November 03, 2020
November 03, 2020
Contributor: Jackie Wiles
Hybrid workforce models can increase agility and resilience, drive competitive differentiation and save money. Talent analytics help HR leaders to capture these opportunities.
The pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate as organizations everywhere reset business strategy in response to COVID-19. But many organizations already face a lack of digital skills that could stall their transformation initiatives. The good news: The pandemic has also driven a range of new workforce trends and workplace norms that create a window of opportunity for HR and other business leaders to leverage new hybrid workforce models.
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Hybrid workforce planning is a deliberate design that enables employees to flow through various work sites — from remote solo locations and microsites of small populations to traditional concentrated facilities (offices, factories, retail, etc.).
At the heart of a hybrid workforce model are the ideas of shared ownership and trust, which helps organizations break down long-held beliefs and potential myths about where and how work gets done most effectively.
“Employers, managers and employees will share ownership of hybrid work decisions, with a common expectation that employees can switch locations dynamically and without a fixed or rigid pattern,” says George Penn, VP, Gartner. “Where, and when, work gets done will be determined by what makes the most sense to drive the highest levels of productivity and engagement.”
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Many organizations have been forced during the pandemic to manage a distributed workforce, scattered by location and disrupted by outside distractions. Hybrid workforce planning provides HR and other business leaders — and managers and employees — with the means and opportunity to rethink organizational structures, roles and work design in entirely new ways.
Managers will need to trust in the goals they have set — and trust employees to work productively against those goals, regardless of location. Employees will need to be flexible and comfortable moving between various work environments when the need arises.
While potentially challenging, hybrid workforce models can deliver against some of the most critical needs for organizations today, especially if HR leaders leverage talent analytics to guide their decision making. Hybrid models provide agility and resilience, help drive competitive differentiation and contain costs. Importantly, these benefits can be derived in tandem, not at the expense of one another.
For example, hybrid models enable organizations to focus on acquiring the critical skills they need to drive competitive advantage, not on filling key roles. Those skills, directly deployed to drive innovation and growth, can potentially be located remotely or in lower-cost locations — reducing talent acquisition and facilities costs.
HR and business leaders can simultaneously work directly with the CFO to drive alignment around the investments and costs needed to fund competitive differentiation.
“Talent and labor market analytics provide the ammunition to drive hybrid workforce decisions about skills needs, locations and costs,” says Scott Engler, VP, Advisory, Gartner. “Those decisions are what will enable the accelerated pace of digital transformation in a cost-effective way.”
These are among the next steps for HR:
Join your peer CHROs and senior HR executives from leading organizations to discuss specific HR challenges and learn top HR trends and priorities.
Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
How Organizations Are Supporting a Hybrid Workforce
Identifying the Future of Work Trends Most Relevant to Your Business
How to Leverage Data for More Influential Workforce Planning.
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.