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2018 Global Human Capital Trends: The rise of social enterprise

Published by
Deloitte
Published
  • April 1, 2018
Type
2018 Global Human Capital Trends: The rise of social enterprise

​Organizations are no longer judged only for their financial performance, or even the quality of their products or services. Rather, they are being evaluated on the basis of their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises.

The 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report showcases a profound shift facing business leaders worldwide: The rapid rise of what we call the social enterprise. This shift reflects the growing importance of social capital in shaping an organization’s purpose, guiding its relationships with stakeholders, and influencing its ultimate success or failure.

In 2018, we are witnessing seismic changes in the workforce, the workplace, and the technologies used in the world of work. Based on this year’s global survey of more than 11,000 business and HR leaders, as well as interviews with executives from some of today’s leading organizations, we believe that a fundamental change is underway. Organizations are no longer assessed based only on traditional metrics such as financial performance, or even the quality of their products or services. Rather, organizations today are increasingly judged on the basis of their relationships with their workers, their customers, and their communities, as well as their impact on society at large—transforming them from business enterprises into social enterprises.

In many ways, social capital is achieving a newfound status next to financial and physical capital in value. In a recent survey, for instance, 65 percent of CEOs rated “inclusive growth” as a top-three strategic concern, more than three times greater than the proportion citing “shareholder value.”1 Today, successful businesses must incorporate external trends, perspectives, and voices by maintaining positive relationships, not just with customers and employees, but also with local communities, regulators, and a variety of other stakeholders. Building these relationships challenges business leaders to listen closely to constituents, act transparently with information, break down silos to enhance collaboration, and build trust, credibility, and consistency through their actions. This is not a matter of altruism: Doing so is critical to maintaining an organization’s reputation; to attracting, retaining, and engaging critical workers; and to cultivating loyalty among customers.

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