distinctly human at its core—a different way of being that approaches every question, every issue, and every decision from a human angle first.

IN 2020, COVID-19 forced organizations around the world to enact radically new ways of working and operating amid the pandemic’s human and economic impacts. Organizations had to respond to a sudden, unforeseen crisis whose rapidly changing nature confounded efforts to predict and plan for events. The pandemic brought into sharp relief the pitfalls of strategies that envision moving from point A to point B on a static path, and that assume that one has years, not months or weeks, in which to rethink outdated views and establish a new set of truths. As we all learned the hard way, in an environment that can shift from moment to moment, the paths and time frames to achieving one’s goals must shift as well.

Having a plan to deal with the unexpected, as important as it is, isn’t all organizations need in such an environment. Even more necessary is to make a fundamental mindset shift: from a focus on surviving to the pursuit of thriving.

In this report, we explore the journey from survive to thrive through the lens of five of our 2020 Global Human Capital Trends:

Designing work for well-being: The end of work/life balance

The Trend: Organizations are taking well-being beyond work/life balance by starting to design well-being into work—and life—itself.

Surviving: Supporting well-being through programs adjacent to work.

Thriving: Integrating well-being into work through thoughtful work design.

Beyond reskilling: Unleashing worker potential

The Trend: Organizations need a workforce development approach that considers both the dynamic nature of work and the equally dynamic potential of workers to reinvent themselves.

Surviving: Pushing training to workers from the top down, assuming the organization knows best what skills workers need.

Thriving: Empowering workers with agency and choice over what work they do, unleashing their potential by allowing them to apply their interests and passions to organizational needs.

Superteams: Where work happens

The Trend: COVID-19 has taught organizations that teams are even more important to thriving amid constant disruption than they might have thought before.

Surviving: Using technology as a tool to make teams more efficient.

Thriving: Integrating humans and technology into superteams that use their complementary capabilities to re-architect work in more human ways.

Governing workforce strategies: Setting new directions for work and the workforce

The Trend: Organizations are looking for forward-facing insights about their workforce that can help them quickly pivot and set new directions in the face of uncertainty.

Surviving: Using metrics and measurements that describe the workforce’s current state.

Thriving: Accessing and acting on real-time workforce insights that can support better, faster decisions based on an understanding of what the workforce is capable of in the future.

A memo to HR: Accelerating the shift to re-architecting work

The Trend: Thanks to their handling of COVID-19’s challenges, HR organizations have earned the right to expand HR’s remit to re-architecting work throughout the enterprise.

Surviving: Having a functional mindset that focuses on optimizing and redesigning HR processes to manage the workforce.

Thriving: Embracing an enterprise mindset that prioritizes re-architecting work to capitalize on unique human strengths.

About the Authors

Erica Volini, Global Human Capital Leader

Erica Volini, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, is Deloitte’s Global Human Capital leader. In this role, she is focused on helping leaders solve their most complex and pressing human capital issues. In today’s world of constant disruption, those issues include everything from navigating the future of work to enabling the digital organization—all centered around how to optimize the intersection of the workforce and business performance. Throughout her 20+ year career, Erica has worked with some of the world’s leading organizations and is a frequent speaker on how market trends are impacting the HR organization and profession as a whole. Within Deloitte, she has served as a member of Deloitte Consulting’s Management Committee and Board of Directors. She has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Jeff Schwartz, Principal, Future of Work Leader

Jeff Schwartz, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, is the US leader for the Future of Work and author of Work Disrupted. Schwartz is an adviser to senior business leaders at global companies focusing on workforce and business transformation. He is the global editor of the Deloitte “Global Human Capital Trends” report series, which he started in 2011.

Kraig Eaton, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

JKraig is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP's US Human Capital service area, specifically Deloitte’s HR Transformation practice where Kraig leads our HR Operational Excellence offering. Kraig has more than 22 years of experience working with senior business and HR executives to transform their HR strategy and capabilities to better support the business goals of the organization. Client engagements span the full end to end scope of HR services, ranging from the development of an organization’s HR and Talent strategies and operating models, through the implementation of those strategies, models and enabling technologies. Specific areas of deep expertise include: HR strategy development, global process design, global service delivery and shared services implementations, and HRIT software selections. Kraig’s experiences have focused on large, complex global organizations across industries. Kraig graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Studies.

Publish Date

December 2020