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Managing hybrid teams – three essential HR tools


The current world of work is very different from the one many of us once knew. Although it seems that the pandemic has been the sole cause of workforce change, the pandemic accelerated trends that were already gaining traction. In fact, we are facing a cultural change that has been reflected in the strategies of people and organizations over the course of many years.

Today, most companies are aware that success depends on sustainable growth in the areas of people, planet and profitability. As more and more employers struggle to find qualified professionals to fill certain positions, keeping employees satisfied, motivated and committed is now both a challenge and a priority. How are employers meeting this challenge? Through hybrid and flexible work models and process automation.

A snapshot of the current job market

Before delving into the necessary tools for efficient management of hybrid teams, let's reflect on the current labor market that has made the hybrid work model a reality. In a recent report out of Accenture, 83% of 9,326 workers surveyed say they prefer a hybrid model in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time.

Consider that the two new generations of employees are entering the workforce — millennials and centennials — and are fully accustomed to digital technology, holding very different work-life expectations than generations prior. For them, wellbeing is a priority. But the reassessment of priorities is by no means unique to younger generations. Because of COVID-19, workers of all ages are thinking differently about work.

According to a survey by Ranstad, more than 35,000 working adults we surveyed reported that work-life balance is important (93.7%); just slightly lower than those who consider pay important (93.8%). In fact, most people surveyed said they wouldn’t accept a role if it negatively affected their work-life balance.

In this sense, companies that apply regressive policies on remote work are bound to lose the talent race.

The three essential HR tools for hybrid team management

1. Time management: Making flexible work the new imperative

For companies to successfully transition to the hybrid work model, the HR department must be able to automate time management. Without automation, it can be difficult to adequately plan shifts and address the flexible work needs of employees and customers.

The physical methods that many used to carry out these tasks previously have proven useless when it comes to the management of remote employees. Digital solutions that allow time management processes to be carried out from anywhere, efficiently and quickly, are now imperative.

Fortunately, applications are already available on the market that allow time-recording transfers from any device (computer or mobile) in a simple and even geo-localized way. Advanced solutions, such as SAP SuccessFactors time management module, simplifies and centralizes the control of absences and attendance, offering advantages to managers and workers.

Managers will have immediate access to data on the financial impact or areas of potential risk and productivity. While employees can coordinate their absences interactively and in real time and have vacation, overtime or remote work approval almost automatically.

2. People analytics: Using data to meet objectives

Another solution that aids in hybrid team management is advanced data analysis. When applied properly, companies have access to enormous volumes of data that give them a competitive advantage in the way of performance evaluations, compensation, succession planning and engagement.

Transforming information into knowledge through the use of data analysis makes it possible to refine, adjust and transform policies and practices to move steadily towards strategic objectives.

When maximizing the use of data, companies can optimize decision-making by collecting data in real time and transforming it into simple visual reports. This makes it easier to understand the different factors and areas that are affecting the performance of the teams and, consequently, speeds up the decision making process. The result is a 360º vision in real time, which reflects the productivity, motivation and satisfaction of employees and their digital interactions, which also results in decisions on efficiency and optimization of processes.

3. Talent management: Supporting people as your most important asset

A third and final HR area that technology helps adapt to hybrid work ecosystems is talent management. This includes both existing talent and employee retention, as well as the set of processes associated with finding, recruiting and incorporating new talent.

Selecting the right candidates or knowing the degree of involvement and potential of the workforce is essential for business success and must be as efficient as possible, regardless of location.

In this sense, suites such as SAP SuccessFactors help companies manage these processes in an integrated manner throughout the relevant moments of employees’ lives. There are many processes that impact the personal life of an employee including evaluations, promotions, vacation requests, maternity or paternity leave, deaths, dependent care and anniversaries. Each event represents a vital circumstance, requiring the utmost care for positive bonding.

SAP SuccessFactors can also help facilitate the search for new talent, internally or externally, integrate new workers into the organization through mentoring programs and provide insight into areas for employee improvement and training.

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