A new global C-level research shows flexibility and employee benefits introduced during the pandemic are now at risk due to the ongoing economic uncertainty. According to LinkedIn research, nine out of every 10 business leaders surveyed in India say the current economic climate could threaten flexible working (91 per cent), while other areas of work life such as learning and development (90 per cent) and employee wellbeing (89 per cent) are most likely to be affected too.
In fact, more than two fifths of India’s business leaders are looking to reduce employer learning and development budgets and opportunities (43 per cent), and nearly half (49 per cent) are looking to reduce flexible and hybrid working roles (49 per cent), said the report.
Additionally, 71 per cent also want employees to work more frequently from the office, instead of working from home. Despite this, 82 per cent of business leaders believe hybrid working is here to stay for the longer term.
Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn said, “The sheer scale of the ongoing uncertainty is forcing many leaders to rethink what — and how much — they can offer to their employees today. While flexibility and learning are usually the first to go when times are tough, pulling back on these in the present situation could demotivate employees, widen the skills gap, and inflate retention rates.”
This comes at a time when a new analysis of remote job postings on LinkedIn shows that remote roles are on the decline, although the applications to those roles exceed supply by nearly 2x in India. In September this year, 11.3 per cent of paid job postings in India offered remote working as an option. However, remote working roles received 20.3 per cent of all job applications.
“At a time when professionals are just as threatened by the age of uncertainty as businesses are, leaders must adopt a forward-thinking approach and continue to invest in their people. Empowering employees to upgrade their skills and allowing them to choose how they want to work can drive greater levels of employee satisfaction in these testing times. Ultimately, having a workforce that feels supported and fulfilled will be key to building resilient,” added Gupta.
Employer-employee disconnect could demotivate professionals
The research highlights a growing disconnect between what professionals want and what employers are now offering, with the balance of power shifting back to employers as hiring slows.
LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report reveals that across India, the top priorities that job seekers value beyond compensation are advancement, upskilling, and work-life balance. In terms of advancement, the report finds employees want growth and transformation in their careers. In India, an employee who has made an internal move is about 10 per cent more likely to stay at his company when compared to those who stay in the same role for two or three years.
But with companies reducing flexibility and growth opportunities, the C-level research shows that a majority (86 per cent) of business leaders in India are concerned that these cost-cutting measures will have a negative impact on employee motivation levels — which may also be why 84 per cent agree they aren’t able to find the right talent today.