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Four employee-centric strategies companies are going for in 2019



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Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study identifies four top trends that leading companies are pursuing in 2019: aligning work to future value, building brand resonance, curating the work experience, and delivering talent-led change.

“Over the last few years, organisations have moved from anticipation to action in preparing for the future of work. But they risk bewildering people with too much change, ignoring the values individuals admire, and inundating them with endless process,” said Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer’s career business.

Aligning Work to Future Value: AI and automation continue to transform the competitive landscape. 54% of companies in Hong Kong plan to automate more work in the next 12 months. At the same time, the C-suite names job redesign as one of the top five areas of talent investment with sizeable potential for return on investment, and 67% of employees prefer more clearly defined responsibilities.

The challenge for HR is to build an integrated people strategy (an approach deployed two times more frequently by high-growth companies) and leverage the right talent analytics to inform decisions on the future size and shape of the organisation,

“The key is aligning jobs and people to where value is being created, and enabling a mechanism to reward future-fit skills and behaviours,” said Parrant.

Building brand resonance: 58% of high-growth organisations in Hong Kong differentiate their talent value proposition to different groups (such as contingent workers), compared to 30% of modest-growth companies. An organisation’s total rewards philosophy is one area where brand values can shine: Thriving employees are three times more likely to work for a company that ensures equity in pay and promotion decisions.

Curating the work experience: Thriving employees in Hong Kong are two times more likely to work for an organisation that enables quick decision-making and that provides tools and resources for them to do their job efficiently. They are twice as likely to describe their role as “relationship focused” and their work environment as “collaborative.”

More than half (51%) of employees want curated learning to help them evolve their skills and prepare for future jobs.

Delivering Talent-led Change: HR should have a voice in business transformation to keep talent is at the center of discussion.

56% of HR leaders in Hong Kong are involved in planning the rollout of major change projects and the same number involved in executing those plans. Moreover, only one-quarter of HR leaders participated in the idea generation stage of transformation initiatives.

HR sees employee morale as a significant barrier to making changes stick: “Employee attrition” and a “decline in employee trust” are two of the top five challenges in the year ahead.

Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study shares insights from over 7,300 senior business executives, HR leaders, and employees from nine key industries and 16 geographies around the world.



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