Research has found that 64% of a person’s potential - defined by their ability to use their skills and strengths at work - is influenced by whether or not they feel better off across these six dimensions. Conversely, less than 9% of unlocking potential can be explained by factors such as education, tenure, level, industry, geography and company size.

Addressing their people's emotions, ensuring inclusion, helping with financial security, and more - in order to unlock the potential of their workforce, HR leaders must focus on six distinct and connected dimensions, recent research has shown.

In an Accenture study titled Care to do better: Building trust to leave your people and your business net better off, it was found that 64% of a person’s potential - i.e. their ability to use their skills and strengths at work - is influenced by whether or not they feel better off across these six dimensions.

Conversely, less than 9% of unlocking potential can be explained by factors such as education, tenure, level, industry, geography and company size.

So, what exactly are these six dimensions? 

  1. Emotional & Mental. Feeling positive emotions and maintaining mental wellness (e.g., a sense of accomplishment, compassion, happiness, fulfillment and optimism);
  2. Relational. Feeling a strong sense of belonging and inclusion and having many strong personal relationships;
  3. Physical. Being in good physical health and equipped to take on normal daily stresses;
  4. Financial. Being financially secure without undue economic stress or worry and having equitable opportunity for future economic stability and advancement;
  5. 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
  6. Employable. Having marketable, in-demand capabilities and skills that make it easy to obtain good jobs and equitable career-advancement opportunities.

These six dimensions have been unveiled as part of a newly-introduced framework, 'Net Better Off'.

Commenting on the above, Himanshu Tambe, Accenture’s Talent, Organisation & Human Potential Lead, Southeast Asia, said: “The current crisis will pass and organisations that answer the call to take better care of their people will win in the future.

"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."

In line with this, the research, which involved 3,200 C-suite executives and more than 15,000 workers spanning 10 countries including Singapore, further found that beyond unlocking the people's potential, leaders and employers must also look into boosting the business potential.

In particular, it noted that organisations which unlocked its workforce potential and implemented specific organisational practices could achieve "incremental revenue growth" of as much as 5%, despite the low GDP growth.

An analysis has uncovered five 'sweet spot' practices CHROs can focus on to deliver the greatest impact for both their people and the organisation:

  1. Enable continuous learning to ensure a future-ready workforce can shift at scale. Organisations that lead in this practice use data analysis to anticipate future skills needs. They deconstruct and reconstruct roles, determining which tasks are best suited for machines and which require uniquely human skills.
    • Singapore employees who experience this practice are more likely to recommend their employer (88%; globally: 98%) compared to those who don’t (55%).
    • Globally, 98% would recommend their employers if they experience this.
    • 20% of organisations surveyed say they lead in this practice.

  2. Listen to what your people need at the front lines, empowering them with real-time data. Organisations that lead in this practice use technology to anticipate, predict and quickly respond to their people’s needs. They use two-way applications that flag trends while giving individuals a voice. This allows them to build trust by applying insights in a way that provides clear benefits to individuals, not just to the business. 
    • Singapore employees who experience this practice can more effectively adapt to change (91%; globally: 97%) compared to those who do not experience this practice (55%).
    • 15% of employers globally say they lead in this practice.

  3. Use technology to enable flexible work arrangements and more creative work for your workforce that is increasingly dispersed. Many businesses apply intelligent technologies to automate tasks and improve productivity. Organisations that lead in this practice use technology to accelerate flexible work, freeing their people to engage in more fulfilling and innovative roles.
    • Singapore employees who experience this practice are more likely to feel fulfilled in their work (85%; globally: 98%) compared to those who do not experience this practice (51%).
    • 20% of employers globally say they lead in this practice.

  4. Champion workforce wellbeing and equality. This practice requires more than having a program that’s a 'check-the-box' effort. Organisations that lead in this practice continually support and refine their wellbeing initiatives to reflect people’s changing needs. For instance, in the midst of the current pandemic, organisations have had to be nimble to create initiatives to safeguard the physical and psychological wellbeing of workers.
    • Singapore employees who experience this practice put significantly more effort into their work (90%; globally: 94%) compared to those who do not experience this practice (51%).
    • 17% of employers globally say they lead in this practice.

  5. Set and share your people metrics. Set accountability for diversity and equality, be transparent and engage in intentional conversations that matter to your people. The most equal and diverse cultures experience 11 times the innovation mindset of the least equal and diverse, according to Accenture research. Organisations that lead in this practice showcase their commitment by ensuring people metrics are in place.
    • Singapore employees who experience this practice have more positive experiences with their employer (73%' globally: 72%) compared to those who do not experience this practice (51%).
    • 15% of employers globally say they lead in this practice.

Hallmarks of a 'modern' HR leader

Apart from the above, the research also highlighted three key ways in which 'trailblazers' in HR approach their work differently from their peers, by exhibiting a new ethos, pursuing new skills, and developing new collaborations. 

More specifically, they adopt a new mindset and accountability toward their people, their business and the communities they serve. They also develop new skill sets to support emerging roles within HR and focus on upskilling their workforce to better prepare for the future of work.

Lastly, they operate in boundary-less ways by teaming across the organisation in order to meet the needs of their people and achieve shared success.

  • Modern HR leaders who exhibited a new ethos were 1.1 times more likely to strongly believe that organisations should report on the wellbeing of their people (65%, vs 57% in non-modern HR leaders).
  • Those who developed new skills were 1.4 times more likely to make significant investments in upskilling their people (61%, vs 43% in non-modern HR leaders).
  • Modern HR leaders who sought new collaborations were four times more likely to initiate and drive collaborations across their organisation (39%, vs 9% in non-modern HR leaders).

Photo / Screengrab from report

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