As India's young workforce is rapidly changing, its demands from employers are also changing. Can employers match their needs?
The Business Today-PeopleStrong Best Companies to Work For Survey has been a sounding board for not just us but to employers in general for over a decade. Capturing the deepest insights from the salaried employee base of India, the survey has helped bring out perceptions and aspirations of India's talent, which shape their workplace preferences. This year was no different. In a year which has seen a not so encouraging job scenario, over 17,000 respondents participated and shared their views.
While this year's report had lots of interesting insights, we received some fearless recommendations from people on what companies should do if they would like to be the best in the eyes of the young, independent, digital-native workforce. So, here are six things you need to ace for being the best company to work for:
#1 Pay for outcomes: In a world where pay packages are dependent on so many things apart from the capability of a person to deliver outcomes, today's workforce demands pay performance equity. The basic premise is, whether it is a young employee, a woman, or an old one, if she/he can deliver, the pay should be same. Today, more than 50 per cent of women across age-groups and experience seem to be dissatisfied with pay-performance parity. The organisation's pay policies need to reflect the same. Perhaps, this is not an easy feat to achieve, but aspirational employers are mindful of this and make it happen.
#2 Help deal with change: We are living in dynamic times. Every four years, skills needed to do a job change completely. India's young workforce is not scared of change but expects employers to help them navigate. This is visible in the current year's responses too, where respondents from the top 25 organisations feel their companies are more focused on re-skilling compared to the rest of the pool. Organisations also need to focus on helping employee's individual training needs. Contextualisation of re-skilling for each employee is the way to go.
#3 Give visibility of where the company is going: Almost 60 per cent of employees across industries are unaware of what they are doing as part of their day-to-day tasks. A similar number complains of not getting visibility of the impact of their work. Today's workforce is ready to go the extra mile but expects leaders to share the vision of what they are spending their efforts on. The ask from their leaders are:
#4 Discuss performance, regularly: Almost 67 per cent of this year's respondents mentioned lack of objectivity in performance management. Almost 42 per cent said the process is conducted just twice a year and even then, constructive feedback is often missing. They want agile performance management, done with talent development in mind.
#5 Build gender-equal workplaces: This is something that most organisations are still figuring out. Women respondents mentioned that the two things that hinder these initiatives are: lack of pay parity and measures that encourage women to come back to work post-breaks. These initiatives will help address one of the biggest issues organisations face - of having women participate across levels.
#6 Take employee experience at work seriously: While many companies focus on employee experience, a lot still needs to be done. Be it onboarding, time off, payroll or exit, the number of satisfied employees in most organisations is about 50 per cent. As per this year's responses, 60 per cent believe organisations have still not got the "good-byes" right and the exit process needs an overhaul. This can get worse if the employers don't think like the digital native workforce which is going to take charge soon. If your employees can't manage HR transactions related to pay, time and performance from their mobile devices, you might want to rethink your HR Tech strategy.
The Indian workforce is rapidly changing and demanding more from its employers. Talent is and always will be the competitive advantage for businesses. Wouldn't it make sense for us to act on these asks before it is too late?
The author is Founding Member and Chief Experience Officer, PeopleStrong