Three ways to manage a new hybrid workforce

August 13, 2021

There is no doubt that we have entered an age of hybrid working, with many employees and employers shifting their attitudes towards a remote working culture. A PwC survey in January revealed that 83% of employers have found the shift to remote working successful, most business executives (68%) feel that three days or more in the office are needed to maintain a strong company culture and just 5% think employees don’t need to be in the office at all to maintain culture – a clear indication that more businesses are embracing hybrid working.

Hybrid working is here to stay

Although hybrid working will not come without new challenges and opportunities for the workforce, executives and divisional managers need a different set of leadership skills to connect, communicate, organize, and manage people virtually.

How can business leaders evolve their management style to support an increasingly virtual workforce? The key is integrating digital solutions that bring agility to business operations. Here are three fundamental approaches that can drive businesses forward in this hybrid working paradigm.

A data driven approach is more important than ever

Many businesses have excelled at storing data, yet some businesses are falling behind harnessing data to drive growth. Leaders within those organizations see a greater urgency for a data driven approach to better understand workers’ unique attributes and needs and to segment their workforce accordingly. This is crucial when managing employees in a remote or hybrid working environment.

A solid data driven approach using a comprehensive database and analytics tool can help track and measure employee productivity, performance, financial management, and service quality. For example: analyzing real-time data on task completion time and identifying over or underutilized resources. Internal stakeholders can also provide feedback on service quality and can see the real-time progress of their requests; encouraging an environment of transparency.

Managers recognize that in a hybrid world, data has become even more important. Find out more on how integrating technology platforms that offer workflow, data storage, and reporting dashboards helps build greater service capabilities in a previous blog on driving innovation with data analytics.

Tailor the role to the individual

As the war for talent grows and remote working is more widely accepted, there’s a dueling debate in sectors such as banking, legal, and professional services, that rely on an apprenticeship model. Is it better to bring everyone back to the office or allow some level of remote working? It’s become a case of “each to their own” as some employees are eager to return to the office, while some are demanding more flexibility. Therefore, in order to attract the best talent, hiring managers will need to tailor roles to suit individuals and managers will need to work harder to create a level playing field for those employees who always want to come to the office and those who don’t. Ironically, the shift to home working has humanized the workplace as employees and clients were given glimpses into each other’s homes and lives, breaking the barriers of the workplace. Presenteeism was thrown to one side as more employees were measured on output and results rather than what time they turn up to the office and what time they leave.

This is where data analytics are once again useful: by measuring productivity and output of core staff and identifying those who consistently put in task requests outside working hours and quickly providing support to prevent burnout or loss of talent through attrition. Or, identifying those who are lacking productivity and tailoring the role to give them the opportunity to upskill, promoting a feeling of empowerment to the individual and subsequently adding value to the business.

Enhance agility by focusing on the core business

With cost pressures, greater expectations from clients and shifting remote working patterns – it’s no wonder that in a live poll at the recent FT Live Digital Dialogues webinar 64% saw digital transformation as the biggest operational challenge within corporate and investment banking. Business leaders are realizing that agility and speed-to-delivery is paramount, and digital transformation is crucial in achieving that objective.

This is why businesses are seeking outsourcing partners who can enhance their core business. Outsourcing partners can implement digital tools rapidly and securely. The tools harness data, facilitate automation, workflow, transparency and delivery speed with accuracy in critical business support areas.

However, even though these digital tools can bring agility, efficiency and cost reduction to businesses, they can’t work properly without the right people. That’s why business leaders need outsourcing partners who have skilled, well trained and dedicated teams. who can help connect the people in the workplace to nurture a better culture for the core employees at the firm regardless of whether they’re at home or in the office.

To find out more on workplace of the future, download our latest report on the future of work and our hybrid working: A future of work brief

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