Article: Majority of Indian employees willing to forgo pay rise, promotion for work-life balance, overall well-being : Survey

Talent Management

Majority of Indian employees willing to forgo pay rise, promotion for work-life balance, overall well-being : Survey

As per The Michael Page India Talent Trends 2022 Report, there has been a wave of resignations in India with over 38% of employees who have been at their current jobs for not more than two years and 86% of employees will be looking for new career prospects over the next six months.
Majority of Indian employees willing to forgo pay rise, promotion for work-life balance, overall well-being : Survey

With the pandemic forcing home and work life into the same physical space, a spotlight has been placed on how people view not only their work, but their lives more holistically. Employees are re-evaluating what constitutes quality work, and they want it to be purposeful.

While salaries, bonuses, and rewards are still top attraction motivators for candidates, a recent survey by professional recruitment services firm Michael Page India shows a big swing towards non-monetary motivators. 

A significant 61% of respondents in India are willing to accept a lower salary or forgo pay rise and/or promotion for better work-life balance, overall well-being, and happiness, finds The Michael Page India Talent Trends 2022 Report – The Great X that features new insights, opportunities and market sentiment in India on prominent recruitment- and talent-related topics, including flexible work, mental health, employee well-being and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). The results draw from a survey of 15 major industries covered in 12 APAC markets.  

The report with data-backed insights drawn from a survey of 3,069 respondents, gives a depiction of what the talent market looks like today, and how it will likely pan out over the year. 

“The pandemic has brought with it long-term changes in the way employees view work. While working from home has brought many benefits for the workforce, including more time, greater flexibility and better outcomes for a balance between their personal and professional lives, it has also introduced other challenges such as greater fatigue, reduced well-being and social connect, and a disconnect with the company ethos,” says Ankit Agarwala, managing director of Michael Page India.

Agarwala adds that moving forward, it will be important for organisations to listen to their employees and provide a degree of choice and ownership in how they run their workdays and work lives. “This will need to be balanced out with measures that help employees integrate and stay in touch with the Company Culture. This can only be done with clear, honest and transparent communication about the organisation’s plans, feedback mechanisms and thought processes,” he says.

The report adds that matching salary expectations will be one of the leading recruitment challenges in 2022. However, the challenges facing recruiters, HR departments and hiring managers are consistent across industries with demand for talent far outstripping supply, making human capital one of the scarcest resources. 

Sparked by the global pandemic, the Great Resignation has been happening in India for the past two years and will only intensify in 2022, says the report. 

There has been a wave of resignations in India with over one-third i.e. (38%) of employees who have been at their current jobs for not more than two years and a significant 86% of employees will be looking for new career prospects over the next six months. Across all industries, levels of seniority, and age groups, a clear majority has indicated this major talent migration will continue. 

“The technology sector will continue to see tremendous demand for talent due to a global and local shortage. As India has a great talent pool in this area, it is well placed to meet global needs. We are also witnessing individuals placing an increased importance on company culture, sense of purpose, and leadership ahead of company brands and promotions. Organisations that have great company culture will likely experience a competitive advantage,” says Nicolas Dumoulin, Senior Managing Director of Michael Page India and Thailand.

Salary, bonus and reward will remain on the key soft motivators influencing 20% of candidates in their decision on where work. The past 24 months have revealed people’s desire for flexibility and autonomy over their jobs. Employees want pay, bonuses, benefits, and rewards, but more than ever, they want to feel valued and heard by their employers. Of those unemployed, 43% say they have been so for more than six months. The surge in resignations is being driven by people searching for the right job at the right company with the right values and culture — and many would simply rather remain unemployed until they have found the right match. 

As economies improve, organisations should take this opportunity to redesign their working models to be more human-centric.  

As per the report the following are key trends are emerging and likely to continue in the next few years:

  • The consequence of hybrid work: 87% of respondents want a hybrid work arrangement between working from home and the office. As employers rethink business models, demand for white-collar temporary and contracting solutions is increasing. Hybrid work arrangements are now a universally expected basic. 68% of employees prefer a hybrid working format in India and 11 % have resigned or planning to resign if the company is not willing to provide flexibility
  • DE&I: No longer a “niche” and is non-negotiable: Majority of companies are lacking clear policies and strategies. In 2022 employees want to work in a place that’s built on respect, trust, and kindness with the majority of the workforce now expecting companies to implement clear DE&I policies, organisations need to go from paying lip service to ensuring that change is instituted in a quantifiable way at all levels of the organisation. An average of 70% of people will consider asking about a company’s DE&I policy at job interviews and 33% of people who say a lack of a clear DE&I policy and commitment from a potential employer would stop them from actively pursuing an interview or opportunity at a company. 
  • The pandemic has shifted priorities, with 61% of candidates value well-being over money. Companies must take action to create positive workplace cultures in which employees at all levels feel supported and appreciated, or risk losing high performing talent to their competitors.
  • A significant number of employees do not feel supported by their employers. 57 % of people who say that their workload has increased compared to before COVID-19.  88% Believe that their company does not take active steps to ensure work-life balance. Companies need to try new ways to change things and help employees work more efficiently. The challenge is that this is not always easy for businesses to do because some roles are more customer oriented. When they always try to put the customer first, this sometimes means putting employees second, so finding that balance is what is required.
  • Employees and job seekers are becoming more proactive in their personal learning processes, as the majority of our respondents believe that they are responsible for their own reskilling and upskilling, rather than the onus falling on their employer. 95% of people believe that it is important for them to upskill themselves for their next career move. Education is no longer limited to often costly degrees or diplomas that takes years to achieve. 67% of respondents used online learning platforms sources of education to upskill and reskill. 

The good news is that the economic impact of COVID-19 is finally abating, with the majority of employers planning annual salary increases of more than 5%, which is more generous than many other markets in APAC. Demand for talent to be on the rise for technology sector while travel and hospitality, has seen consistent growth since travel restrictions were lifted. Several other sectors also witnessed a rise in hiring trends compared to 2021, including education, real estate, retail at banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), and FMCG. 

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Topics: Talent Management, Employee Engagement

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