The vast majority of employees want to have more flexible remote working options at their disposal as the pandemic ends, but at the same time, they want more in-person collaboration following two years of virtual meetings. It’s this conflicting information that Microsoft is terming the ‘hybrid paradox’. The organisation’s global Work Trend Index discovered that 73% of respondents crave the flexibility they first experienced in the pandemic, but over two-thirds (67%) also want more in-person time with colleagues.
It’s reflective of how the employment world is evolving, and with skilled workers increasingly holding the power, it’s an aspect that organisations need to tackle. The war for talent, the downturn in the economy, and the significant rise in job vacancies are leaving businesses battling to keep their brightest and best on the payroll. It’s, therefore, the case that they need to engage existing and new staff to ensure motivation, commitment, and loyalty.
Technology plays a key role in ensuring worker engagement, and the Riverbed Aternity Hybrid Work Global Survey 2021, which polled nearly 1,500 business and IT decision-makers across global enterprises, discovered that almost nine-in-ten (89%) plan to invest in technology to support a hybrid workforce, with 94% agreeing that a hybrid strategy helps to recruit talent.
As the hybrid future becomes a reality, organisations face several hurdles, such as streamlining the onboarding process to facilitating improved wellbeing initiatives, alongside creating a single version of the truth.
Ensuring engagement at the first stage
Onboarding is the critical first process for new recruits, and technology can play a key role in streamlining the employee experience and enabling joiners to feel part of the team. This is especially critical for those working virtually.
At the recruitment stage, engagement at the first opportunity and then beyond is vital, encouraging employees to stay at the business. By following this ethos, organisations will be able to reduce costs associated with recruiting new hires and help to bring balance to the HR budget. Differentiation for any business is typically derived from the method of interaction with its employees, including the onboarding process.
To stand out from the competition, companies need to make it clear that their employees are the beating heart of the organisation.
This means ensuring that the employee experience is able to attract top talent and that the recruitment and onboarding process is a smooth one for new hires.
Looking after the wellbeing of employees
Poor morale, burnout ,and generally low wellbeing are all problems faced across a wide range of companies. Figures from the CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021 report discovered that 79% of respondents reported some stress-related absence in their organisation over the last year. It’s therefore critical for employers to prioritise their workers’ welfare and wellbeing or otherwise risk losing them. HR and human capital management (HCM) technology can help to address this challenge.
Employees are likely to become frustrated by having to complete manual tasks such as continually entering the same information into different systems. Having one automated system, with a single source of truth for workers to engage with, is crucial to enabling them to work quickly and efficiently without getting caught up in a myriad of administrative tasks.
Unconnected systems are problematic in terms of data, and in the HR department, can ultimately create issues with employees not being paid accurately or not having important questions addressed. This can ultimately lead to demotivation among staff. It’s vital that businesses adopt strategic support in these situations to ensure that staff are remaining productive and happy in their roles.
Resolving the challenges
With the challenges established, the key to addressing them is via the automated capabilities of a single HCM and payroll system. This allows organisations to ease the heavy workload on HR and payroll teams by reducing time-consuming and demotivating manual procedures.
With a seamless process in place, HR and payroll staff have more time to devote to more strategic activities, and the enhanced experience means that skilled personnel are more likely to stay at the business while attracting new candidates. It’s then vital that beyond implementation, ongoing management of these systems is facilitated to ensure the continued efficient running of the department and the rest of the business.
The greatest benefit of utilising this technology is the opportunity to access all the HR and payroll possibilities. An agile single set of systems that communicate with just the one version of the truth means data silos are eradicated and data quality is hugely improved, enabling better business decisions and fewer human errors.
Improved data also enables those in HR to meet their work commitments, enhancing satisfaction and improving skills building. Better data quality will also help businesses ensure that employees are paid on time, that the correct number of holiday days are given and provide confidence to staff that their wellbeing is being looked after.
An efficient HR department is the key to bringing better talent into the business and keeping it engaged. By adopting this approach, businesses will have happier workers, regardless of whether they’re full time in the office, at home or are dividing their working week between the two. Rather than be defined by contradiction, the hybrid paradox can be realised, while supporting the productivity and efficiency of employees.
About the author: Charles Courquin is Director at Symatrix.