One of the largest studies of its kind in the Asia Pacific region is here. The Darwinbox and People Matters’ landmark report is the largest study of its kind in the region, gathering responses from over 1,200 HR practitioners, 350 CXOs and around 1,500 employees. It brings together both employer and employee voices to showcase evolving priorities and enable strategic change.
The HR Evolution Perspectives 2023: Empower and Evolve report reveals that CXOs across India today project high growth and profitability in the coming few years. While 83% of CXOs in India say they expect revenue growth in the upcoming years. 70% foresee a rise in M&A while another 80% state that organic expansion will remain an important driver of growth and profitability.
“Empower and Evolve are important themes for this landmark report. With the world of work evolving rapidly, the study helps anchor HR strategies in quantifiable insights and helps explain, in great detail, how talent leaders can build future-ready practices that raise agility and deliver the right experience," said Ester Martinez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, People Matters.
Some of the key findings from the report on India are:
- 83% of companies in India state a positive growth sentiment, while 78% of CXOs across the region are aiming to expand their headcount.
- Around 54% of CXOs in India highlight developing capabilities as their most significant talent risk. Yet only 24% feel they are adequately prepared to address this concern.
- Employees demand more focus on their development. 47% of employees surveyed across India said employee development, better benefits and pay are a must.
- 82% of CXOs say HR tech needs better talent management integration. Another 79% say that digitizing their HR systems is the need of the hour.
- 68% of CXOs want employee experience to be an important outcome of their HR transformation journeys, 63% want to improve the quality of HR services and another 52% want to empower managers and frontline employees.
“Undeniably, the CXOs in the region have an extremely positive economic outlook and rightly predict that the path to success is dependent on solving critical talent challenges. Hence, there will be more emphasis on strengthening the HR functions. HR teams must navigate a period of heightened employee expectations, a rapidly shifting digital landscape, and stakeholder pressure toward inclusive workplaces. The report sheds light on these challenges and calls upon HR professionals to seize the opportunity to transform their organizations, powered by the transformative role of technology," noted Vikrant Khanna, Global Head - Value Management, Advisory & Solutions, Dawinbox who has co-authored the research report.
Diving agility by addressing key talent risks
To achieve HR agility, companies need to be able to pivot quickly, make informed decisions, and leverage technology to streamline processes and improve efficiency. By embracing a culture of agility, businesses can better navigate uncertainty and position themselves for long-term success.
Aspects such as Robust Governance, Optimal Leverage of Technology, Effective HR Service Delivery, and Aligning closely with Business Outcomes are critical levers driving organisational agility.
As the environment is changing and technology is advancing, skills are rapidly evolving and expiring. By the time organizations anticipate the change and develop capability, new skills emerge, leading to a continuous loop of skills shortage. Organizations need to accelerate digitalisation and leverage technology optimally to quickly identify gaps and build the right skills. They also need to integrate talent management practices for a better view of talent. This will increase their agility and keep up with their competitors.
This is one of the many central themes the report identifies that HR leaders across APAC today face.
Key pillars of accelerating personalized EX
The growing role of digitalisation across India and APAC, combined with the push towards a more agile way of working means companies today are in the rush to adopt newer technologies and improve their talent initiatives to raise workforce productivity. But in the rush of these changes, the need to focus on how they drive EX remains paramount. This begins by taking note of evolving employee expectations.
The report states that in addition to providing flexibility and supporting work-life balance, employees today need good, impactful leaders and a strong sense of purpose.
“The focal point of HR strategy is becoming increasingly centered on enhancing the employee experience, empowering frontline staff and managers to lead, emphasizing a robust knowledge base, and witnessing a substantial surge in the integration of technology. This shift signifies that the new narrative is firmly rooted in an "outside-in" approach," added Vikrant Khanna.
This renewed focus on EX can be further broken down into four key drivers that the report identifies: Empathy, Trust, Transparency and Support. These pillars today are key to accelerating EX in the region and should form the basis of talent initiatives targeted to improve EX.
Unique needs for a multi-generational workforce
However, given the diverse employee groups and personas that constitute the workforce, organizations are realizing their varied expectations and experience needs. Hence, the one-size-fits-all approach to creating experiences for a multi-generational workforce is failing.
In our research, each employee generation experienced these key EX pillars – support, transparency, trust and empathy – through varied experiences. This is reflected in how they scored their organizations on them.
To improve the experience delivery, organizations need to listen to different employee segments, acknowledge the variation, and prioritize the unique experiences that matter to each employee segment. The growing relevance of personalized EX is also reflected in how companies are shaping their HR transformation goals.
While these remain critical themes from the HR Evolution Perspectives 2023 report, the full report delves deeper into these trends. Click here to download the entire report.