Reinventing the Workforce to Achieve a Social Enterprise

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“In 2019, an intensifying combination of economic, social, and political issues is forcing HR and business leaders to learn to lead the social enterprise—and reinvent their organizations around a human focus.” So begins the introduction to Deloitte’s “2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report”. Forbes magazine says, “businesses today are entering a whole new paradigm for management: one which considers a business less as a “company” and more as an “institution,” integrated into the social fabric of society.” How can workforce management support the idea of “the Social Enterprise” to achieve increased success in today’s changing workforce environment?

Now more than ever before, workforce managers and HR professionals are awakened to the imperative meeting the rapidly evolving nature of employment, the employer/employee relationship and the broader implications of this relationship in the marketplace. In order to achieve this goal, workforce management experts advocate for adopting initiatives to the “social enterprise”. This calls for a heavy focus on “reinventing” the way labor practices are correlated to operational success. Here is some perspective on what this “reinvention” entails and how organizations are realizing the goal.

Experts clarify that leading a social enterprise is not the same as simply having a corporate social responsibility policy. Neither does it mean simply engaging in programs aimed at exerting a positive influence on society. Instead, leading a social enterprise is about recognizing that, “while businesses must generate a profit and deliver a return to shareholders, they must do so while also improving the lot of workers, customers and the communities in which we live.”

Deloitte’s report goes on to highlight “Reinvention Benchmarks” which organizations must meet if they are to succeed at reinventing the social enterprise. These are:

Purpose and Meaning – Moving beyond profit to focus on acting in affirmative ways, positively affecting workers, customers and society.

Ethics and Fairness – Leveraging data and technology systems ethically, thereby creating jobs and systems ensuring business decisions are made fairly for workers, customers and communities.

Growth and Passion – Designing roles and missions that nurture passion and personal growth.

Collaboration and Personal Relationships – Building teams focusing on personal relationships and moving past digitalization initiatives to build more and better human connections at work.

Transparency and Openness – Supporting the open sharing of information to address challenges and mistakes, while helping manage resources with a growth mindset.

Applied to human capital management and contingent labor practices, these benchmarks provide a roadmap helping employers to “create 21st century careers, improve the relevance of reward systems, focus on employee well-being, and address the issue of longevity in the workforce” according to Forbes’ analysis.

nextSource recommends embracing popular human capital trends that either deliver means for achieving the reinvention benchmarks or provide the impetus and capacity to do so. Some of the strategies this blog has previously explored include embracing the “alternative workforce” sometimes referred to as the Gig Economy workforce; shifting from hierarchical org structures to more team-based ones; leveraging technology to augment sourcing and boost recruitment efforts; focusing on learning and education for labor resources helping individuals to identify and develop new, needed skills; streamlining internal mobility pathways and processes; and others.

Here at nextSource, our expert practitioners continue to help organizations of all sizes grapple with the challenges presented by the ongoing evolution of workforce management. Call on us to help you develop these reinvention benchmarks within your organization and ensure you’re fostering a social enterprise that supports ongoing success in future endeavors.

To read more on this subject, turn to nextSource for expert guidance and visit our solutions page.

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