Study findings reveal that 91 percent of high-revenue-growth companies in China have an execution plan for achieving a workforce management vision. An exclusive data cut from respondents to the SAP-supported Oxford Economics “Workforce 2020” survey offers a look at how high-performers and companies with below-average profit margins in China prioritize human resources (HR), build leaders and approach technology skills training.
High-performers are progressing but not enough
According to the Workforce 2020 study, high-performing Chinese companies may be more proactive when it comes to longer-term workforce goals. Nearly three-quarters have made progress toward meeting their strategic goals in the five years, compared with just 66 percent of underperformers.
Major leadership gaps roadblock underperformers
Chinese executives and employees agree that leadership is lacking and companies aren’t focused enough on developing future leaders. The leadership problem is more acute across underperforming companies. Almost 60 percent of executives at low-profit-margin-growth companies say a lack of leadership is an impediment to meeting workforce goals. One 27 percent of executives at high-profit-margin-growth companies agree with this. Most telling, 83 percent of high-performers say their leaders know how to inspire employees compared to 63 percent of underperformers.
All companies need to bridge the skills gap
More than half of high-revenue-growth companies in China say workforce development is a key differentiator for their firm in terms of growth and bottom-line results versus just 21 percent of underperformers. High-performing companies are also more likely to have a formal mentoring program (78 percent vs. 62 percent of underperformers). A greater percentage of underperformers (62 percent) say job-specific technology skills are well-represented at their organization compared to high-performers (48 percent), indicating the latter are more aware of shortcomings.
These findings show that high-performing companies in China have an edge in some areas of HR, leadership development and employee training. However, high-performers are actually less likely than underperformers to say workforce issues are driving strategy, both now and in three years. Regardless of current performance levels, companies in China may not be prioritizing HR to help drive strategy at the board level. After all, strategic HR is one of the cornerstones of company growth.
Follow me @smgaler