Global CEO survey highlights Australia’s HR strengths – and weaknesses

by Chloe Taylor24 Apr 2015
PwC recently released its 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, which interviewed Australian CEOs amongst its global participants.

Growth

Of the Australia based CEOs surveyed, more than half said they did not have confidence in their company’s growth prospects this year.

Over-regulation was seen as the top threat to organisational growth, with an overwhelming 95% of Aussie CEOs citing this as a concern.

Government response to fiscal deficit and debt burden and Geopolitical uncertainty were the next biggest threats to business growth in Australia.

According to the report, the majority of Australian CEOs identified China as the place they considered most important for overall growth prospects.

Globally, however, CEOs chose the US – which overtook China for the first time in five years as the top location for growth opportunities.

Technology

The following technologies were deemed the most strategically important by CEOs in Australia:
  • Data mining & analysis (90%)
  • Cyber security (86%)
  • Mobile technologies for customers (86%)
  • Cloud computing (76%)
  • Internet of things (76%)
According to one of the CEOs involved in the survey, HR should be looking to provide employees with relevant and up-to-date training in these technologies.

“We’re using technology in various ways, particularly regarding knowledge about our customer whom we know a lot about,” said Alan Joyce, CEO and managing director at Qantas. “Empowering our people with that knowledge to design the customer experience around that is really key.”
 
Globally, 59% of CEOs said that digital technologies are creating value in finding, developing and retaining talent. A further 46% said that they use technology to analyse how skills are being deployed in their organisation.

However, Australia is falling behind in the digital race, the report claimed.

“The difference between making the most of digital technologies and actually developing them is significant,” the report said. “And in the area of digital development and innovation, Australia is lagging its global peers.”

Diversity

PwC found that Australia’s organisations are doing well when it comes to workplace diversity.

When it came to the promotion of diversity and inclusion, 86% of CEOs said that their company had a talent diversity strategy in place.

Globally, 64% of CEOs said that their organisation had such a strategy in place, while 13% said that they were planning to implement one. Just 17% said that they had neither a strategy nor a plan for one.

“For us, diversity is all about talent,” said Ken MacKenzie, managing director and CEO at Amcor. “We want the best talent possible at Amcor, so we’re fishing in the whole talent pool. If you’re not a diversity-oriented company, then you’re really just fishing in the shallow end, and why would you want to do that?”

Of the Aussie participants who had a diversity and inclusion strategy in place, 92% said that it had improved their bottom line, while 83% stated it had helped to strengthen the company’s brand and reputation.

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