Building a vision and strategy for the future of HR – the three things you need to do now

April 1, 2019

The world of work isn’t transforming, it has already transformed. Technological innovation has been integrated into organisations so that collaborative remote working has become the norm; the burden of manual, repetitive and time-intensive tasks has been lifted; and traditional roles are being reshaped into new career paths.

The workforce is entering a new era, evolving from a human to a hybrid workforce, one where humans will work alongside robots and AI in a fully digitised working environment. This is by no means an easy transition for any organisation to make but there are three key areas that business leaders need to focus on to make it a success: digital capability, understanding and using data, and, most importantly, the employees who will be driving the transformation.

To understand how both employers and employees perceive the emerging hybrid workforce and its impact, Capita People Solutions carried out market research with more than 2,000 employees and 500 business leaders in the UK. Our Human to Hybrid: The Next Workforce Frontier whitepaper details its findings and provides insight and advice from our top HR experts. 

Eighty-eight per cent of business leaders believe they need to focus on digital, data and people to achieve a successful human to hybrid transition. This shows that they are aware of what needs to be done, however ‘how?’ and ‘where to begin?’ may be the challenge, as three-quarters of business leaders admit they are fully aware of the dangers of an unsuccessful implementation. 
There are several reasons why business leaders appear cautious about the emerging hybrid workforce and there are specific organisational areas where they say they will need support in making the transformation. The top four are vision and strategy (69%), improving communication (51%), employee engagement (47%) and skills development (46%) – all of which are centred around people.

In achieving a hybrid workforce, your employees will be fundamental to success or failure. They need to understand the reason for it, where the organisation is heading, and how they will benefit from being a supporter of change. If you achieve this, you can reshape your organisational culture into one that is forward-thinking and open to innovation. It will be a culture in which employees proactively look to be upskilled and reskilled, possessing the mindset and capability to successfully operate in a digitised workplace. 

How should you communicate this and filter it down through your organisation? Employees and business leaders both agree that the board and senior leaders should own and drive the human to hybrid transition, with nearly half of employees (40%) believing that it should be the CEO’s responsibility. 

When it comes to the progress already being made towards creating a hybrid workforce, business leaders have similar views about where they’ve made progress and where they need to do more work. They agree that digital implementation is where they’re making the most headway, with processes across recruitment, learning and development and benefits being automated. Accessing, analysing and applying data insight has progressed the least and is something that nearly half of organisations are struggling with. There is contention around data and how much personal information employers can hold about their employees –75% of business leaders believe the Government should take more responsibility for reassuring people that their data will be stored and used ethically for their own benefit, not the company’s. It is evident that many organisations are currently not in a place to achieve a hybrid workforce and employees are wise to this, with 58% believing their employers are not innovative and technologically astute. 

To shift your workforce from one that is human to one that is hybrid, the three fundamental pillars - digital, data and people - need to be at the forefront of every stage of the transformation. From vision and strategy formulation right through to the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment to learning and development and benefits, the pillars will underpin it all. People are the key to achieving your strategic goals; now and in the future. 

Do you want to find out how your organisation fares compared to others in the UK when it comes to transitioning your workforce from human to hybrid? Download Human to Hybrid: The Next Workforce Frontier


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