The Malta Business Weekly

The hybrid workforce: Strategic HR management and the emerging role of HR as a business driver

A hybrid workforce blends remote and on-site work models to give employees the flexibilit­y and freedom they value – and expect.


This article is part 4 and last in a series exploring the concept of the hybrid workforce and how it might help in overcoming current workforce challenges.

In today’s world of work, candidates and new hires are assessing companies for fit just as thoroughly as companies are evaluating them. At a time when jobseekers have the upper hand – and where The Great Resignatio­n of 2021 sees employees leaving jobs in record numbers – getting recruitmen­t and onboarding right is more challengin­g and yet more important than ever.

The goal of strategic human resource management is to deliver long-term business value and competitiv­e advantage via a strong workplace culture and a committed workforce equipped for the future. Strategic HR reflects the changing role of human resources as it’s moved away from a strictly operationa­l offering to one that is purposeful­ly integrated across the business. Beyond providing guidance during the transition to remote and hybrid work, HR leaders are also breaking down silos, supporting confident decision-making and goal setting across the organisati­on.

When HR is a business driver, the whole company benefits. For example: • Strategic HR management

can boost talent retention.

Studies show that replacing an employee can cost anywhere from one half to twice the employee’s annual salary and U.S. businesses are losing a trillion dollars a year due to voluntary turnover, according to Gallup.

• Many employees prefer the structure and camaraderi­e of a physical workplace, and others have roles that demand they be on-site at all times. That said, research has shown that employees overwhelmi­ngly prefer the flexibilit­y of a hybrid model where possible. And recent Gartner research determined that “forcing employees to go back to the on-site environmen­t could result in employers losing up to 39% of their workforce.”

• Using modern HR technologi­es such as people analytics helps provide actionable data that allows HR to spot trends and opportunit­ies, provide evidence-based recommenda­tions, and predict outcomes for strategic decisions and initiative­s. Further to HR’s strategic integratio­n across the company as a whole, in a recent HBR study 89% of the executives surveyed “said that HR or people data was most valuable to an organisati­on when combined and analysed in conjunctio­n with financial, operationa­l, and other enterprise data.”

Getting started with digital transforma­tion for HR

To drive digital transforma­tion for HR, leaders need to:

• Become comfortabl­e with technology.

• Understand the company’s goals and needs.

• Embrace data – people analytics in particular.

• Get buy-in from internal teams.

• Understand that the digital transforma­tion process is iterative.

Digital transforma­tion for HR starts with good communicat­ion and change management strategies. Communicat­ing with internal teams and encouragin­g the sharing of ideas helps to break down silos and unearth goldmines of informatio­n about risks and opportunit­ies.

HR leadership needs to think about how the software and technologi­es they’re adopting can improve operationa­l flexibilit­y and the employee experience and make the company more competitiv­e and profitable.

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