The most common response was that HR is 'moderately skilled' for the process (Singapore: 52%, Malaysia: 47%), while 33% and 38% think their HR team is 'very skilled'.

With HR having stepped up to take a leading role in handling workforce challenges during the pandemic, the role is also being seen as a significant one looking ahead. This was noted in Aon's latest Global COVID-19 Pulse Survey, which included 300 respondents from Singapore and close to 180 in Malaysia.

Highlights of the survey are summarised below.

HR plays a vital role in driving future-of-work strategies, but C-suite is seen as main driver

In the survey, respondents were asked to state how important a range of functions were in driving our their organisation defined the future of work, from 'not important' to 'extremely important', or simply 'unsure'. This included executive leadership, HR, technology (IT), business lines/teams, strategic planning, finance, sales and marketing, R&D), board of directors, operations and manufacturing.

In Singapore, executive leadership (C-suite) topped the list, with 61% saying it was extremely important and 35% saying it was very important. HR came in second, with 36% rating the role extremely important and 49% rating it very important.

In Malaysia, executive leadership saw similar ratings, seen as extremely important by 63% of respondents and very important; followed by technology (48% and 39% respectively) and HR (40% and 46% respectively).

However, operations roles, manufacturing roles, and boards of directors placed on the lower end of importance for respondents across both countries.

How skilled is HR for the process?

When it comes to gathering and leveraging business and workforce data, in order to make informed decisions, a majority of respondents across both countries believed HR was 'moderately skilled' (Singapore: 52%, Malaysia: 47%).

At the same time, more than three in 10 in Singapore (33%) and close to four in 10 in Malaysia (38%) believed their HR teams were 'very skilled' in handling the process.

Other findings include:

  • Extremely skilled
    6% in Singapore
    5% in Malaysia
  • Not skilled
    7% in Singapore
    8% in Malaysia

That said, a significant number of respondents did feel that their overall organisation was skilled for the process. In particular, the following results were revealed:

  • Extremely skilled
    7% in Singapore
    6% in Malaysia
  • Very skilled
    36% in Singapore
    39% in Malaysia
  • Moderately skilled
    48% in Singapore
    45% in Malaysia

Voluntary turnovers were more common among Millennials during the pandemic

Apart from the above, the survey also touched on voluntary turnover rates during the pandemic.

In terms of age group, voluntary turnover rates increased the most among Millennials in Singapore (13% said it increased somewhat, while 2% said increased significantly) following the onset of the pandemic, with that of Gen Z coming in next (9% for 'increased somewhat', 1% for 'increased significantly').

On the other hand, the voluntary turnover rates were the least among employees in minority groups [i.e. disability, race, sexual orientation] (3% and 1%), followed by baby boomers (5% and 3%).

A similar case was observed in Malaysia, where voluntary turnover rates increased the most among Millennials (12% for 'somewhat', 4% for 'significantly'), followed by Gen Z with 9% and 3% respectively. While this was so, it was observed less commonly among the minority group, wherein turnover 'increased somewhat' according to 1%, and 'significantly' for 2%.

That said, organisations in both countries still largely observed either no change in turnover rates (between 60%-81%), or a 'somewhat' decrease (between 14-23%), the survey noted.

Photo / 123RF

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