Article: Here's what worries India Inc and employees

Strategic HR

Here's what worries India Inc and employees

Two separate studies show that while Indian employers fear talent shortage; Indian employees are excited about automation
Here's what worries India Inc and employees

According to two separate reports that were made public last week, 34% of Indian employers are concerned about talent shortages, whereas 63% of the Indian employees believe that automation will take over process-based work.

The PNB MetLife Employee Benefit Trends Study 2016 reveals that nearly one-third of the employers were cautious regarding talent shortages. The study surveyed six countries across the developed and the developing world, and concluded that a part of this concern stems from the near all-time low levels of unemployment in several countries. While in India 34% of the employers are concerned about finding and retaining skilled talent, the figure stood at 40% each in Poland, UK and UAE. Furthermore, the China the number was 47%, whereas in Russia, it was the highest at 56%.

The study, also delving into factors that are essential to retain talent, is of the view that, as opposed to focussing on just the salary and bonus, organisations need a total rewards package to ensure that top talent stays with them.  Corroborating the same, about 88% of the Indian companies that were surveyed said that they provided benefits to keep employees away from competitors. However, a larger percentage of MNC’s claimed that they offer benefits like insurance, financial planning etc.

In the current global scenario, wherein several reports and studies indicate that employees are willing to settle for lesser salaries in lieu of flexible working options, benefits, and a better work-life balance, the study holds significance and reiterates the importance of voluntary and wellness benefits, as well as retirement and financial planning options, as a part of the many rewards that an organisation can offer. Restating the many returns of a total rewards package, it also suggested that employees will not only be in a better position financially, and physically, but will have a stronger relationship with their employers, which will further result in better retention, loyalty, and overall increased productivity.

"At a time where finding and attracting skilled talent is increasingly difficult, offering higher salaries and bonuses may not be the answer. Those who take a total rewards approach -- by providing a wide range of voluntary benefit options and financial planning and wellness programs -- will create an environment that demonstrates care and makes a positive impact," the report said

In a separate report that came out last week, US-based HR firm ADP, surveyed employees from North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific Countries (APAC), to comprehend how recent trends are impact employee perception at workplace. The report, ‘The Evolution of Work - The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace’, found that about 63% of the Indian employees are of the belief that automation and robots, will eventually take over people to do process-based and repetitive work. The survey also found that Indian employees were more positive about automation, than their peers across Asia, as around 61% of the respondents welcomed this trend. Here are some other findings of the report:

  • 82% of the Indian respondents were excited about the ability to do their work on a mobile device, and nearly 84% were optimistic about the prospect of learning facilitated by technology, anytime, anywhere. Globally, however, 45% fear that automation, smart machines and artificial intelligence will replace people, despite 90% believing that technology will allow for deeper connections across space and time. 

  • The study also found that the willingness to be open to workplace changes varied by region with APAC being more excited about the future and embracing change (81%), as opposed to 59% optimism by European employees. 

  • The term ‘job security’ was found to be evolving, for employees associated security with the reach of their professional network and the ability to tap into relationships to, as opposed to security being defined by job tenure. 60% believe that a standard retirement age will be redundant in the future. 

  • Highlighting the aspirations of the young workers, the report found that 89% of the respondents will choose to work in jobs of personal interest that impact the society, and 82% will define their own work schedule.

  • Lastly, the study said that “HR professionals have embraced the need to recruit globally to find the best talent, yet they still struggle with on-boarding global employees or ensuring remote teams are truly connected. 95 percent of employees believe they will be able to work from anywhere in the world.”

"Employees in India, and China, are more likely than workers in Australia and Singapore (to) believe that trends will impact them. The research indicates that employees in India may be more open to change than their APAC counterparts. This could be a distinct advantage in today's fast-changing business environment," says John Antos, VP Marketing, APAC, ADP. With the recent news that automation is beginning to mark its presence in the Indian industry and services sector, the report holds much importance, for it shows the perception of Indian workers to the trend. Together, the reports suggest that globally, as well as nationally, the industry and services sectors, are on the cusp of a transition, which is knocking at the door. While employers need to understand and align their strategies in the best interest of all, employees need to up their skills, to be readily employable in the rapidly changing environments. 

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Topics: Strategic HR, Talent Management

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