For press inquiries contact:

Bersin by Deloitte: High-Impact Talent Management in India Should Focus on Leadership, Diversity, and Ongoing Dialogue With Employees

Organizational focus on relationship with employees, leadership and diversity linked to improved engagement, innovation and financial results 

OAKLAND, Calif., May 12, 2016 — Organizations in India’s highly competitive labor market focused on leadership, diversity and responsive dialogue with employees are more likely to perform well on business and talent outcomes, according to new research from Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. The business and talent outcomes typically include improved innovation, productivity, meeting or exceeding financial targets, and engagement and retention. Summarized in a WhatWorks®Brief, the research findings appear in “High-Impact Talent Management: Talent Management Maturity in India.” A separate report, “Talent Management in India: Improve Maturity in Three Steps,” provides a process on how Indian organizations can strengthen their talent management strategy and practices.  

The research findings identified the talent practices that organizations with strong business and talent outcomes use most effectively for organizations operating in India and for Global 2000 organizations. Global 2000 organizations in this case are defined as the 454 companies in the Bersin by Deloitte survey population with more than US$750 million in annual revenue. The research also included 269 Indian organizations with more than 100 employees. The research found that 29 percent of all the organizations surveyed globally have mature talent strategies and processes in place versus just 21 percent of surveyed organizations in India. Bersin by Deloitte defines high-maturity organizations as those having clear talent strategies that align to the business strategy, a visible culture of leadership and learning, a systemic (versus ad-hoc) way of understanding and communicating with talent, and practices that embrace diversity and inclusion. 

“Organizations today face substantial challenges in engaging, retaining and leading a global workforce,” said Stacia Sherman Garr, vice president, talent and HR research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “This is particularly true in growth markets such as India. Our research shows that 80 percent of Indian organizations are missing out on the identified substantial financial, business and talent benefits of creating a clear, more mature talent strategy.” 

The research found that many Indian organizations have strong talent acquisition, performance management and formal skills-based learning activities for employees. Although these are important investments, the next steps to consider are building a culture of leadership and more aggressively communicating the organization’s talent strategy. To reach the highest level of maturity, organizations should also provide a more customized and engaging employee experience that embraces employees’ diverse backgrounds.  

Compared to Global 2000 organizations, our research shows that Indian companies: 

Have lower levels of maturity overall. Only 3 percent of Indian organizations are at the lowest level of maturity, but a full 76 percent of them are at the second-lowest level of maturity. This indicates that a majority of Indian organizations have moved past the most basic talent management practices and are developing increasingly clear talent strategies with more sophisticated foundational talent processes such as talent acquisition, performance management and formal learning opportunities.   

  • Excel at establishing fair performance policies, processes and systems. Overall, Indian organizations report employees have higher perceptions of procedural fairness and their organizations demonstrate higher levels of sophistication with their performance management practices as compared with G2000 organizations.  
  • Communicate and integrate talent strategies more often. This involves having a clear talent strategy that is communicated throughout the organization and integrated with relevant talent practices. 
  • Develop more prevalent systemic relationships with talent. Indian organizations typically understand that talent is a strategic asset that requires investment in the relationship to drive enhanced performance. These organizations know their key talent from a quantitative and qualitative perspective and have processes that enable them to respond to that information.   
  • Maintain less integrated leadership development practices. Indian organizations tend to lack a systemic approach to leader growth that integrates leadership development activities with other talent management activities. For example, there may be little connection between succession- management processes and leadership-development opportunities. 
  • Implement somewhat more integrated and strategic diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts. Organizations that are able to master these factors are able to see the greatest benefit in their talent and business outcomes. Embedded D&I involves integrating it with other individual-focused talent activities, such as learning and performance management. Strategic D&I encompasses the intentional design of policies and practices that align and reinforce D&I initiatives. 

Given these findings, Bersin by Deloitte’s related report, “Talent Management in India: Improve Maturity in Three Steps,” identifies a process leaders should follow for helping to improve talent management maturity. This process calls for organizations at lower levels of maturity to:   

  • Strengthen core talent management practices, such as performance management. For example, leverage strengths in areas such as performance appraisal processes and goal setting to help improve accountability for employee development overall, and set the stage for a culture of learning. 
  • Develop and communicate a talent strategy. Ensure that the talent strategy is widely understood and communicated to employees, especially by middle managers.   
  • Focus on diversity and inclusion throughout all talent practices. For example, expand the investment in diversity and inclusion in the organization; clearly connect this effort to leadership development, succession, learning, performance, and other complementary talent processes. 

To learn more, register to join Stacia Sherman Garr and Candace Atamanik, manager, talent and HR research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP for their online webinar, “Talent Management in Growth Markets: India,” May 19, 10 a.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. IST (India - New Delhi).   

Those interested in learning more about Bersin by Deloitte or its WhatWorks® membership may email or call +1 510 251 4400.  

About Bersin by Deloitte

Bersin by Deloitte delivers research-based people strategies designed to help leaders and their organizations in their efforts to deliver exceptional business performance. Our WhatWorks® membership gives Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 HR professionals the information and tools they need to design and implement leading practice solutions, benchmark against others, develop their staff, and select and implement systems. A piece of Bersin by Deloitte research is downloaded on average approximately every minute during the business day. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide use our research and consulting to guide their HR, talent and learning strategies. For more information, please visit  

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.  


Laura Evenson

Marketing and Communications

Bersin by Deloitte

Deloitte Consulting LLP

+1 415 465 2711