Article: Job security topmost for Indian employees: Towers Watson study

Employee Engagement

Job security topmost for Indian employees: Towers Watson study

Majority of respondents are below 30 and in mid-management level or above
Job security topmost for Indian employees: Towers Watson study

Employees have doubts about the level of interest and support coming from senior leaders



The appraisal season brings with it unbridled joy or nightmares depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on. A lot, of course, demands on you – it is meant to accurately measure your capabilities, see how you have grown over the past year and capture your contribution to the organisation. But, in these times of economic slowdown worldwide, employees today are worried about job security more than a pay hike or a promotion.

For Indians, job security reigns topmost on their minds and it even ranks above career advancement opportunities and attractive remuneration, according to a 2012 Global Workforce Study by HR consulting firm Towers Watson. In fact, among the countries surveyed, India is way above how other countries have ranked it. Employees in China and Japan ranked job security way down at No 5, in Hong Kong and Singapore it stood at No 2. In Indonesia, job security was not even considered among the top 5 parameters, an Economic Times report quoted the study as saying. It is a matter of concern as the majority of respondents were below 30 years of age and in a mid-management level or above.

According to another ET report, fund managers are now looking for stability than fat pay cheques. At least a dozen fund managers and a similar number of senior sales managers have switched jobs in the mutual fund industry in the past six months. Similarly, under pressure to achieve ambitious targets, CFOs of at least six large infrastructure majors with collective turnover in excess of Rs 27,000 crore have resigned. “Unreasonable expectations”, “tremendous pressure” were cited as some of the reasons.

Other than job security, the top five parameters attracting India employees include career advancement opportunities, base pay/salary, learning and development opportunities and reputation of the organisation as a place to work, the report said.

Additionally, most Indian companies are already grappling with high rates of attrition. With most of the workforce under the age of 30, organisations’ ability to deal with millennials is coming under the scanner. Appraisals are a definite trigger for a job search and according to a May 2013 Hindustan survey, 70 per cent of the 1,200 respondents said they would look for a change if they did not get the expected increment. The survey was conducted across industries and experience levels in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Interestingly, one in two employees in India (51 per cent) is highly engaged, compared to 35 per cent globally and 39 per cent in Asia. Globally, nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of the more than 32,000 full-time workers are not highly engaged. While this isn’t surprising — considering workers have been doing more with less, and for less, for over half a decade — it poses a significant risk for employers. Almost four out of 10 respondents (38 per cent) are bothered by excessive pressure on the job.

“India has one of the most highly engaged workforces in Asia, yet employees are anxious about their future financial and job security and are increasingly tired of changes in their work environment. This trend is symptomatic of the continuing global slowdown and uncertain domestic economic conditions and their implications on business and employee attitudes. While the Indian economy may have weathered the global recession better than most other nations, individuals have been impacted by mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and cost management initiatives carried out in an effort to ensure that organisations can continue with their growth momentum,” Ajith Nair, Practice Leader, Organisational Surveys & Insights, Towers Watson said in an interview to Times of India.

Anxiety about the future was a common sentiment not just in India but across the world, the study found. Other key findings of the survey include: Security takes precedence over everything; attracting employees is almost entirely about security; retaining employees has more to do with the quality of the work experience overall; and employees have doubts about the level of interest and support coming from senior leaders.

According to the TOI report, while most of the Indian employees are willing to stretch if need be, about 22 per cent feel that they are not supported at work. Around 12 per cent of people surveyed were unwilling to go the extra mile.

Among the top drivers of retention across the region, including India, remuneration and career advancement rank high, with retirement benefits being of particular interest to Indian employees which is ranked third.

India has one of the fastest annual talent pool growths among the major emerging markets at 7.3 per cent, followed by Brazil (5.6 per cent), Indonesia (4.9 per cent), Turkey (4.7 per cent) and China (4.6 per cent) according to Global Talent Survey 2021. So, if things don’t improve, there will be a major cause for concern. 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Compensation & Benefits, Culture, #TotalRewards

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