Aon Best Employers India 2017

Mr. Leo Puri: Managing Director, UTI Asset
Management Company
Dr. Omkar Goswami: Founder and Chairman,
CERG Advisory
Ms. Chanda Kochhar: Managing Director and CEO, ICICI
Bank Limited

Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan: Professor, IIM Bangalore
Mr. Sanjiv Mehta: CEO and Managing Director, Hindustan
Unilever Ltd.


"The companies that had participated in the Aon Best Employers India 2017 study had put a lot of effort into it, and the Aon Hewitt methodology clearly encourages a lot of rigor as well.
- Mr. Leo Puri"

"Close to 90% of change caused by disruption requires adaptation. Through Aon Best Employers India 2017 study, we found it is important for us to recognize the best practices and the philosophies behind those practices.
- Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan"

"The one thing that stood out very clearly in the Aon Best Employers India 2017 study is an enhanced focus amongst a lot of corporations in the country to get the maximum out of their real assets, that is, their people.
- Mr. Sanjiv Mehta"

Aon Best Employers India 2017: Human Capital Scan

Change is not constant. It is exponential

Businesses are getting disrupted at an unprecedented rate, globally organizations are trying to keep pace with the technological evolution, multiple generations are working together and employees globally are looking at a future where they may share their workspace with machines and artificial intelligence.

In 2016, we introduced the #ImagineeringTomorrow theme; with the intent to assess the impact of megatrends, and to visualize a journey that prepares organizations for the future. We concluded the edition with key building blocks for Best Employers and the critical dimensions to imagineer the future.

You can download a copy of the Human Capital Scan here 


Imagination, future, engineering

With the 2017 edition of Best Employers, we are working towards bridging the gap to the future. Over the lastone year, we worked with businesses and HR leaders across industries to paint a picture of the future of their businesses. We then co-created insights, trend lines and practices for the future workplace. Since the future is, well, the future, not everything can be sharply defined. But we can get a rich sense from the narratives of the leaders who are working at the cusp of change.

The #ImagineeringTomorrow sessions were conducted across multiple cities – both online and offline. Representing 348,000 employee responses across 119 companies, and a cross section of industries i.e., services, retail, information technology, manufacturing, mining and metal industries.

These insights formed the lens for us in analyzing the data and trends from the 2017 edition of the Best Employers study. What we concluded was that the future is uncertain for organizations – a mixed bag of opportunities and threats. But, the present is full of potential in bridging to the future.


What the future demands: Fast change, fast growth

It is not technology alone that is impacting the business world. Government regulations plus global economic and geo-political influences are also continuously changing. Demonetization and introduction of GST have kept our Indian CEOs as much on their toes, as the rising influence of China on the regional affairs and the election of USA’s new President. Indian stock markets have done well recently, banks are flush with funds and interest rates have been falling.

Despite the mix of constant changes, 95% of CEOs participating in the study said that their organizations were on a fast/steady growth trajectory. No wonder, almost 50% of the above CEOs listed product/service innovation as their primary focus area for meeting business goals, and more than 40% say key challenges impeding their organization’s ability to succeed are government regulations and operational efficiency.

For an organization, trust in leadership defines employees alignment and organizational performance. A close view on employees perception of leadership presents a revealing insight.

However, in the era of constant change, are the leaders inspiring employees enough? Unfortunately, scores are lowest on this dimension, and leadership is in fact an improvement driver for the market on an average.

How do low scores on inspiration compare with leadership development? Especially in the light of HR stating that it spends significant amount of time and effort on it (more than half of HR leaders called it as its top 2 agenda item).

Interestingly, organizations across the board have focused on the tangible and de-prioritized the inspirational. None of the participant organizations are investing discrete time and money into building 'storytelling' capabilities and talking ‘future opportunities’, with its leaders. Isn’t it counter-intuitive to not focus on such skills in time of managing such fast change and fast growth?


Is HR supporting growth through product/service innovation?

Given 76% of CEOs say organization’s HR strategy is framed in collaboration with businesses, an obvious response would be an emphatic, YES! Why is that then 65% of CEOs say HR is unable to demonstrate its ROI through metrics?

Our data indicates that only 24% of HR teams claim they are focused on HR effectiveness and metrics. If the CEOs faith in HR outcomes has to be strengthened, HR needs to measure talent metrics through the lens of business needs. Presuming HR has achieved reasonable maturity on operational (cost heavy) processes, it now needs to strengthen efforts around measuring and driving innovation & change.


Driving a culture of innovation

According to Aon research, Getting Real about Creating a High Performance Culture published in 2016, five critical experience drivers (besides senior leadership) impact creation of required culture:

  1. Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)
  2. Enabling Infrastructure (tools & resources)
  3. Talent & Staffing (capacity & capability)
  4. Empowerment & Autonomy
  5. Collaboration

Interestingly, all these are strengths for Best Employers in 2017, with D&I being the top most. In addition, these were also the drivers we had highlighted last year as ones critical for an organization’s future success.

Notwithstanding the above, the most impactful culture driver, inspirational leadership, continues to elude even the Best as its strength, now second year in a row. (An interesting fact – women on an average represent only 0.2% of the senior leadership amongst the participants).

But, how should HR measure progress on building an innovative culture? While almost one third of the CEOs say they have not aligned their organizational structure/ resources to the required culture, the Best breed culture through multiple channels.

Tarandeep Singh
Partner, Talent & Performance Consulting,
Aon Hewitt (India)
Raswinder Singh
Senior Consultant,
Culture & Engagement Practice
Aon Hewitt (India)
Kanika Manchanda
Culture & Engagement Practice
Aon Hewitt (India)

For more information, please write to us at talentscapes@aonhewitt.com
Follow us on LinkedIn at Aon India & Twitter @Aon_India

Get in touch
Aon India Consulting