Addressing leadership issues is the most important HR priority for Indian businesses in 2014, according to Deloitte. At the same time, a significant gap exists between the talent and leadership issues organisations face and their readiness to respond. These are part of the findings of a survey by Deloitte in India, Human Capital Advisory Services (HCAS) in partnership with the National Human Resource Development (NHRD) to rank the key human capital trends in the Indian marketplace.
“The dynamics of global workforce is rapidly changing - millennials are reshaping the talent markets with new expectations; new technologies are changing work in countless ways,” say P. Thiruvengadam, Senior Director, Deloitte in India and Jeff Schwartz, Global Human Capital Leader Marketing, Deloitte US. “However, we remain convinced that some of the biggest opportunities for companies to improve growth, innovation, and performance, center squarely on how business leaders re-imagine, reinvent, and reinvigorate human capital strategies, with a deeper understanding of the 21st century workforce.”
Adds Kamal Singh, Director General, NHRD, “The talent management landscape has changed dramatically over the years, but organisations’ talent management practices have not caught up with the technological and demographic shifts in the market place.”
Lack of leadership at all levels is the single most important issue cited by global executives. Many of them acknowledge that they are not prepared to confidently address this challenge. The significant readiness gap (29%) in leadership is not limited to India. In fact, Asia Pacific businesses as a whole report a higher (37%) leadership readiness gap compared to global figure of 34 percent.
As new skills needed on the job evolve and others become obsolete more rapidly, organisations must rethink their talent development strategies and implement programs that develop deep, specialised skills on the job. For talent acquisition and access, Indian businesses’ readiness gap stands at 22 percent, a figure lower than Asia Pacific (27%) and global (26%) counterparts.
With a Readiness Gap of 25 percent, HR organisations around the world are trying to keep up with workforce changes, demographics, globalisation, technology, and the new values in society. "While we see a need for bold, business-driven leadership at the CHRO level, we also see a tremendous need to reskill, train, and empower HR professionals to be able to do their jobs better," says the report.
As employees’ expectations from work evolve, companies’ approaches to engaging them are not keeping up. Twenty-first century employees want to work for companies that continually invest in developing their skills, enabling them to stay relevant in the ever-changing workforce.
This changing employment value proposition requires companies to align their business and corporate objectives with the professional, personal, and social goals of their employees, and offer employees an opportunity to make a difference, not just earn a paycheck.
The report also captures how Indian businesses appear to be investing in HR programs at similar rates to their Asia Pacific and global peers. In India, 16 percent of companies plan to significantly increase (more than 5%) investment in HR in the next 12-18 months, in comparison to 13 percent of Asian companies and the same percentage of global companies.
More than one in three Indian companies (36%) plan to increase HR investments, lower than the average in Asia (38%) but higher than the global average (34%).
Indian business takes a more strongly optimistic view of the outlook for business growth than both the global average and its Asian regional peers. While only 16 percent of respondents on the global level expect strong growth in 2014, 35 percent of Indian respondents do.
The percentage expecting moderate growth (45%) also outpaces both the APAC regional group (42%) and the global total (36%). More than twice as many global respondents (34%) expect similar growth this year as Indian respondents (13%).
While India businesses appear more optimistic about future growth and their assessment of their HR capabilities are higher than respondents across Asia and globally, Deloitte believes that 2014 and beyond is an important time for Indian business leaders to evaluate what more they can do, and what can be done differently, to move the needle on their talent, leadership, and HR agendas.