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India’s employers care: employee well-being now top HR priority for 2024

  • More than six in ten (62%) companies consider employee well-being as the top consideration for their HR strategy

  • 74% believe their compensation structures support financial well-being and wealth creation, but 69% of India’s workers say they’re underpaid1

  • Nearly nine out of ten companies admit that they need to improve the accuracy and timeliness of their employees’ pay, with 3 out of 4 considering AI to improve payroll management

Delhi:  Employee well-being has emerged as a pivotal focus for Indian organisations in 2024. A whopping 62% of the companies say employee well-being – including financial well-being and wealth creation – is the top consideration in their HR strategy for the year, according to The Future of Pay in India 2024 research released on Friday by ADP.

Financial well-being refers to an individual’s overall financial health and stability. It encompasses areas such as income, budgeting, saving, and wealth creation such as financial planning and investment.

“Companies now recognise they must prioritise their employees’ financial well-being to create a motivated workforce and boost productivity, employee retention and satisfaction,” said Rahul Goyal, Managing Director of India and Southeast Asia at ADP.

“For most employees, pay is the foundation of their financial wellness and wealth creation. Knowing how much and when they will be paid provides them with greater peace of mind, allowing them to better manage life’s challenges and plan for the future,” he said.

According to the ADP Research Institute’s annual study People at Work: A Workforce View, the most important aspect of a job to Indian employees is salary (55%). However, underpayment of wages is an acute issue in India. A staggering 69% of Indian workers say they’re always, often or sometimes underpaid.1

Not surprisingly, the Future of Pay in India 2024 study found organisations are planning improvements to payroll over the next 12 months to address  accuracy (91%),  timeliness of employee pay (88%), data security (89%) and privacy (89%).

Rahul further highlighted the importance of having a robust payroll, “Paying employees accurately and in a timely manner requires meticulous attention to detail, deep industry expertise and constant adaptation to local laws and regulations. Organisations often find it challenging to manage directly, so they rely on ADP’s solutions for efficiency, peace of mind, and an enhanced employee experience.”

In the quest for accurate and efficient payroll, employers are also looking to embrace new technology, with nearly three-quarters (74%) considering AI as a tool to enhance payroll management. More than half (57%) are also willing to invest in AI-power payroll systems to significantly improve accuracy and efficiency, despite concerns about bias and data privacy. One-third are already using or planning to implement AI-driven tools within six months.

The study also revealed a notable shift towards alternative compensation methods like digital currencies and stock options, marking a departure from traditional practices and embracing a more personalised approach to rewards.

Rahul added, “In the war for talent, companies can no longer adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to pay. They need to get creative and come up with remuneration packages that suit diverse employee needs.”

The Future of Pay in India Report 2024, in partnership with The Economic Times HRWorld, captures the priorities and perspectives of over 200 senior leaders from Indian enterprises with 500-2500 full-time employees. It provides valuable insights into the evolving pay and HR practices in India for mid and large-sized organisations in their growth journey.

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