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The lack of workforce capabilities and future skills impeded more than half (52%) of Taiwanese organisations’ progress in business transformation.

COVID-19 has not only fundamentally changed the way we do business but also the way we manage talent. To support business and employees to thrive in the post-pandemic era, companies should rethink their policies and HR priorities in order to drive business transformation.

Following the release of the Hong Kong report earlier this year, Mercer has launched the latest edition of Global Talent Trends 2021 with a focus on the Taiwanese market, which shows that upskilling and reskilling the target workforce has become the key to business transformation for Taiwanese companies in 2021.

The report has identified three key areas where Taiwanese companies will likely focus on this year.

infographic mercer global talent trends survey 2021 taiwan

#1 Upskilling and reskilling workforce

The lack of workforce capabilities and future skills impeded more than half (52%) of Taiwanese organisations’ progress in business transformation, resulting in the urgency to advance their skills agenda, according to the report.

Therefore, nearly seven in 10 (68%) Taiwanese companies are increasing investments to upskill and reskill their target workforce in 2021, compared with 41% of their Hong Kong counterparts.

Meanwhile, 40% of organisations have either improved or planned to improve HR analytics for learning and skills acquisition, as well as seamless skills identification, assessment, development and reward.

Tangible rewards, recognition or promotion are the main drivers to encourage employees to learn new skills. While it is promising that 32% of HR leaders in Taiwan (compared to 20% and 15% of their Hong Kong and global peers respectively) plan to reward skills acquisition, only 8% plan to move to pay-for-skills structures. 

#2 Identify workforce’s skill gaps and future skill needs

 “COVID-19 has shown that the ability to find talent quickly, move talent to where it’s needed most, and make critical talent decisions is key to keep businesses running during these uncertain times. And companies in Taiwan are responding by making internal talent pools more sharable and relooking workforce flexibility,” said Jeannie Liu, Career Business Leader, Taiwan, Mercer.

 “More than half of the companies in Taiwan are already gathering information on individuals’ current skills, which is a step in the right direction.”

A well-designed skills-based workforce strategy will enable organisations to proactively identify future skills needs and develop an actionable plan to retain, build, buy and deploy talent, as needed. A skills-based approach to workforce strategy assesses talent based on their holistic skill set (including adjacent skills across industries), rather than industry experience or qualifications.

To find out what motivates and engages employees to help implement effective upskilling and reskilling programmes for their workforce, 60% of companies in Taiwan also plan to improve the employee listening and engagement channels to help with the change process.

#3 Restructure workforce and focus more on employee wellbeing

With flexible working as the new norm, 83% of Taiwanese employers (compared to 56% globally) have or plan to expand and enhance flexible working policies and practices. A majority (86%) of the respondents have either aligned or planned to increase alignment between structures (methods, processes and systems) and culture (values and behaviours) to support more fluid workforce models.

When asked what skills are critical for future resiliency, 63% of Taiwanese organisations consider a growth mindset to be critical for success, with 55% putting digital dexterity as a core skill in this digital world.

Regular check-ins with staff to align with job design and benefits remain essential to retaining and attracting talent. However, the survey shows that Taiwanese employers are paying too little attention to analytics concerning employees’ well-being. Three in five (60%) of Taiwanese companies do not analyse psychological, mental and emotional wellbeing analytics compared with 33% globally.

Also, 94% of Taiwanese companies do not analyse employee financial health and wellbeing analytics (51% globally).

Terence Hsu, CEO, Taiwan, Mercer said, “Enhancing the employee experience; revising flexible working policies; redesigning performance management practices and transforming the HR operating model to be more agile have been front and center for every business leader this year.”

In addition, despite the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, 72% of HR leaders in Taiwan said their companies have accelerated or continued the same pace of work on ESG. Most-seen activities are tying ESG goals to a company’s purpose and keeping this purpose visible to employees (72%), ensuring all executives have shared obligations for ESG metrics (51%).

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