68% Indian companies increased access to remote health, benefits: Survey

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The pandemic caused many Indian organisations to “respond with agility and empathy in managing the disruption”, says the India edition of Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2020-21 Report. Considering that till recently, in India, virtual working was only limited to certain technology-enabled service sectors, almost 50 per cent of Indian organisations managed to smoothly shift to the online mode. Yet, almost 70 per cent organisations are preparing for the adverse financial impact of 2020, with one-fifth staring at lower results compared to 2019.

This year’s survey reveals that 29 per cent Indian organisations have implemented flatter structures and broader management spans of control. About 50 per cent plan to implement the same.

A significant 60 per cent of Indian companies plan to increase alignment between structures and culture. While one in every three organisations has already made use of variable and contingent talent pools, more than one third plan to implement the same. About 44 per cent of companies resorted to loaning or sharing talent internally, while 32 per cent plan to adopt this approach in 2021.

Employee well-being : With employee well being topping the list of priorities, 68 per cent companies offered more access to remote health and benefit. Thirty-seven per cent resorted to resegmenting the workforce to tailor the benefits as per the new needs and realities, while 24 per cent offered more benefits than before. About 15 per cent provided furloughed employees with access to benefits, while six per cent increased or changed the management of the retirement portfolio, keeping in mind the volatile market conditions.

Reskilling : More than any other country, organisations in India believe that transformation is directly linked to reskilling. Most companies’ transformation plans for 2021 are focussed on upskilling and reskilling critical talent pools. A significant 65 per cent are upskilling and reskilling critical talent pools, 50 per cent are expanding the talent and learning ecosystem. About 54 per cent are keeping in mind the budget constraints and segmenting the workforce and prioritising investment in specific talent pools that will fuel the future of the company rather than investing in workforce transformation, unlike the 34 per cent who plan to. 19 per cent are targeting reskilling of the “most at risk” jobs, while 15 per cent plan to maintain reskilling budget at 2020 levels.

Culture of learning: The pandemic has accelerated a strong focus on programmes and policies that will enable a culture of learning and help employees adapt to flexibility. Remote working skills (57 per cent) and virtual strategies for learning (53 per cent) are therefore top of mind.

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