Talented employees look for social values: PwC report

In a survey of 1,409 CEOs, 69% said their firm’s purpose is focused on societal value—and 24% changed their purpose in the last 3 years to make it so


In India, 53% of the talent said they would rather work for organizations with social values aligned to their own. Photo: iStockphoto
In India, 53% of the talent said they would rather work for organizations with social values aligned to their own. Photo: iStockphoto

A strong value system which fosters trust is important for companies to attract and retain the best people, says a new report, People and purpose: Talent strategy in an unpredictable world, from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

In a survey of 1,409 chief executive officers (CEOs), 69% said their organization’s purpose is focused on societal value—and 24% changed their purpose in the last three years to make it so. Most believe that in a rapidly changing world where uncertainty reigns, a corporate purpose centred around broader societal values can provide the anchor many employees and customers are looking for. But while the objective seems laudable and well-defined, converting it into tangible steps, isn’t easy.

For instance, 72% worry about the availability of key skills, but just 30% are focused on upgrading the skills and adaptability of their people. And despite CEOs agreeing that technology is important in responding to stakeholder expectations, only 4% of CEOs recognize the value of predictive people analytics in their talent strategy.

Says Jon Andrews, leader of PwC’s global people and organization practice: “The challenge for CEOs and their HR (human resource) function is in knowing where to start in creating an organization that not only has a clear and compelling set of values and purpose, but that it lives and breathes these on a day-to-day basis.”

In India too, that trend is visible with 53% of the talent saying they would rather work for organizations with social values aligned to their own.

Says Padmaja Alaganandan, leader (people and organization) at PwC India, “We have been increasingly seeing a trend among Indian workforce where the ‘purpose’ behind their roles and the contribution they make to society, is becoming important. They are willing to make trade-offs against pay for this aspect.”

Excerpted from People and Purpose: Talent strategy in an unpredictable world, the 19th annual global CEO survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers

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