A recent article from HBR on HR’s seat at the table—or lack thereof—argues that HR has been underperforming for years. Our own research shows that HR too often lacks the information or insights to be truly strategic.
This lack of insight into workforce data may be part of the reason HR still is not a strategic arm of most companies. Our surveys show that only half (52%) of executives say workforce issues drive strategy at the board level, and nearly one-quarter say that workforce issues are an afterthought in business planning.
What can executive leadership and HR do to drive the company forward? According to Carol Anderson at HBR, it’s about taking a holistic approach to talent:
All of the sub-disciplines of HR—recruiting, employee relations, performance management, compensation and benefits, and learning & development—have to work together to figure out what customers (the employees and leaders of the organization) need, educate them on risk, and engage them in the right solutions. HR cannot afford to think in silos, offering ‘products and services’ that simply add work to the already overburdened front-line manager.
You can read the full article here.
Offering the right benefits and incentives is critical for companies looking to attract and retain the best employees.
Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that competitive compensation is the most important benefit for employees, followed closely by bonuses and merit-based rewards. Not only do employees say competitive pay is important–they also say more money would increase their loyalty and engagement with their current company.
But cash isn’t the only benefit that’s important to employees. Respondents also likely say career development, training opportunities, and a good work environment play a part in their loyalty to the company.
Héctor Cerviño of Banco Compartamos in Mexico (one of the HR executives we interviewed as part of our research) puts it well: “First of all, you have to pay well. It sounds very simple, but you have to pay well. If you pay well, then you can talk a lot about, you know, flex time, home offices…That’s all the cream in the coffee. But you have to have the coffee.”
We’ve been presenting the results of our Workforce 2020 research in a series of webinars and discussing the key themes of the program here on the blog, but for a deeper look at the survey data, be sure to download our reports.
You can access the research reports and infographics on the SuccessFactors landing page or at the Oxford Economics project page.
Be sure to let us know what you think.
There is still time to register for today’s webinar on one of the key themes of our Workforce 2020 research, What Matters Most at Work.
Ed Cone, Oxford Economics’ Technology Practice Lead, will be discussing the benefits and incentives that are most important to today’s employees with SAP’s David Swanson and IBM’s Sheila McGovern. Be sure to tune in—you can register here.
Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that companies are having a hard time finding employees with the right skills. For example, the need for skills in areas like analytics, cloud, and programming/development will grow sizably over the next three years, but less than half of employees expect to be proficient with most of these key technologies in that time. And abilities in vital specialties such as cloud and mobile lag compared to other technologies like programming/development and job-specific software.
This is a large-scale issue; in fact, US Vice President Biden recently published a report on federal education, workforce, and training programs that emphasizes the need for strong skills development opportunities.
In order to develop the technology skills they need within their organization, companies will have to focus more on supplying the right technology and training to their employees. Currently, less than half of employees say their company provides ample training on the technology they need, and less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them.
On this blog, we have started several discussions around the misunderstandings between employees and their bosses. What matters most at work? Our surveys show that, in most cases, companies do not understand what their employees want from them—including the importance of competitive compensation as a benefit. At the same time, employees have a lot to learn in terms of what their bosses need and expect from them.
In our webinar on Wednesday, December 3—What Matters Most at Work—we’ll be taking a deeper dive into this topic. Ed Cone, Oxford Economics’ Technology Practice Lead, will be discussing these issues with SAP’s David Swanson and IBM’s Sheila McGovern. Be sure to tune in—you can register here.
Japan is in the news this week for its plans to invest heavily in robotics. The country currently uses approximately 300,000 robots, and plans to push that number up to one million by 2025.
The country hopes to address a growing national problem: a shrinking workforce population. (The country has other plans in the works, too, including one to boost women’s participation in the labor force.) Japan also hopes to reassert its dominance in robotics.
While Japan may see AI as part of the cure for its national labor force issues, employees may not be thrilled with this prospect. Our employee survey shows that 52% of workers in Japan say their position changing or becoming obsolete is a top job concern—that’s well ahead of the global total (40%).
Like most technologies, AI will significantly alter the nature of work across the world, and employees should be prepared to reevaluate how they fit in to the new workplace.
We’ve talked at length about the differences between employees from different generations and parts of the world—but we haven’t yet revealed many of the differences between men and women in the workplace.
Our surveys show that men and women are aligned on many workplace issues, including leadership and learning. However, they do have slightly different priorities when it comes to job satisfaction and benefits.
A few of the key differences our surveys revealed:
- Men tend to care more about company reputation. 32% of male respondents said a stronger company reputation/brand would increase loyalty and engagement at their current job (vs. 23% of women).
- Women are more likely to prioritize education. Education benefits ranked as more important for women (44%) than men (40%).
- Women are more interested in non-traditional benefits and incentives. Workplace amenities like fitness centers, daycares, and recreational facilities also ranked more important for women (41%) than men (36%).
- Men rate the importance of quality of life slightly higher than women—but it’s important to both, with 47% of women agreeing compared to 51% of men. Women rate using more current technology higher than men do, with 53% of women agreeing compared to 47% of men.
While it is important for companies to address the varying wants and needs of diverse groups, it is also important to recognize commonalities. Men and women, for example, are equally likely to say competitive compensation and flexible work locations are important. Companies will need to understand these differences and similarities as they work to set policies that attract the best workers from all demographic groups.
You can now listen to last week’s webinar on The Millennial Misunderstanding, featuring data presentation from Oxford Economics’ technology practice lead Ed Cone as well as real-world insights from Deloitte’s Deborah Cole and SAP’s David Swanson. During the presentation, panelists discussed some of the common misconceptions about Millennials in the workplace and what companies can do to better meet the needs of their younger workers.
Want to participate in one of our live webinars and have a chance to ask questions in real time? Be sure to register for our next one on What Matters Most at Work. We’ll be talking about the benefits and incentives that are most important to employees–and what most companies actually offer.
With our survey data, we broke out data for high performers—employees who were ranked highly in their last performance review—from average and low performers. Karie Willyerd, the co-author of The 2020 Workplace:How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today and a valuable partner in this research project, recently published an article on what these high performers want at work.
How prepared are companies to meet the needs of their best workers? How satisfied are these employees today? According to Karie:
As you would expect, high performers as compared to low performers are more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave their jobs in the next six months. But in looking deeply into high performers specifically, you’ll see that the numbers aren’t as comforting as we’d hoped…one in five high performers are likely to leave in the next six months (versus one in four of employees overall who are likely to leave in the near term), and less than half are satisfied with their jobs.
You can read the full article at HBR—read it and join the discussion here.