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A Hybrid Workplace: The New Normal at Government Agencies

HR depends on digital technologies. It is the perfect opportunity for an IT/HR collaboration. Both orgs partnering to drive change and business transformation

Driving Digital Transformation for HR in Today's Hybrid Workplace - Join us November 10

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many government institutions were forced to take swift action to transition their workforce to remote workplaces, practically overnight to protect the health and safety of their workers.

After seven months of remote work, there is good data which indicates many remote workers are even more productive than their in-office counterparts. According to a BCG study, 75% of employees believe they have been able to maintain or improve task-related  productivity (such as analyzing data, writing presentations, and executing administrative tasks) during the COVID-19 pandemic. When focused on collaborative tasks, 51% of employees report they have been able to remain as productive as they were prior to the pandemic.  Imagine what might be possible if organizations would take the time to prepare for staff to work remotely and enhance that experience.

As the prospect of continuing to work both from home and in the office seems to be more and more likely, government agencies need to prepare for a “hybrid” workplace. Flexible work schedules are also likely to be more common in the future; therefore, organizations must adapt their management and operational practices to accommodate both onsite and remote employees. Best practices should foster better communication, trust, alignment, collaboration, inclusiveness, and engagement. SAP SuccessFactors customers are reporting benefits from the following practices:

Empowering Employees: HR Self-Service

Allowing employees to check their schedule, timesheets, and accruals without having to go through a manager or the HR department brings process efficiencies to employers as well as employees. Instead of waiting a supervisor to circulate shift-change requests on their behalf, employees can be empowered to manage their time and simply submit requests via a portal. Managers can conveniently view, monitor and authorize shift request changes online. HR self-service can also provide access to organizational charts, performance assessments, HR policies, payroll information, training, benefits enrollment, reports, and can address and personal information changes, alerts and notifications, etc.

Managing the Inflow: Recruiting and Onboarding

Organizations still need to fill critical vacancies by sourcing internal as well as external candidates, while providing the same quality of services to on-site and remote employees. 

SAP SuccessFactors can help government agencies gain process efficiencies by assisting with job postings, setting and conducting interviews, designing and managing teams of interviewers, reducing unconscious bias, and maintaining candidates’ interests with timely updates on their application status.

Setting Clear Expectations: Performance and Goals

Less face time between managers and direct reports can lead to miscommunication, underperformance, and decreased employee morale. Therefore, government agencies should urge managers to clearly communicate business goals and get employee agreement on expected deliverables.

Managers should specially talk to remote employees about how they plan to structure their working hours. Clearly defining the start and end of a working day will prove helpful because remote public servants may desire flexibility and the freedom to rework their own hours, while onsite people may want a more structured day.  Compromises will likely be necessary in the new “hybrid” workplace. Additionally, managers need to be more sympathetic and foster a safe environment to facilitate two-way conversations with both onsite and remote workers.  SAP SuccessFactors has many features which can assist government agencies in activating HR programs to build and enforce a much-needed new culture.

Minding Career Progression: Succession & Development

How you promote people signals to everyone what you value. Promotions give employees the opportunity to consider how well leaders’ actions align to an organization’s stated values. A solid promotion process allows leaders to elevate each employee to their full potential — while showing the institution what type of results and behaviors are valued. However, if promotions are not managed well, one person’s success can foster feelings of resentment in others, and the career aspirations of employees across the organization can be left unrealized. Consequently, government agencies need to gain insight on their entire workforce and offer development opportunities and support to onsite as well as remote employees,

Every agency can design and administer in inclusive and impartial promotion process. When combined with learning solutions, organizations can offer greater value to their employees as they look to progress and succeed. Learning solutions generally offer automated learning assignments, machine-learning based curation, certification management, programs for continuous learning, skills and knowledge verification, learning communities, etc.

Improving Workplace Wellbeing: Employee Experience

Social distancing and mask wearing will hopefully go away once a vaccine is developed for COVID-19. However, the effects of the pandemic will have a longer-term impact on employees.  Employee wellbeing refers to the holistic view of employees’ mental and emotional quotient as well as their productivity and ability to perform their best. Studies have shown that improved employee wellbeing not only helps people to be healthier and lowers healthcare costs; it also helps them to be more productive, creative and innovative, and less likely to leave their current employer.

Since wellbeing programs adopt an integrated rather than a siloed approach, they can touch different aspects of the employee experience and create the opportunity for better engagement. Therefore, government agencies should capture employee sentiment to identify opportunities to bolster workplace experience across all the moments that matter.

SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics combine forces to integrate experience management with human resources automated solutions. Employee engagement, text analytics, employee benefits optimization and employee lifecycle management are all part of the SuccessFactors/Qualtrics mix.

Developing a resilient workforce constitutes a special application of employee experience.  Resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. A resilient employee is:  47% less likely to miss one day or more of work per month, 4x more likely to have high job satisfaction, 60% less likely to suffer burnout, 5x more likely to experience good health, and 31% more engaged. Given these extraordinary times, it is no surprise that many organizations are launching initiatives to build resilience and address burnout, stress, depression, and anxiety amongst their employees.

Business Transformation

HR transformation depends on digital technologies and so is often a good opportunity for IT and HR to collaborate to transform the business. CIO’s and CHRO’s should partner to drive cultural change, technology adoption, engagement, and business transformation success.

If you are interested in learning more about how SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite can help your agency manage the hybrid workplace, register to attend our upcoming webinar entitled, Driving Digital Transformation for HR in Today’s Hybrid Workplace.


Driving Digital Transformation for HR in Today's Hybrid Workplace - Join us November 10

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