As we think about the future of work, a key question is “who can do the work?” Talent models are changing, and while some work will likely be done by robots and other forms of artificial intelligence, organizations must think more creatively around how humans with different, diverse backgrounds will continue to help build and grow the organizations of tomorrow. How well is your organization tapping into multiple talent pools for your future workforce? And how does your workforce reflect your organization’s role and goals as a social enterprise?
Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report contends that, to create value as a social enterprise in today’s dynamic and demanding environment, organizations must reinvent themselves—with a human focus—on three fronts: the workforce, the organization, and HR. In workforce terms, this reinvention process involves reimagining and recomposing the workforce to leverage the full range of traditional and alternative work arrangements as well as diverse, multigenerational workers. It also involves expanding thinking about the employee experience to encompass the human experience at work, striving to become a social enterprise, and the need for people to find meaning in their work.
While many employers have thought intentionally about hiring to meet future needs, there is an opportunity for more organizations to think about how their talent, career, and learning models can be adjusted to leverage new pools of talent. One growing talent pool being leveraged by organizations around the globe is the world’s more than 25.4 million refugees, the focus of a recent report by Deloitte and Tent Partnership for Refugees examining how organizations can successfully foster inclusion for refugees in the workforce.
Unlocking the potential value of refugee employees
Tent is a nonprofit organization that works closely with businesses to help them identify and act on opportunities to support refugees around the world. Deloitte collaborated with Tent to create A new home at work: An employer’s guide to fostering inclusion for refugees in the workplace, built on almost 100 interviews with refugees, business leaders and talent-matching organizations. The report focuses on how organizations can support refugee employees after they extend a job offer—starting with preboarding and onboarding—and throughout their employment, using core human capital principles of diversity & inclusion, employee experience, and other elements of workforce transformation.
The secret of success? It’s not a secret as much as a key ingredient. To help create value for refugee employees and organization, employers should focus on fostering inclusion in a way which leverages existing programs and makes them accessible for new pools of talent. Specifically, the guide highlights six key areas for employers to focus refugee inclusion initiatives across the employee life cycle:
- Preboarding and onboarding
- Employee and team readiness
- Language translation and development
- Learning and growth
- Flexibility and well-being
There are likely familiar topics. They apply broadly across many different types of workers as organizations think about standard talent processes and employee experience in the future of work. The guide tailors them to help employers tweak and customize programs for the refugee employee talent pool, offering practical ways for organizations to implement each initiative and providing real-life examples from companies in a variety of industries. It also outlines action-oriented guidance to help organizations tailor their inclusion efforts to the unique context of their own workplace and employees.
Stretching to meet the future
Why might organizations want to stretch their thinking on how they foster inclusion for their employees to include refugees? The future of work is not like the past. Employers can’t expect to keep doing what they have always done in terms of accessing, curating, and engaging the workforce they need to meet current and future needs. This year’s Trends report suggests that organizations should prepare for the future by “zooming out”—looking out 10 years to consider where they want the organization to be—and “zooming in” to identify key, short-term (6- to 12-month) initiatives to help them arrive at the desired destination. As you think about your organization’s desired future, what is your plan for the people who will make it happen? How may your workforce change and what does that mean for your organization?
Fostering inclusion for the refugees in the workplace can further business outcomes. Inclusion of diverse perspectives, skills and experiences can increase productivity and innovation across the entire organization and support stronger overall team performance and team collaboration. Fostering inclusion for refugee employees—and more broadly, for all types of talent pools—is a new frontier in the future of work, as organizations should start thinking proactively of how to build and grow the workforces of tomorrow.
Explore the Guide to consider the possibilities for how your organization can zoom in on ways to successfully foster inclusion for refugees.
1 Tent Partnership for Refugees, “U.S. employers’ guide to hiring refugees,” January 2018.
2 Deborah L. DeHaas, Brent Bachus, and Eliza Horn, Unleashing the power of inclusion, Deloitte, 2017; Juliet Bourke and Bernadette Dillon, “The diversity and inclusion revolution: Eight powerful truths,” Deloitte Review 22, January 22, 2018; Erik Larson, “New research: Diversity + inclusion = better decision making at work,” Forbes, September 21, 2017
3 Bourke and Dillon, “The diversity and inclusion revolution.”