Learning from each other. Six findings from APAC State of HR Transformation Study 2016-17

May 15, 2017

Our HR transformation study focused on understanding the business of HR. Our insights suggest business, talent and organization changes need an always-on thinking and execution – hence #AlwaysOnHR.

1. HR Services are pivotal to success

Organizations with clarity on HR service delivery model and HR technology strategy are about four times more satisfied on program design and execution.

Action linked to driving HR effectiveness point toward a sharper focus on strengthening service delivery; almost eight out of ten are planning to:

  • Upskill competencies of current HR incumbents
  • Integrate talent management processes and
  • Implement technology to better support talent management

2. HR is in the driver’s seat, but only has the tank half full

63% of the respondents have a solid line to HR globally (direct or matrixed), demonstrating a stronger control on transformation and resource deployment.

However, capability of current HR incumbents is a challenge, even more so in large APAC enterprises.

Amongst different HR roles, HR generalist comes across as a confused role; going forward, field HR/generalists will have a vital role but unique to an organization's context.

3. HR's operating model is rapidly maturing, but in transition

HR service delivery is in early stages of maturity; less than one-third of respondents say they have a well-defined HR service delivery model. Of these, only about 45% have a shared service center.

As mature organizations think of greater integration and outcome-based thinking, user experience (enabled by end-to-end process coverage) and analytics for the guiding principles that define the HR operating model.

Shared services insights:

  • For organizations with shared services, about 50% of transactions are managed at the shared services level; administrative load at the country level goes down.
  • Amongst respondents who have shared services, close to 40% do not have a well-defined HR service delivery model. This will present challenges; value and impact of these centers will get questioned.
  • Shared services have a scope to increase their footprint, both on process scope and coverage; as HR shared services expand in domain of talent management, there remains a big opportunity to drive consolidation of administrative tasks (e.g. performance, learning, development).

4. HR technology - blockbuster expectations, yet to deliver

Clarity on HR technology strategy (irrespective of choice) drive up satisfaction on platforms.

Omni-channel support and access enables greater satisfaction on current deployments.

Highly-satisfied organizations tend to rate on premise and cloud platforms similarly, but when it comes to highly-dissatisfied organizations, cloud deployments score very low. We believe this is a factor of heightened expectations and misselling in the market.

Selection of platform partners will increasingly be anchored on user experience, configurability, analytics and pace of innovation.

5. People analytics needs to get back to the basics

Seven out of ten participating organizations plan to implement more robust people analytics in the coming 12-24 months, primarily to solve to issues around performance, productivity and retention.

Lack of consolidated data, the capability of the current HR team, and the ability to link analytics to business outcomes are top areas which organizations are trying to solve.

6. We have only just begun

HR will continue to evolve. To this end, we captured the confidence of CHROs on certain events; the year when the cumulative confidence exceeds 50% becomes the tipping point.

Across APAC:

  • There is a sense of certainty around greater self-service options offered as organizations explore deployment of omni-channels (proactively identifying the channel of choice based on user groups).
  • Learning is shifting to bite-sized, video-based learning as mobile dominates the channel today; this will accelerate with augmented reality coming into play.
  • Continuous listening is a must in delivering a superlative employee experience and the shifts on this front are pretty obvious.

A strong HR transformation is anchored on people analytics with HR leaders engaging with other parts of the business frequently. It is assumed that the underlying pieces enabling HR transformation like HR service delivery, HR incumbents, HR platforms, etc., are delivering at optimum levels and are able to thrive through data and insights.

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