What can APAC employers do to prevent post-pandemic resignations?

What can APAC employers do to prevent post-pandemic resignations?

Hybrid working has impacted how employees evaluate their position in the workplace, and we are now seeing many– feeling overworked and under-appreciated – leaving their jobs, particularly in the tech industry. How can we manage this paradox?

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Did you know that half (54%) of employees surveyed globally would consider leaving their job “post-COVID-19” according to the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee survey. Closer to home, a Korn Ferry survey reveals Asia Pacific is expected to face a talent deficit of 47 million skilled workers by 2030, which could result in a potential loss of US$4.238 trillion in annual revenue.

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, success and growth is mainly dependent on the ability of a company to deploy and manage its workforce, yet many employees feel disconnected, undervalued and challenged by the transition to remote working.  This brings further attrition risk at a time when retaining top talent is critical to protecting key revenue streams.

As the region begins its road to economic recovery, employers should focus on three critical areas for workforce management:

  • agility to deploy their workforce to maximise impact,
  • value-add to ensure employees are empowered to make fast, accurate decisions, and
  • empathy to create the best conditions to attract & retain top talent.

Now more than ever, recruiting and deploying the right talent in the right place is key to powering up business growth. Organisations can leverage workforce agility as a lever to maximising revenue potential; the key ingredient is a platform that enables them to respond swiftly to market and talent supply changes by calculating multiple “what if” scenarios.

This is vital, because in this environment of accelerated decision-making, timing is of the essence. Just look at the congestions at our ports right now, where labour bottlenecks are causing a ripple effect across the ecosystem, and ultimately leads to supply chain delays and increased cost for consumers.

To start, organisations need to view workforce deployment through the wholistic lens of all of the data across their systems. This is essential because the lines between various functions are blurring and contrary to popular belief, HR teams are not solely responsible for workforce planning. It is, in fact, a collaborative effort between HR, executive, finance and other functions to right-size the number of people required, the skillset needed, and where and when resources should be deployed to meet strategic, operational & financial goals.

A key benefit to this data-driven approach is the ability for functional leaders to get an early view of the changing demands of their business, evaluate options at hand to adapt the workforce recruitment and deployment accordingly. This enables companies to invest resources where they have the highest impact while optimising their HR cost by matching people, assets, and opportunities.

Our customers worldwide benefit from that dual revenue to cost impact on their P&L.  A large financial services customer based in APAC found that by replacing their manual, spreadsheet-based workforce planning with statistical forecasting, it reduced forecast variance by more than 50% - from 13% to 5%.

The organisation not only gained market share through integrated, real-time data allowing for optimal workforce deployment, better decision making, and ultimately enhanced customer service, it also realised significant workforce expense savings across three of its business units and 10,000 employees.

Far too often, employees are burdened by siloed data which reduces their ability to collaborate, share insights and operate at speed. Time is wasted on non-value-add, repetitive, transactional activities which is often a major factor of errors or miscalculations. Decision-making becomes slower, less reliable and lacks insights at a time when rapid and flawless execution is essential.

Karen Clarke, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Anaplan

Importance of planning for the connected workforce

Connected workforce planning also helps leaders stay in tune with the organisation, identify attrition “hot spots”, keep track of individuals whose skills are essential and those who need to upskill, and ultimately gain a deeper understanding of their workforce. This is the kind of advantage that allows organisations to develop a real competitive edge by systematically investing in the right people and maximise their revenue potential.

However, once organisations have hired the right talent, how do they empower these employees to make the right decisions fast enough to have impact and drive the revenue engine?

Far too often, employees are burdened by siloed data which reduces their ability to collaborate, share insights and operate at speed. Time is wasted on non-value-add, repetitive, transactional activities which is often a major factor of errors or miscalculations. Decision-making becomes slower, less reliable and lacks insights at a time when rapid and flawless execution is essential.

A connected planning platform helps employees harnessing all data across business units from all employees – on the move, home or office-based.  This approach creates shareable, real-time models of how the business works, giving decision-makers decentralised access to information and empowering more people to make or influence decisions.

In addition to getting the right systems and platforms in place, employers would do well to remember empathy and employee care are essential to recruit, grow and retain top talent.

When it comes to managing the future of the workplace, employees want greater flexibility but also miss the human connection from being in an office. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella terms this “the hybrid paradox”. He explains that this problem is not easily solved by technology.

Instead, what’s in greater demand, is the empathy of managers. Nadella views empathy as a soft skill and a driver of innovation, because it enables the company to better understand the unarticulated and unmet needs of employees and customers alike.

In these times where the distribution and collaboration of the workforce is more fragmented than ever, leaders must remember that workforce management is not just about getting the right tech, people and skills in place. Promoting social interaction and leveraging a truly connected platform to free up time and empower their employees is important to ultimately showing empathy and compassion.  Meeting and exceeding employee expectations is the golden thread in meeting those of their customers.

Karen Clarke is Managing Director, Asia-Pacific at Anaplan

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