As organizations embrace the digital age, business leaders must place special emphasis on human experience and connection, Deloitte’s 2020 Global Marketing Trends Report found. While technology creates more efficient and effective business operations, organizations are at risk of becoming overwhelmed by the tech.

More than 26 billion smart devices are currently in circulation, indicating people around the world use at least three smart devices on average, Statista’s Internet of Things report found. This rise in digital devices launched the tech world into its fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. In this next wave revolution, tech is completely changing the way organizations conduct business.

SEE: Why IT pros need soft skills to advance their careers (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Human connection is crucial to a successful workforce: 90% of employees said they perform better when emotionally supported by their organizations. To help companies retain human connection in a digital world, the report surveyed more than 80 professionals across the globe to determine seven key trends business must focus on to build a human-conscious organization.

“From the C-suite to the front-line workforce, technological changes are impacting every aspect of an organization and its people,” Anthony Stephan, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and U.S. head of Deloitte Digital, said in a press release. “With this report, we set out to explore how brands can navigate the increasingly digitized business, economic, and social environment in a way that helps foster more authentic, meaningful human connections.”

Top trends

The report identified the following seven key trends necessary for businesses to survive the digital age.

1. Purpose

Purpose is the foundation of an organization. By remembering the organization’s deeper purpose, business leaders can create more meaningful relationships with their consumers and employees. The entire organization can facilitate leading with a purpose by being authentic, rallying employees around a common goal, remembering empathy, and viewing consumers as more than customers.

2. Human experience

This component is the most integral to forging human connections in the workplace. Business leaders, and employees, must remember that lives extend outside the walls of the company. Similar to the purpose component, the entire organization must act with empathy and align their human values, treating one another with respect.

3. Fusion

Technology is blurring boundaries between organizations, creating a more collaborative work environment. Various cloud platforms and collaboration applications encourage employees across specialties to work together; organizations must embrace this fusion of expertise. To better serve the customer, organizations must realize they are competing in ecosystems.

4. Trust

The rise of digitization created new threat vectors for organizations, especially in relation to data. When handling sensitive information, companies must remain ethical and transparent. The report stated, “big data needs big trust,” so organizations must be forthright with their intentions.

5. Participation

Participation is crucial for brands and marketers looking to improve the consumer journey and elongate a product life cycle. By engaging with customers, organizations can leverage the insight to drive development and business growth. Today’s marketing businesses must integrate consumer participation as part of the brand’s overall strategy.

6. Talent

Talent is best utilized through a collective workforce made up of diverse individuals. Successful businesses recognize all employees in their ecosystem, capitalizing on individual talents. Business leaders must look for opportunities to use this talent, as these skills can drive customer experience, and make employees feel valued.

7. Agility

An agile company moves closer to customers by utilizing adaptive thinking and cross-functional teams, which increases the company’s flexibility, speed, and quality. Agility is often led by new tech, but this tech should be used to continuously evolve human experience with real-time insights. Companies can leverage agile artificial intelligence (AI) systems, for example, to engage with the customer base and learn about their consumers.

For more, check out How to boost employee retention through human connection on TechRepublic.

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