The findings from Deloitte’s recently-released Global Human Capital Trends Survey highlighted the pressing need for organisational restructuring to meet the demands of a changing work climate. This theme is reflected in the inclusion of 4 new entries in the top 10 issues – some of which we’d never even heard of! They were:

  • Organisational design: Companies are moving towards having a ‘network of teams’ approach, where employees are not separated by function (e.g. HR, Finance, Marketing), but by product or type of customer.
  • Digital HR:  “How to reimagine HR and the employee experience in a digital world.”
  • Design thinking: “puts the employee experience at the centre. Design thinking moves HR’s focus beyond building programmes and processes to a new goal: designing a productive and meaningful employee experience through solutions that are compelling, enjoyable, and simple.”
  • The gig economy: “networks of people who make a living working without any formal employment agreement – as well as by the increased use of machines as talent.”

However, when it comes to how these issues were ranked by respondents, it seems that the UK’s priorities aren’t necessarily the same as the global ones, so where are the differences?


Global Rankings UK Rankings
Organisational design 92%


Leadership 89%


Culture 86%


Engagement 85%



84% 74%
Design thinking 79%


HR skills 78%


People analytics 77%


Digital HR 74%


The gig economy 70%


Moreover, almost all of the UK rankings are lower than their positional counterparts in the global list. Does this mean that UK executives are simply more complacent than their international colleagues?

Well, not necessarily; in fact, many of the UK’s perceived capability gaps (the gaps between how important the issue is and how ready organisations feel to deal with it) were larger than those seen on the global analysis. Take a look:

Issue Global Capability Gaps

UK Capability Gaps

Organisational design -35











Learning -38


Design thinking



HR skills -38


People analytics -45


Digital HR



The gig economy -17


In fact, in the 2015 survey the average UK capability gap was 22%, but the average for 2016 has leapt to 40%. How can we explain this huge change?

Arguably, it’s due in part to the pace of change in business, which seems faster than ever this year. The four new-entry issues mentioned at the start of this article are in themselves proof of the rapid development of new working styles, environments and needs. This also accounts for the sense of urgency demonstrated in the global trends, and, to a lesser extent, in the UK trends. It also appears from the survey that 54% of respondents are not planning to increase investment in HR in the next year, with 10% planning a decrease. Could lack of resources be contributing to the perceived gap between urgency and readiness to meet these needs?

Here in the UK it’s not all doom and gloom, though – one of the biggest discrepancies between the global and UK skills gaps is in culture, where the UK is ahead of the pack.

  • 37% of UK organisations believe they understand their culture well.
  • This is 9% higher than the global response (28%).
  • 33% of UK respondents believe they have the ‘right culture’.
  • This figure drops to 19% globally.
  • It is unsurprising, therefore, that the capability gap in the UK is -25 as opposed to the global  -44.

We’re on the right track when it comes to culture, but there is clearly work to do here and across the other key trends in Deloitte’s report. Check back later for more ideas on how to get started tackling these capability gaps…

Written by Florence Sturt-Hammond