Topic: Leadership


10 New Mandates for HR Leaders With Guest Pete DeBellis

season 3, episode 9

Welcome to The Work Place, where we talk about the cultures we work in, and how to make them better for everyone. I’m Andrew Scarcella.

This episode, we’re talking with Pete DeBellis from Deloitte about the new mandates facing HR leaders today and why we need to rethink the role of HR if we’re going to successfully adapt to an unknown future.

Join us after the interview for Tangible Takeaways, where we’ll talk about the ideas and actions we can take with us and implement our own workplace cultures.

Pete DeBellis is the Research Leader of Total Rewards for Deloitte’s Human Capital Research & Sensing. With a background as a consultant and an in-house rewards professional, Pete has a deep understanding of the links between HR strategy and business objectives—as well as the latest tools and technology to help organizations attract, motivate, develop, and retain talent.

Pete was interviewed by Katie Clifford, our Executive Producer who, sadly, will be leaving The Work Place. This is her last episode and I’m told she’ll be going to a nice farm upstate where there’s plenty of space to run and all the geese she can chase. Au revoir.

Tangible Takeaways:

Now it’s time for tangible takeaways, where we take big ideas and suspend them in a 260 gallon sensory deprivation tank, filled with a supersaturated epsom salt solution for optimum buoyancy heated to exactly 93.5 degrees to perfectly match their skin temperature, allowing them to relax their muscles, calm their mind, and slowly, deliciously, drift into an inky darkness, where the only sound is your heartbeat, gently tapping out a subconscious reminder: You forgot to feed the fish.

The first is a recap of Pete’s 10 mandates impacting HR leaders today, because not all of us are taking notes while we listen.

Sensing shifts
Anticipate and evolve—don’t just react. Easier said than done.

Cultivating innovation
That means seeing patterns and connecting unrelated ideas in ways no one else has.

Accessing talent
Not just access, but deploy—the right people for the right job right when they’re needed.

Designing workforce experiences
Expectations are shifting and employee experiences need to become more personalized and more diverse.

Creating ecosystems
More partnerships and collaborations to leverage resources across organizations.

Becoming digital
People want the same tools at work (or better) than the ones they use in their personal lives.

Reskilling the workforce
Automation is changing the nature of work. We’ll still need people, just people with different skills.

Balancing business and societal outcomes
People expect businesses to create societal value, not just financial value.

Empowering change
As change accelerates, we have to empower our people to adapt and keep pace.

Driving an inclusive culture
Diversity equals innovation, but only if there’s inclusion, too.

The second is that while skills have a half-life, as Pete puts it, capabilities are timeless. What’s the difference between skills and capabilities again? I was just thinking the same thing. Skills are tangible: Excel proficiency, spelling and grammar, SEO, operating experience for a Caterpillar 994K bucket loader, et cetera. Whereas capabilities, at least in this context, are more what you’d think of as soft skills. Empathy, creativity, vulnerability, even humor. Tough to teach, but more and more necessary as technology takes over more and more skills.

The third is an exit interview with our soon to be former Executive Producer, Katie Clifford. But you’ll have to listen to the episode to hear that.

As always, this episode was written and produced by yours truly—with original music and sound design by Daniel Foster Smith.

If you liked this episode, or even if you didn’t, please rate, review, and, of course, subscribe to The Work Place on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have a burning question about workplace culture, or a story about why YOUR workplace culture is the best (or worst) send it to

The Work Place is sponsored by O.C. Tanner, the global leader in engaging workplace cultures. O.C. Tanner’s Culture Cloud provides a single, modular suite of apps for influencing and improving employee experiences through recognition, career anniversaries, wellbeing, leadership, and more.

If you want your organization to become a place where people can’t wait to come to work in the morning, go to

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