What Matters Most to Asia CHROs in 2024?
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What Matters Most to Asia CHROs in 2024?

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CEO Insight Minute: What Matters Most to Asia HR Leaders in 2024?

Leveraging AI, using smart DEI strategies, and supporting employee well-being are just three of the priorities CHROs in Asia are focusing on in 2024.

Trusted Insights for What’s AheadTM

Based on our discussions with CHROs from multinationals and large regional companies from within our Asia member community and insights from regional HR experts, these are the issues that matter most to Asia CHROs in 2024.

Trusted Insights for What’s AheadTM

Based on our discussions with CHROs from multinationals and large regional companies from within our Asia member community and insights from regional HR experts, these are the issues that matter most to Asia CHROs in 2024.

  • Expectations of CHROs as drivers of growth. CEOs expect CHROs and their teams to proactively contribute directly to the growth of the business. First - supporting top-line growth by enabling higher performance and value addition through attracting and developing high-quality talent. Second, driving bottom-line growth through cost-efficient talent strategies and processes increases in people's productivity, engagement, and retention, as well as the effective and responsible deployment of technology. Budgets will remain tight, calling for creative approaches to compensation design and diligent management of overall staff costs. 
  • Talent, talent, talent. Talent continues to be top of mind for CEOs and CHROs, who need to think more expansively about talent strategy, workforce planning, and emerging technologies to meet CEO expectations in 2024. This includes more targeted recruitment and selection of talent, providing existing workforces with the toolsets, skillsets, and mindsets needed to support business results, and finally, creating an environment that enables employees to contribute their best.  Innovative recruitment and retention strategies include tapping into unconventional talent pools that provide broader access, such as rehiring retirees, leveraging contingent/gig workers, and facilitating internal mobility. 
  • Enhancing the overall employee experience. CHROs must drive employee engagement and productivity by curating positive employee experiences over the entire spectrum of the employee’s journey within the company – from onboarding to exit. This will include crafting a strong Employee Value Proposition and, more importantly, ensuring that it delivers on its promise. They must build an inclusive culture for employees to thrive through supportive manager and leader behaviors that positively impact their day-to-day experiences. 
  • Building future skills. Improving workforce quality requires investing aggressively in upskilling and reskilling initiatives to align talent capabilities with the future needs of the business. Recalibrating L&D initiatives to focus on delivering business impact, driving digital fluency, and building an “agile talent” mindset through intentional internal mobility opportunities. 
  • Leveraging technology including AI, judiciously. CHROs who aim to position the company more competitively in tight talent markets can adopt advanced automation tools, including AI, to accelerate, simplify, and elevate the candidate experience and recruiter effectiveness. CHROs and their teams must assess and qualify tech-enabled solutions to determine the best fit in their company’s context. They will need to understand the power and complexities of AI, including its limitations, such as biases, risks, and ethical dilemmas. They also have a role in shaping employees' positive perceptions towards technology as an enabler vs. a threat.
  • Employee well-being. In the context of leaner resourcing and fast-paced organizational structure and culture changes, employee well-being will continue to be a priority. Tight control on headcount will mean higher risks of work overload, burnout, and resulting attrition, which are already real issues in Asia and are likely to worsen. The APAC region has among the longest working hours in the world. Legacy hierarchical cultures often prevent junior staff from feeling psychologically safe to voice concerns or ask for help. HR teams must approach wellbeing more strategically and holistically to ensure long-term impact. Going beyond providing well-being perks such as yoga and meditation towards addressing deeper organizational triggers that impact well-being, such as manager and leader behaviors and legacy cultural norms and mindsets, is critical.
  • Crafting smart DEI strategies in the context of DEI rollbacks. CHROs must engage in the global debate about DEI overreach and craft a thoughtful DEI strategy for Asia within the emergent global context. DEI as a function is relatively new in Asia, and there are many issues yet to be tackled, including Gender Equity, Racial & Ethnic bias, Disability, and LGBTQ+ inclusion. CHROs must ensure that DEI initiatives are well-balanced, truly inclusive, and do not create a cancel culture. 
  • Elevating people as a key pillar within the ESG/sustainability strategy. HR must go beyond focusing on the environment and climate change in the sustainability agenda towards a spotlight on people. CHROs must create a thriving, sustainable workforce ready for future challenges. This means taking an integrated, multi-pronged approach spanning wellbeing, inclusion, future-skilling, and ensuring a positive impact of emerging technology such as AI on people. 
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