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Human Capital Trends: Rise to the Challenge to Remain Human in a Technology-Driven World

Thursday, September 3, 2020

During the past six months we’ve witnessed and experienced massive disruptions in our professional lives, our personal lives, and our world. Deloitte’s 2020 Government Human Capital Trends report focuses on how government and public sector organizations can continue to achieve mission impact in the face of disruption. Ten main trends are described that play an important role in responding, recovering, and thriving throughout these disruptions and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 9,000 business and HR leaders from 119 countries responded to our 2020 survey. The data from hundreds of public sector respondents echo the same call to action: Rise to the challenge to remain distinctly human in a technology-driven world.

One of the standout trends is reskilling and investing in resilience for uncertain futures. Learning, reskilling, and resilience play integral roles in shifting work environments. Fifty percent of our public sector respondents believe that up to 75 percent of their workforce will need to change their skills during the next three years. This is due to many factors including technological advances, new ways of leveraging and interpreting data like artificial intelligence (AI), and increasingly remote work environments. In addition, the qualities that workers need to survive and thrive are changing from an age of production to an age of imagination. A combination of keeping skills current and ongoing creativity are needed for success.

With the sudden (and what appears to be a long-lasting) shift to a virtual environment for many, my colleagues and I have been spending time thinking about how digital learning resources can enable and empower people to perform at their best. Research shows that learning resources should be customizable, human-centric in their functionality, and accessible anywhere—from home, the classroom, and the battleship.


High-performing organizations have implemented an approach to worker development that considers the dynamic nature of jobs and the equally dynamic potential of people to reinvent themselves. Experience shows that organizations that focus on building workers’ resilience for the short- and long-term also increase their resilience in the face of constant change.


The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a new immediate need for workers with certain skills. For government organizations whose services are in high demand but lack a workforce with these critical skills, the ability for the worker and the organization to adapt and update their skills is key to organizational success.

2020 has brought many challenges and obstacles in our way, but I’m proud and excited to see the great things that public sector organizations are doing to reimagine the employee experience and lead the changes needed to achieve mission impact. Read our full 2020 Human Capital Trends report with a government lens here.

About the Author

Dr. Amy A. Titus is a managing director in human capital at Deloitte Consulting. She brings more than 25 years of global experience in all aspects of human capital and human resources directed to improve organizational performance. She leads the government and public service learning solutions and career mobility practice and is dean of Deloitte’s annual Chief Learning Officer Forum at Deloitte University. She is responsible for delivering strategic talent, learning, organization improvement and change assistance and solutions to her clients in both the public and private sector.

Before joining Deloitte, she held senior leadership roles, spanning the full range of talent and human resource functions, at BearingPoint, FifthThird Bank, and Citigroup. Prior to that, she founded and led a global management consulting firm that had offices in Washington, D.C.; Geneva, Switzerland; and Cairo, Egypt. Her clients included government agencies, international development organizations and commercial entities.

Noted for her work in business process improvement, performance improvement and organization transformation, she has won numerous awards and is a sought-after presenter. She is on the International Advisory Council of the United States Institute of Peace and the Learning Advisory Council for Doctors without Borders. Dr. Titus holds a Masters in instructional systems from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in adult education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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