NEW DELHI, AUGUST 18, 2022
Workplaces in India have changed significantly over the past couple of years, with considerable mindset shifts for both employers and employees. While employers have been more focused on building a resilient workforce strategy, employees on their part are driven by opportunities for fulfilment, creativity, innovation and authenticity, apart from financial rewards. They have also been placing a premium on organisational trust, innovation and hybrid ways of working, according to PwC’s India Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, which provides important insights into employee drivers, aspirations and specific outcomes employees expect in the next 12 months, along with employee perspectives on transparency and implications of technology.
According to the survey, the shift to hybrid work is expected to continue, with 81% of employees in India believing that their jobs can be done remotely and with 31% of those who can work remotely already working in a hybrid way.
An important finding is that a significantly higher proportion of Indian employees (71%) are concerned about being overlooked for career advancement as compared to their global peers (21%). This points to the need for deploying more transparent and data-driven processes to define career pathways.
Chaitali Mukherjee, Partner and Leader, People and Organisation, PwC India said: “The disruptive landscape of social, environmental, economic and geopolitical changes has had profound consequences on organisations and their workforce strategies. Leaders need to consider these disruptions while drawing up their short- and long-term plans for the organisation as well as their people. The themes emerging from our survey throw light on how organisational strategy is experienced at the grassroots level. For an organisation to be fit for future, it is imperative that employee perspective dovetails with the employer’s perspective to accelerate transformation keeping in mind the workforce dynamics, with well-defined tangible measures to bring about greater alignment between both these aspects.”
India is one of the countries with a huge perceived gap in skills, with 54% of employees strongly/moderately agreeing that India faces a shortage of their skill sets and 67% believing that their job requires specialist training. At present, employers are seen as addressing skill shortages through wage increases, recruitment and automation, with fewer using upskilling as a strategic lever.
The survey finds that 34% of respondents in India believe they are extremely/very likely to switch to a new employer as compared to 19% globally. Further, 32% say they plan to leave the workforce. Millennials are the most likely to seek new employment, with 37% indicating that they are likely to switch employers in the next 12 months. While Gen Z employees are less likely to quit, 33% of them are extremely or very likely to ask for a reduction in work hours.
Also, more than half of the respondents in the survey are concerned about the lack of opportunities to work with or learn technological skills from their colleagues. This learning gap begins at the top, with more than 50% of CEOs perceiving a lack of opportunities for learning technological skills.
Sensitive social and political topics are occupying an increasingly important place in workplace conversations, with 75% of employees having had conversations of this nature, highlighting the need for employers to actively create safe spaces for such conversations.
The survey also highlights that employees expect more transparency and support in incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their work.
“Balancing business considerations with employee aspirations is easier said than done. However, given the fact that the future of work is undergoing a massive overhaul, it is important to prioritise leadership and employee capabilities to drive change and move the needle in business,” Chaitali added.
PwC recommends that organisations adopt a data-driven approach to broaden their understanding of what drives employees. It is also critical to enable the shift to hybrid working through empowerment with equity by developing clarity in criteria and guardrails. Organisations should also prioritise investing in upskilling as a strategic lever to proactively address talent shortage, and use technology to augment human potential and reinvent the employee value proposition, while thinking creatively to navigate constraints and balance business considerations with individual aspirations.