Delivering On The New HR Mandate

Estelle Lagorce

HR has had a bad press in recent years: too bureaucratic, too administrative, not innovative enough. Indeed, Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report concluded that HR needed an “extreme makeover.” As powerful forces continue to cause disruption to businesses and workforces, HR organizations need to transform to survive and thrive.

Today’s business leaders have very different expectations. HR should be driving innovative talent solutions, improving alignment with business imperatives, and turning data into actionable insights. The good news is that the 2016 Deloitte survey suggests that HR is turning the corner. In this post, the latest in a series of blogs, we focus on another of the key trends driving HR transformation: the growing momentum as HR delivers its new mandate.

Turn disruption into opportunities

“Every single industry is being disrupted; that’s the theme that resonates through the report,” says Erica Volini, leader of Deloitte Consulting LLP’s HR Transformation Practice. “There’s a real opportunity for HR to use this report to change the dialog and make it about what’s happening in the business and ideas to move forward.”

More HR organizations seem to be grabbing this opportunity. The percentage of respondents rating HR’s performance as “good” to “excellent” has been trending upwards over the past few years (see figure 1) as it starts to become a true business partner and fulfill its new role as steward and champion of the total employee experience.

Transform HR Figure1 HR Rated Performance

Figure 1: HR’s rated performance has steadily improved over the past few years

Several improvements underpin this upward curve. HR organizations’ readiness to deal with employee engagement and culture rose by 13% this year, their readiness in analytics jumped by 11%, and their readiness to address leadership development went up by 14%. Innovation is improving (up from 56% in 2015 to 60% in 2016) and HR is embedding itself in the business more effectively, with 64% rating themselves positively in 2016 compared to 58% last year. New roles such as “chief culture officer” and “chief employee experience officer” reflect HR’s new business innovation mandate.

These improvements are essential as today’s high impact HR organization evolves from its traditional compliance and service provider status to a more business-oriented consultant role that needs new skills and innovative new ways of thinking about HR.

But as the Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report notes, the HR transformation is far from complete: “While companies may look at this progress and take their feet off the accelerator, this is no time to slow down. Only 17% of HR teams report that they have a very good understanding of their company’s products and profit models; a mere 14% believe they are highly skilled at addressing global HR and talent issues; and only 8% have a very good understanding of cybersecurity issues.”  

Learn more

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 is one of the largest global surveys of its kind, with 7,000 HR and non-HR respondents covering a wide range of industries across 130 countries. To find out more about HR transformation trends, priorities, and practices:


Estelle Lagorce

About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is the Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).