Despite economic headwinds, nearly six in 10 executives1 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, tight labor market, and competition for talent. HR leaders in Thailand echoed similar sentiments in Mercer’s Global Talent Trends (GTT) Study 2023, which includes a pulse survey conducted with close to 2,500 HR leaders globally.
Specifically, the HR leaders – representing close to 100 companies – said they are concerned about lack of workforce capability and future skills (47%), too many priorities that distract their employees (40%), and balancing transformation plans with a survival mindset (38%).
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 Thailand to enable new ways of working for employees and focus on developing a skills-based organization to attract the right talent.
Work in Partnership: Flexible work and competitive rewards for employees
Nearly seven in 10 employees said last year2 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 Thailand, 61% of employers surveyed offer flexible work options for all employees, higher than Asia (50%) and Global (56%) averages. However, more can be done to ensure that the remaining companies recognize the importance of work flexibility in talent attraction and retention.
To combat the impact of inflation, more employers in Thailand (27%) adjusted pay or offered cost-of-living adjustments to employees paid below the market median, compared to an Asia average of 20%. They were also higher than Asia in providing a cost-of-living adjustment or other wage increases for the most impacted markets (33% versus an Asia average of 22%). This is a more sustainable way of managing compensation for organizations.
Deliver on Total Well-Being: Focus on providing benefits that matter
To attract and retain talent, organizations need to differentiate themselves beyond having fair pay policies, and also prioritize employee well-being, which encompasses not only physical but also mental, social and financial well-being. In fact, more than nine in 10 employers in Thailand are focusing on how their benefits offerings can better boost employee engagement in 2023. For example, 48% have plans to expand benefits to be more supportive of all segments of the workforce this year (versus an Asia average of 40%). Yet, they are on par with Asia in ensuring the job security of gig workers – 46% have no plans to do so.
However, employers in Thailand lag Asia in many other areas, especially in supporting employees’ mental well-being. Just 13% of employers provide crisis management support to employees following a traumatic event (versus an Asia average of 21%) and 23% provide on-demand access to virtual mental health providers (versus an Asia average of 26%).
Build Employability: Move from understanding skills to building capabilities
One of the areas employers in Thailand have faced difficulty in making progress on is enabling a skills-based organization. While 60% of them (versus an Asia average of 56%) have a clear understanding of the talent needs across their organization, HR leaders have yet to catch up on the development and deployment of their talent. About three in 10 companies have an internal talent marketplace to facilitate talent sharing, as compared to 40% in Asia, and just 33% (versus an Asia average of 60%) nudge employees to undergo training based on their job and skill aspirations.
On leveraging tools and technology to better measure and assess skills, companies in Thailand are also trailing Asia. Compared to an Asia average of 41%, only 22% of employers use AI-driven talent intelligence platforms to understand skills, while 43% use psychometric tools to measure potential (versus an Asia average of 53%).
Juckchai Boonyawat, President of Mercer Thailand, said, “It is heartening to see a growing trend of employers in Thailand exploring and implementing new ways of working that address employees’ evolving needs. Various types of flexible work models have been adopted in many organizations. However, this is just one piece of a puzzle, and we urge employers to prioritize overall employee experiences by reducing employee exhaustion and redesigning work with well-being in mind for a start. Leaders should also take proactive steps to safeguard the employability of their workforce by investing in their development, upskilling and reskilling their talent, and leverage technology while doing so.”
Source : Mercer