The COVID-19 pandemic is driving a fundamental shift in the way companies operate, accelerating the need for an adaptable and agile workforce to bolster business success. According to Mercer’s 2021 Global Talent Trends study, the financial impact and work-life disruption caused by the pandemic has spurred employers in Indonesia to focus on workforce restructuring (45 percent) and active reskilling in 2021 (41 percent) in order to future-ready their business and workforce.
Also high on their priority list is enhancing employee experience (30 percent), as companies look to create a positive and productive flexible work environment and to improve their health and well-being programmes to maximise impact and meet the rising expectations of their employees.
The nature of disruption today demands that companies transform at pace to stay ahead of competition, and according to Mercer’s survey, 45 percent of Indonesian companies cite workforce restructuring as their key focus in 2021. As remote working becomes mainstream with a shift to more fluid working arrangements, 52 percent of companies have implemented or are planning to implement more alignment between structures (methods, processes and systems) while ensuring that inclusivity is also embedded in the culture (values and behaviours), compared to 34 percent globally.
COVID-19 also proved how rapidly adjusting capacity and redeploying resources is critical to success. 41 percent of companies made it easier to share talent internally as a result of COVID-19, and a further 41 percent plan to do so in 2021. As remote working becomes mainstream and new ways of working demand new skills, companies are seeking to focus on targeted workforce upskilling of critical talent pools (74 percent); reinvent flexibility for their workforce (55 percent), and expand their talent and learning eco-system (49 percent).
While 40percent of firms are identifying new skills needed for their post-COVID operations, just 30 percent of HR leaders, (compared to 14percent of their global peers) have implemented skills-based talent strategies such as pay-for-skills frameworks.
Isdar Andre Marwan, Director of Career Services, Indonesia, Mercer said, “Companies in Indonesia are seeing the benefits of adopting a more flexible business model and are investing in transforming their workforce for the new world economy. Looking at work and people through a skills lens will be critical going forward as it allows them to act quickly and flexibly in the face of disruption.
But adopting a skills-based talent model may be an area of challenge for Indonesian firms. For skills-based talent strategies to work, employees need to see that learning new skills leads to tangible rewards, recognition or promotion yet only one in ten employers have a program to reward skills in place. Getting employees on board with new ways to quantify their value and build capability will be necessary for skills-based talent strategies to work.”
Employers focused on employees’ basic needs of safety, stability, and security during the first phase of the COVID-19 crisis. However, those needs and employee expectations are evolving, calling for a more holistic approach from employers as companies enter the next phase of recovery.
In Indonesia, 49 percent of companies plan to offer greater access to remote health and benefit options, compared to only 36 percent of their global peers. Digital care delivery will become the centerpiece of programmes to re-engage employees in their long term well-being: 49 percent want to enable digital health check-ups to promote health goals and 40 percent are adding benefits to address mental or emotional health issues. In addition, 82 percent of organizations are already using or plan to improve employee health and well-being analytics. Employers have also begun to recognize that financial well-being is important for their employees with four in 10 looking to improve employees’ financial health and well-being through analytics.
Flexible working, likewise accelerated by COVID-19, has proven central to the new employee experience. More than 60 percent of organizations have already expanded flexible working policies and practices, and a further 34 percent plan to do so in 2021. To help employees adapt to new ways of working, Indonesian companies are accelerating programs and policies that enable employees to adapt to new ways of working (36 percent); transforming the HR operating models to be more agile (27 percent) and accelerating HR digital transformation (20 percent).
Godelieve van Dooren, Mercer’s South East Asia Growth Markets Leader and Asia Zone Career Business Leader, said “The need to meet employees’ diverse expectations is pressing, especially as organizations reinvent themselves for a new era. With the rise of flexible working, digital transformation remains a critical pathway to providing better employee experiences and better business results.”
“Building on a better understanding of different employee group needs and preferences, the next phase will be leveraging AI to offer more personalized and inclusive benefits. It’s heartening to see that Indonesian companies are starting to leverage AI in strategic workforce planning, people analytics and performance data related to flexible working. These investments will pay off in the long term. ”
Other findings Mercer’s Global Talent Trends Survey: