Are Asian Companies Prepared To Thrive Around The 2020 Workforce?

network pic 300x199 Are Asian Companies Prepared To Thrive Around The 2020 Workforce?Did you realize that businesses today are starting to see five different generations working together, across geographies- each with different skills, experiences and work habits?
Enabled by social and technology, this represent unique opportunities for productivity, talent development and employee engagement, but according to new wide-scale research from Oxford Economies, most companies are unprepared to capitalize on it.

As revealed in Workforce 2020 (global study by Oxford Economics with support from SAP) which surveyed more than 5,400 employees and interviewed 29 executives in 27 countries, two-thirds of businesses have not made significant progress towards building a workforce that will meet their future business objectives.

The study’s findings highlight the most critical issues and at the top of the list faced by organizations across the world including Asia Pacific are the following:

1.  Dealing with changing workforce

With rapidly changing market demands, organizations are expected to tap on external expertise and resources on an as-needed basis. As part of Workforce 2020 study, 83% of executives are planning to increase their use of intermittent, contract or consultant employees. That means more temporary staff, more consultants and contract workers, and even ‘crowd-sourced’ projects. For instance, Australia currently has 3.7 million people doing freelance work which is 30% of total workforce.

Our view is that organizations in Asia Pacific need to develop the strategy, culture and technology-enabled solutions to source, manage and engage with an increasingly international, diverse and mobile workforce.

2.  Connecting with millennials to drive advantages

The Workforce 2020 study had shown that millennials are surprisingly similar to their non-millennial coworkers when it comes to workplace priorities such as compensation being most important and meeting goals for advancement.

Organizations in Asia Pacific need to realize that millennials expected to be managed differently. From our experience, we believe that they want to be excited about work, receive formal trainings and get to their own style of working. It is important to note that millennials represent a significant talent opportunity for organizations to build a dynamic workforce to drive competitive advantage for the business of tomorrow. This is especially true for India where it is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan.

3.  Closing the talent gap

Less than half of employees surveyed say their company provides ample training on the technology they need, and less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them.

In SAP, our approach is that we treat every employee as a talent (part of our culture) and we consistently invest in helping our individual talent to progressively grow proficiency in their areas of expertise as well as topics of interest.

4.  Building strong leadership

Successful management of a diverse and flexible workforce with different needs requires strong leadership. Of the executives surveyed only 34% felt their leaders were ready to lead a diverse workforce, while only 35% believe they have the right leadership team to drive global growth.

SAP has since devoted the required resources to address leadership gaps and build an integrated leadership framework to ensure that we are well positioned to thrive around the 2020 workforce. We will encourage Asia business leaders to embed this topic as a key imperative for success.

Preparing for the 2020 workforce

Preparing for the 2020 workforce is critical to business strategy, growth and performance. This responsibility should not be shouldered by just HR or CHRO alone and viewed as just a HR transformation.

We believe that the entire suite of topics should be carefully developed into shared goals such that they can be included into the CEO and boardroom agendas. If executed well, the implications will be far-reaching and will certainly put your business on the route to success beyond 2020.

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Innovation » future of business