Brinda Sarkar, The Economic Times

Seven in Ten Employees Believe They are Underpaid: Report

According to a survey conducted by The Economic Times, Seven out of 10 employees in India believe they are always, often, or sometimes underpaid. Most employees believe term salary is the most important aspect of a job. Organizations plan to improve payroll accuracy, timeliness, data security, and privacy. Employee well-being, including financial health and wealth creation, is a top priority.

To respond to this, organizations 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%), according to 'The Future of Pay in India 2024' study by ADP, a human capital management solutions company. 

The survey, produced in collaboration with The Economic Times HRWorld, interviewed more than 200 senior leaders from Indian organizations with 500-2,500 full-time employees.

According to the survey, employee well-being has emerged as a key focus for Indian firms in 2024. Up to 62% of the organizations surveyed believe employee well-being, including financial well-being and wealth development, is the most important factor in their HR strategy for the year.

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 prioritize 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.

In the quest for accurate and efficient payroll, employers are also looking to embrace new technology, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of the organizations surveyed considering using Artificial Intelligence (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 with a third already using or planning to implement Al-driven tools within six months.

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

"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," said Goyal.