Pulse Check: 5 minutes with Erica Volini and Art Mazor

We asked Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Erica Volini, US Human Capital leader, and Art Mazor, Human Capital digital leader and global practice leader for HR Strategy & Employee Experience, for their quick take on the current state of work, the workforce, and HR.

1 – What are some of the most significant forces reshaping workforce management practices?

EV: Disruptive forces are sharply changing how we live and how we work, driving a new future of business, the workforce, and work itself. More than ever before, society expects more of businesses and individuals in terms of having a powerful influence on their communities. The way we work is changing at an unprecedented pace through digitalization. People are working longer than ever—many more than 40 years—side-by-side in the workplace, with a blend of wants and expectations. Workers are showing significant interest in shifting their relationships with employers from traditional, full-time roles to a variety of options that match their individual needs.


2 – What are the top concerns of today’s Chief HR Officers?

EV: CHROs—and their senior executive peers—are concerned about a broad spectrum of focus areas to advance their enterprises, as Deloitte Consulting’s latest Global Human Capital Trends study highlighted this year. Three of the top focuses are:

  • Becoming a social enterprise that is alert enough to sense, and responsive enough to accommodate, the gamut of stakeholder expectations and demands.
  • Navigating the future of work by leveraging open talent workforces to meet the organization’s changing needs, upskilling/reskilling workers through experiences rather than traditional career paths, personalizing rewards, and embracing the power of digital automation.
  • Fostering a symphonic C-suite to shift the CxO team from behaving as independent leaders to operating as a well-orchestrated team.



3 – What are some of the most notable short-term drivers of change affecting HR functions?

AM: A host of short-term pressures challenge HR to develop innovative people solutions for a complex, dynamic, and unpredictable world, including:

  • Continuous pressure to drive business value while remaining efficient
  • Low unemployment and accessing the right talent across the workforce
  • Geopolitical pressures impacting cross-border workforce mobility
  • A shorter timeline to skills obsolescence, requiring greater demands for growing and refreshing the workforce’s capabilities at a fast pace by making educated bets on the skills needed for an enterprise’s future
  • Massive shifts in worker preferences toward off-balance-sheet relationships with employers



4 – From a global perspective, how do the HR-related challenges/conditions that US companies face compare to the challenges faced by companies in other regions?

AM: Our 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report shows that human capital challenges around the world are far more similar than different. Companies that operate globally with headquarters in the US must understand and adapt to the societal and political expectations specific to each of their operating markets. Our experience and research confirms that companies headquartered and operating across regions globally are focused on growing new skills among their workforce to compete in today’s fast-paced, always-on, digital-everywhere world. Our clients are intensely focused on creating a Simply Irresistible workforce experience regardless of their geographic headquarters because they recognize that a positive experience for their workers is a direct driver of performance in both customer delight and positive business results.


5 – What kinds of challenges are CHROs and their teams seeking help to address?

EV: The organizations we work with are savvy and they understand the human capital implications of the disruptive forces. As a result, they seek our collaboration to: grow leadership and worker capabilities; create a Simply Irresistible organization through redefining the workforce experience; define workforce and HR strategies; activate digitally; transform how HR works; automate and redefine how work gets done; and drive sustained adoption of change. Additionally, our clients seek research-based insights garnered through our BersinTM membership.

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