By focusing on six fundamental human needs through work, companies can unlock more of their people’s potential, bolster trust and see an increase in business performance — even in times of crisis or amid weak GDP growth, according to a new research report from Accenture.
Titled “Care to Do Better: Building Trust to Leave Your People and Your Business Net Better Off,” the report is based on surveys of 3,200 C-suite executives (“CXOs”) and more than 15,000 workers spanning 15 industries and 10 countries including Singapore.
The research introduces a framework called “Net Better Off,” which centers on the six distinct and connected dimensions that leaders must focus on to unlock their people’s potential:
- Emotional & Mental. Feeling positive emotions and maintaining mental wellness (e.g., a sense of accomplishment, compassion, happiness, fulfillment and optimism);
- Relational. Feeling a strong sense of belonging and inclusion and having many strong personal relationships;
- Physical. Being in good physical health and equipped to take on normal daily stresses;
- Financial. Being financially secure without undue economic stress or worry and having equitable opportunity for future economic stability and advancement;
- Purposeful. Feeling that one makes a positive difference to the world and that life has meaning and a greater sense of purpose beyond oneself; and
- Employable. Having marketable, in-demand capabilities and skills that make it easy to obtain good jobs and equitable career-advancement opportunities.
A key global finding: Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of people’s potential at work, defined as using and developing their skills each day, is influenced by whether or not they feel better off across the six dimensions. Further, while the emotional, relational and purposeful dimensions are the strongest drivers of positive employee behavior, most employers focus their efforts on only the employable and financial dimensions.
“The current crisis will pass and organisations that answer the call to take better care of their people will win in the future,” said Himanshu Tambe, Accenture’s Talent, Organisation & Human Potential Lead, Southeast Asia. “Our research findings reconfirm that the role of CHROs has become more important than ever. They are creating experiences grounded in care for people and concern for their communities while accelerating the performance of the business. Companies that can successfully elevate their people will be able to reinforce their businesses and unlock the full potential as we move into the post-pandemic world.”
Five “Sweet Spot” practices that deliver for people and the organisation
Globally, Accenture’s analysis found that organisations that make their people Net Better Off and implement specific organisational practices could achieve incremental revenue growth of as much as 5 percent even when GDP growth is weak, as it is now.
Using statistical testing, Accenture sorted through more than 20 practices that have the potential to help people become Net Better Off and improve business performance, then identified five “Sweet Spot” practices that deliver the greatest impact in both areas:
- Enable continuous learning to ensure a future-ready workforce can shift at scale.
- Singapore employees who experience this practice are more likely to recommend their employer (88 percent) compared to those who don’t (55 percent)
- Listen to what your people need at the front lines, empowering them with real-time data.
- Singapore employees who experience this practice can more effectively adapt to change (91 percent) compared to those who do not experience this practice (55 percent)
- Use technology to enable flexible work arrangements and more creative work for your workforce that is increasingly dispersed.
- Singapore employees who experience this practice are more likely to feel fulfilled in their work (85 percent) compared to those who do not experience this practice (51 percent)
- Champion workforce well-being and equality. Safety and relational needs are more important than ever.
- Singapore employees who experience this practice put significantly more effort into their work (90 percent) compared to those who do not experience this practice (51 percent)
- Set and share your people metrics. Set accountability for diversity and equality, be transparent and engage in intentional conversations that matter to your people.
- Singapore employees who experience this practice have more positive experiences at their employer (73 percent) compared to those who do not experience this practice (51 percent)
The Modern HR Leader
The report notes that to succeed in this new era, chief human resources officers (CHROs) must change the way they think about their own job, championing the dimensions of Net Better Off and the Sweet Spot practices. Acting as catalysts for growth and culture change, this new type of CHRO – what Accenture refers to as “Modern HR leaders” – moves beyond efficiency and process execution to create experiences grounded in care for people and concern for their communities, while accelerating the performance of the business.
You can find the full Accenture report here.