PH employers address fatigue, high turnover with improved employee experience, better rewards — study

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EMPLOYERS in the Philippines are addressing fatigue and high turnover with improved employee experience and better rewards. Many of these companies prioritize their employees’ evolving expectations for flexibility and financial well being.

According to the Mercer Global Talent Trends (GTT) Study 2023, despite economic headwinds, nearly six in 10 executives globally expect their firms to post stable or high growth. Yet, when planning for the year, leaders in Asia are most concerned about the increasing cost of capital and debt, persistent inflation, a tight labor market, and fierce competition for talent.

HR leaders in the Philippines echoed similar sentiments in the study, which includes a pulse survey conducted with close to 2,500 HR leaders globally.

To address these challenges, HR leaders who represent 66 companies and responded to the survey said they are looking to improve the employee experience for key talent (76 percent), improve their total rewards strategies (68 percent), rethink compensation structures (65 percent), and deliver on total well-being (65 percent) this year.

The GTT uncovers the ways organizations are redesigning work and the workplace, especially in light of
sociopolitical and economic changes, and identifies talent-related trends to enable organizations to thrive in the future of work. Key findings of this year’s survey include the need for employers in the Philippines to enable and build skills-based organizations and enhance their company culture to remain successful.

Nearly seven in 10 employees said last year that not being able to work remotely or hybrid permanently is a deal breaker when considering whether to join or stay with an organization. In the Philippines, 74 percent of the companies surveyed provide flexible working options for all their employees. This is significantly higher than the Asia (50 percent) and Global (56 percent) averages.

To combat the impact of inflation, 48 percent of companies in the Philippines (versus Asia’s 26 percent) are using bonuses instead of base salary to increase employee’s total compensation package, while 35 percent (versus Asia’s 29 percent) are implementing adjustments across the entire workforce. However, just 17 percent of employers in the Philippines (versus Asia’s 22 percent and Global’s 29 percent) are providing a cost-of-living adjustment or other wage increases for the most impacted markets, which may be a more sustainable way of managing compensation for organizations in the longer term.

Deliver on Total Well-Being: More can be done for gig workers

To attract and retain talent, organizations need to differentiate themselves beyond having fair pay policies, and also prioritize employee well-being, which encompasses physical, mental, social and financial well-being. Almost all respondents (97 percent) are focusing on introducing or improving benefits offerings that matter.

Compared with the Asia average, the Philippines generally fared better in supporting employees’ well-being. For example, 65 percent of employers (versus Asia’s 40 percent) have addressed the stigma of mental health through dedicated campaigns, and 53 percent of them (versus Asia’s 39 percent) have redesigned work with well-being in mind such as having no-meeting days and balanced workloads.

However, support for special populations like gig or freelance workers trails Asia (37 percent), with 28 percent of employers providing adequate job security.

Build for Employability: Look beyond conventional training to develop skills

The high attrition rate continues to plague companies in the Philippines, and the significant supply and
demand gap in both supply and skills of workers has highlighted the critical role organizations play in
safeguarding the future employability of their workforce. Employers in the Philippines outperformed their
Asian counterparts in learning and development programs as they proactively nudge employees to undergo training (71 percent versus Asia average of 60 percent) and have a clear understanding of overall talent development needs (63 percent versus Asia average of 56 percent).

There is room for companies in the Philippines to further review their talent mobility opportunities (27 percent) which are less common than the Asia average (39 percent). Employers are also slower to adopt and leverage tools and technology such as AI to understand skills needs (16 percent), with just 14 percent of them having in place a robust assessment of technical skills.

Our new shape of work, in the post- pandemic era, could bring about new and unexpected challenges for many organizations in the Philippines. While many have pivoted successfully with updated rewards and benefits offerings, employers need to remain agile and flexible in order to adapt quickly to new conditions and fast-evolving employee expectations. Leveraging and maximizing the multitude of tools and technology available for skills assessment, training and talent development will allow firms to refocus their efforts on improving the employee experience by building an enabling company culture and designing effective total rewards programs that are based on how their workforce can thrive,” Floriza Molon, Career Business Leader, Mercer Philippines, said.

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