Perspective

Creating a Sustainable Hybrid Workforce Strategy

The Hybrid Workforce is here to stay and requires organizations to rethink their people strategies

The workforce of the future is here

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a dramatic change to the workplace, and those who predict either the demise of the office or a return to normal will miss the mark. Rather, a hybrid approach to the workplace, with a mix of on-site and remote employees, will remain the new standard.

As we continue to manage through the pandemic, we have learned that this approach requires organizations to lead and connect their workforce in different ways, and many organizations have successfully responded to these challenges. For instance, in our research 50% of the organizations we surveyed intended to invest in new technology and 42% planned to modify their real estate footprint to support continued remote work. However, there has been limited opportunity to plan for the longer-term implications related to this new paradigm, particularly as it relates to human capital management ― traditional people strategies often may not reflect the different needs and expectations of both remote and on-site workers. Now is the time to proactively manage the major talent and change implications created by this dramatic shift.

Preparing for the shift to a hybrid workforce

When preparing for this transition, organizations must examine four key areas:

Once these issues have been thoughtfully considered, organizations must ensure they have the right people, leaders, experiences and tools to effectively manage a hybrid workforce:

Creating a sustainable hybrid workforce

Once these issues have been addressed, in order to create and maintain a successful, highly engaged hybrid workforce, organizations must ensure they utilize a holistic approach that aligns to the business strategy and reinforces the desired organizational culture and employee experience, with talent programs and HR practices that support the new ways of working. Using an Agile People Strategy framework to help identify, prioritize and continuously improve upon talent, organizational and HR solutions can help deliver positive business outcomes and enable the desired employee experience – in both traditional and hybrid workforce environments.

The long road ahead

While many organizations successfully transitioned to a remote workforce almost overnight early in the pandemic, the move toward a hybrid workforce model will take some time as vaccines are distributed and the impact of the pandemic eases. Now is the time for organizations to begin planning for the day when employees can return safely to the workplace. HR teams should use this time wisely to help design the processes, policies and culture that will make a hybrid workforce model successful.

 

 

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About the Author

Partner HR & Talent Advisory | U.S.