As the COVID-19 pandemic continue to hit businesses globally like a silent storm, the contribution of HR has become critical than ever before. With HR’s role evolving with every passing day, the key focus lies in enabling businesses to move out of the traditional cocoon and adapt to the digital transformation.
In one of Gartner’s latest research findings, 41% of workers will work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, compared with 30% before COVID-19. This majorly reflects how hybrid working is not a temporary arrangement, however, is an enduring workforce model that needs to be infused in every small or big organization.
To optimize a hybrid workforce model, HR leaders need to consider an array of factors ranging from – structure, workflows, flexibility, adaptability, role design and networks to name a few.
To mould the hybrid model of working in the organization’s favour, HR leaders must keep the following factors in mind:
1. Focus on building an engaged workforce
Man is a social animal, and working remotely can bring a lot of stress and anxiety; balancing between housework and work obligations, not meeting your colleagues can create a sense of demotivation for the employees. It is the role of HR to build an engaged workforce, organize virtual team building, mental health and light-hearted activities. Understanding the employees wants and needs should be of utmost priority.
2. Adapting to the new-age digital technology
In KPMG’s report, 50% of HR leaders feel unprepared to use the technology available around them. With a rising focus on employee welfare, HR would need the right set of technology to enhance employee experience. Developments in AI, predictive analysis, IT and machine learning in HR processes is the way forward.
3. Shift focus on outcome-based performance
Shared ownership and flexibility in decision making can encourage remote employees to focus on the final outcome. The performance of the employees shouldn’t be judged through stringent reporting but overall productivity and innovative thinking that a resource brings to the company.
4. Revisit layers in the workforce
One of the key challenges of remote working is juggling between the layers to get timely approvals. It is in the hands of the business and the HR leaders, to re-think the organizational structure and arrange direct reporting, so that the decision making is faster and more effective.
5. Hiring Tactics & Upskilling existing employees
The nature of work, ability to grasp new technological changes and unlearning capacity must be considered while hiring workforce in the hybrid model. The shift from full-time workers to gig workers, and consultants with flexible working hours is rapid in the COVID-19 times. Also, the HR leaders must ensure upskilling of existing employees to maximise output.
The era of digital labour and AI is not somewhere in the future, it is here right now and to survive this digital revolution, the role of HR needs to be reimagined. The faster organizations make the Hybrid workforce model “The permanent way to go”, the quicker they will be able to survive and touch new heights in the disruptive era.
Earlier this year IIM Sambalpur hosted the first edition of SAMvaad – The Annual HR Conclave organized by Hridaya – The HR Club of IIM Sambalpur. The one-day conclave was graced by industry stalwarts who shared their thoughts on the theme "Reimagining HR.” Learn more about the key highlights of the panel discussions at: