Key areas of focus for employers for 2018 include the themes of well-being, data, new rewards and technological advances, according to Deloitte’s latest annual report on human capital trends.

With input from more than 300 Canadian business and human resources leaders, the report noted many employers are introducing programs around financial wellness, mental health, mindfulness, sleep, stress management, exercise and nutrition. Among respondents, 86 per cent ranked well-being as important, although just 43 per cent said they’re ready for that trend.

Read: Successful wellness programs involve leadership, stress management: report

Considering a list of 10 human capital trends, survey participants also ranked the importance of data (82 per cent), new rewards (69 per cent) and new technology (66 per cent).

In particular, the report noted the relationship between Canadian employers and employees is evolving, highlighting the need for companies to listen and respond to workforce requirements that extend beyond their immediate organization.

“Understanding worker expectations is becoming increasingly complex with new and expanding definitions of the workforce that go beyond traditional employees,” said Karen Pastakia, a human capital consulting partner at Deloitte Canada, in a press release.

Responding to the needs of this broader ecosystem requires active listening and different approaches.”

Respondents also said they expect an increase in their organizations’ use of non-traditional labour over the next two years, including a rise in contractors (43 per cent), freelancers (25 per cent) and gig workers (20 per cent).

Read: The intricacies of providing benefits in the gig economy

More than two-thirds (78 per cent) of participants said they consider corporate citizenship and social impact to be important. Despite its importance, however, only 16 per cent of Canadian respondents indicated that social responsibility is a top priority reflected in their company’s corporate strategy.

“The scope of what makes a company successful has widened,” said Kate Morican, a human capital consulting partner at Deloitte Canada, in the press release.

“Employees want more out of businesses and are starting to ask questions outside of financial performance. To become the social enterprise that Canadians are looking for, businesses must demonstrate courage to look beyond the bottom line and place a high level of importance on their businesses’ responsibility to communities and the world.”

The report also noted organizations would have to determine how people will work effectively alongside new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, with only 22 per cent of respondents indicating they’re ready to do so.

Read: Canadian HR functions unprepared for growth of AI, automation: survey

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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