SINGAPORE — A greater emphasis on workforce development correlates with better financial results, according to findings from Workforce2020, a global study from SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Oxford Economics. The study looked at high- and low-performing companies worldwide, including Australia, India, Japan and Malaysia in Asia Pacific, examining correlations between workforce priority and financial success. The results found several key characteristics of high-performing companies regarding their use of talent to drive bottom-line growth.
High-Performing APAC Companies Recruit and Keep the Best Talent
Higher-growth companies are better at attracting quality talent. Sixty-four percent of high-performing Asia Pacific firms are satisfied with the quality of job candidates, compared to 56 percent of firms with below-average profit margin. In addition, one third of low-performing Asia Pacific companies say that difficulty recruiting employees with base-level skills is impacting their workforce strategies.
“Companies in Asia Pacific are undoubtedly growth-driven and Workforce2020 is a reminder that growth is tied to strong workforce development,” said Jairo Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, SAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ). “Key to managing human resources well is finding, supporting and driving the right talent. Technology can help HR managers monitor and identify areas of opportunity to strengthen a company’s most valuable assets that ultimately lead to better business performance. At SAP, we see our strong growth coming from our super awesome people helping customers run better, run simple.”
High-Performing APAC Companies Plan for Contingent Workforce
High performers in Asia Pacific are significantly more likely to say that increasing contingent and consultant employees are impacting workforce strategy, while low performers tend to say changing demographics are impacting their strategies. Almost half of higher-revenue companies in the region are increasingly using contingent employees, compared to only a third of low performers.
High-Performing APAC Companies Prioritize Workforce Issues at the C-Level
Top-performing organizations prioritize workforce issues at a far higher level than those that are lower-performing. Seventy-seven percent of executives at high revenue growth companies in Asia Pacific say workforce issues are already driving strategy at the board level, versus 64 percent among underperformers. However, more than a third of executives at high performing companies in the region said HR will have no voice in decision-making in three years.
High-Performing APAC Companies Must Invest More in Training and Mentoring
Surprisingly, 40 percent of low performers say they have ample budget and resources dedicated to developing talent, compared to only 23 percent of high performers. More low profit-margin companies in Asia Pacific also offer supplemental training (73 percent versus 56 percent), formal mentoring (69 percent versus 61 percent) and incentives for pursuing further education (40 percent versus 22 percent).
In terms of skill continuity, 35 percent of low performers say that when a person with key skills leaves, they tend to fill the role from within the organization, against only 23 percent of high performers, who more often recruit externally.
High-Performing APAC Companies Are Better Prepared with Technology Skills
Executives at high-revenue growth companies in Asia Pacific say these technology skills are well-represented at their organization, outperforming low growth firms: analytics (62 percent versus 55 percent); office productivity software (58 percent versus 49 percent); and digital media (36 percent versus 27 percent).
For more information on the study and related best practices, check the APAC fact sheet here and visit the Growth campaign hub.
About the Research
Workforce2020 is a large-scale global study to discover best practices and actual progress toward the creation of talent strategies for the future in the global economy. Oxford Economics, on behalf of SAP, surveyed more than 2,700 executives and 2,700 employees, and interviewed 28 executives across the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Survey respondents came from a variety of industries, company sizes and age groups (49 percent of employee respondents are millennials).
Note: The study defines “high growth” as companies that reported either above-average revenue or profit margin growth over the past three years. Of the 2,700 executives surveyed, 15 percent reported above-average revenue growth and 32 percent reported below-average revenue growth.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 291,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
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