Talent management issues including attraction, retention, and engagement have emerged as the top workforce risk and the most pertinent threat for employers in Asia, said Mercer Marsh Benefits recently when releasing its report “The Five Pillars of People Risk: Managing risks for workforce and business resilience” based on a survey of more than 1380 participants globally.
- 72% of respondents in Asia ranked talent attraction, retention and engagement as a serious and top risk for their organisation. Asia is faced with a growing shortage of skilled workers, exacerbated by widespread societal aging as well as rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other emerging technologies that are transforming jobs and the skills needed to do them.
- While HR plays a critical role in shaping policies to restructure the workforce, reskill employees and redesign the work experience, only 18.9% of the respondents reflected that this responsibility lies with HR.
- 58.9% of respondents in Asia acknowledged the severe impact cybersecurity would have on the business and nearly half (47.2%) considered data privacy having the potential to cause severe impacts to the business. This aligns with the increasingly sophisticated and frequent cybercrimes that have elevated these risks on the C-suite agenda.
- Businesses with disparate digital systems across geographies or organisational functions increase their exposure to cyberattacks. The breaches which occur due to poor vendor and people management processes can cause severe business interruption and brand reputation damage.
Asia’s two blind spots in talent management
Overall, the top three risks in Asia were similar to the global ranking, although Asia was the only region to rank talent attraction, retention and engagement as the top risk, said MMB.
While workforce exhaustion and deteriorating mental health were identified as two of the top 10 risks globally, they were not considered as top 10 risks in Asia, the firm added.
According to Mercer’s Healthy Minds at Work report in 2020, stress levels of employees have tripled since the onset of the pandemic.
Based on the survey findings, employers in Asia need to do more in this area when it comes to talent management, MMB advised.
However, only half of the respondents (50.3%) saw workforce exhaustion as having a significant impact on businesses with only 58.9% indicating they are addressing the risk to great or some extent.
As for deteriorating mental health, only four in 10 (41.1%) acknowledged the potential severe impact on their organizations, with 56.4% addressing the risk to great or some extent, the firm said.
Another blind spot is non-communicable health conditions (NCDs) which is one of the risks with the lowest extent of being addressed, MMB pointed out.
NCDs are the leading causes of death and disability globally and is estimated to have caused 10.4 million deaths in South East Asia, the firm said.
Health On Demand, a research conducted by Mercer Marsh Benefits, Mercer and Oliver Wyman, found that 43% of both employers and employees want a more ‘pro-health’ environment at work, and more than half of senior decision makers agreed that health and well-being investment would be a greater priority for their organizations in the future, MMB noted.
These findings show the opportunity for employers to play a more active role in helping their workforce to achieve better health outcomes, and get the unprecedented ability to achieve a competitive advantage, the firm advised.