It's Undisputed - Best Employers Lead the Way

Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it” With that as the guiding principle, we set forth on identifying the Best Employers of India 2016. Which are the organizations that are well placed to ‘create’ what people at the workplace will look forward to in the future?

Being the 17th year of the Best Employers program, the stakes were high. However, the writing was on the wall as we unraveled the times keeping the talent narrative in mind. We had arrived at our destination, with 25 deserving organizations taking the leap of honor. The journey culminated with the resounding success of the Aon Best Employers India 2016: Awards Ceremony and Learning Conference, in partnership with BW Business world and Bloomberg TV.

In this issue, we bring to you some of the key insights from the 2016 study, including how Best Employers are focusing on future proofing their organizations against potential talent risks of the future. Accordingly, the theme of Imagineering 2020 was defined this year.

Are Best Employers Building for the Future?

In 2001, Best Employers India was launched to learn and share best practices across companies and industries. 16 years later, one wonders whether there are any “best practices.” New age companies introduce talent practices older ones cannot fathom implementing. Need for speed and agility is undermining the time required and relevance to mimic best practices. Hence, we decided to leverage 2016 study to understand how Best Employers are preparing themselves for the future.

For that, it is important to define and create the workplace of the future! Given the external and demographic megatrends, we believe businesses in future will have to:

1. Design organizations for Innovation, Agility & Speed: In an increasingly networked and complex world, organizations of the future will work in smaller and diverse teams (“if a team couldn’t be fed with 2 pizzas, it is too big” – Jeff Bezos Rule). These teams will be multifaceted and cross-functional, though not necessarily most effective in solving problems. 

Teams will hence have to learn how to include everyone’s views and voice in the solution. Ability to manage diversity of thought supported by an art of effective collaboration will be critical success levers. Team members will increasingly work on shorter assignments to create higher learning impact and build new career contracts that allow for a wider and enriching experience. 

Key Success Drivers – Diversity & Inclusion, Collaboration and Career Opportunity

2. Create Work Culture to Deliver 10X Impact: Future of work revolves around one’s ability to learn and adapt. Depth of problem solving will be bartered with quicker decision-making and iterative learning. Omnipresent technology, process automation and artificial intelligence will redefine future work processes. Man & machine will look for confluence; learning will be on-demand and delivered just-in-time for 10X impact.

Best talent will work on the best job (agnostic of the employer). Employees will expect organizations to enable jobs everywhere, and provide them the latitude on “how” it is delivered.

Key Success Drivers – Empowerment, Enabling Infrastructure, and Work-Life Integration

3. Manage the Young, the Old, and the Connected Future of managing talent will be driven by individual choices. People managers will need to learn to be “coaches” in a networked organization. Critical talent will expect deeper and differentiated methods to receive rewards and recognition.

Given the advent of technology-enabled transparency and rising social inequalities, talent will demand stronger alignment to organization’s purpose. They will expect organizations to define and live their brand in thought, speech and action, and leadership style will need to be inspirational to draw positive energy.

Key Success Drivers – Employer Brand, Inspiring Leadership, and Rewards & Recognition

Visibly, Best Employers are delivering significantly higher employee experience on the enclosed future success drivers. Hence, we adopted detailed statistical analyses to unearth following highlights, where even the Best need to step-up:

a) Work-life integration is a key improvement driver for Best Employers. This represents employees’ rising expectations towards better work-life balance enabled through omnipresent technology.

b) Collaboration at the workplace is a key sustenance (strength) driver for Best Employers. However, it is not the top most. We regularly notice collaboration as a key improvement area for the market.

c) Brand and senior leadership are amongst the Top 4 improvement drivers for the market. Incidentally, senior leadership was a sustenance driver for Best Employers last year, but no longer. This corroborates our hypothesis of the task cut-out for inspiring leaders and organization’s reputation.

d) Market average scores have improved the most on brand and career opportunities. Best Employers need to raise their “delivery of promise” and focus on creation of purposeful organizations.

e) Best Employers have created the highest gap against the market on rewards & recognition. The same however, is still their top most improvement driver. There is irrefutable data supporting Best Employers’ financial performance against the market index. As we gaze our eyes into the future, we need to identify those who will continue to hold their heads above rising tides, and stand tall to ever-changing dimensions of business breakthroughs and talent shifts.

From the Learning Conference: Imagineering Best Employers 2020

With organizations proactively simulating future possibilities of the workplace for 2020, we took a step further to ask, what will the Best Employers of 2020 look like? This year, we shifted the focus of sharing our learning/insights to “co-creating the future” and imagineering a 2020 Best Employer. Aon Hewitt took its deep domain knowledge and combined it with learnings from the Best Employers’ connected brilliance towards the theme of 2020 Imagineering Best Employers.

The Aon Best Employers Learning Conference was a move in that direction by offering a peek into how employers in India can deliver effectively in such volatile, yet curious times. Tarandeep Singh, Partner, Talent & Performance Consulting, Aon Hewitt India kick-started proceedings by setting the agenda for the evening. This was followed by three insightful sessions, aligned with the theme of Imagineering Best Employers of 2020, in which top CEOs and industry leaders shared their perspectives. Anand Shankar, Chief Commercial Officer, APAC, Aon Hewitt delivered a riveting session on addressing the future through imagineering the talent strategy.


Tarandeep Singh Pahwa
Partner, Practice Leader - Engagement & Culture,
Aon Hewitt Consulting Twitter @tspahwa

For more information, please write to us at talentscapes@aonhewitt.com
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