As the world of work changes, so does the nature of HR. These days, HR departments must go beyond their usual administrative tasks to help companies improve employee engagement and workplace culture. Most importantly, they’re critical in ensuring that employees remain happy and willing to stay with their employers for longer.
Besides these developments, the most significant change in the last few years has been the rise of hybrid work, which allows employees to work remotely and in-office. Technology has played a vital role in helping workers adapt to these new circumstances.
Many Philippine firms have already adopted this set-up, particularly their HR departments. If you’re wondering how they’ve been adjusting to these changes, Sprout recently released its latest State of HR report to reveal how local HR teams perform under the hybrid work setting. Let's examine some of the paper's key findings and what HR professionals can learn from them.
The Impact of Hybrid Work on Essential HR Processes
Hybrid work set-ups may improve productivity and work-life balance, among other advantages. But survey respondents reported that hybrid set-ups also negatively affected specific HR processes, particularly in the following areas:
- Employee engagement (76%)
- Recruitment (45%)
- Learning and development (44%)
Despite the new working conditions’ varied impacts on specific HR processes, most respondents think that automated systems (47%) improve their current work set-up. To add to these benefits, providing mental and physical resources (44%) and company-wide allowances (42%) are also priorities for HR professionals.
Digital HR Tools & Their Contribution to Streamlining HR Tasks
HR departments used to perform vital processes manually. But as technology became essential to flexible work set-ups, HR teams have been streamlining their tasks with automated tools.
Let’s take payroll as an example. 22% of the HR professionals we surveyed process payroll manually, while 60% process payroll using a human resources information system (HRIS). These figures reveal that more HR teams rely on automated tools to make payroll less challenging.
Digital HR tools have also helped companies recruit talent. Among our respondents, 35% use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for recruitment. Conversely, 58% still process recruitment manually.
Learning & Development’s Role in Retaining Employees
Our survey results also showed that HR professionals value learning and development programs. In fact, 87% think that these initiatives are critical to attracting and retaining employees. And what’s more, 91% claimed that L&D programs help companies perform better.
New learning programs are essential to high retention and business success. These opportunities not only allow companies to hire applicants faster but also encourage self-growth, upskilling, and reskilling, encouraging talent to stick around longer.
HR & Digitizing Performance Reviews
Performance reviews also comprise a bulk of HR professionals’ duties, with 97% of our respondents conducting these assessments. Employees receive constructive feedback during performance evaluations, which help them grow professionally. More than half of our survey respondents backed this statement, stating that performance reviews somewhat helped employees grow.
As for the actual process, 74% process worker assessments manually. But like other areas of HR, evaluating employee performance (especially if it’s hands-on) takes time. Thus, HR teams rely on a performance management system to do this task for them. 85% automate their performance evaluations with this HR tool.
Attrition as a Major Challenge to Overcome
Employee attrition rates sharply increased in 2021. This phenomenon was labeled the “Great Resignation” (or the “Big Quit”) and felt by numerous Filipino companies. Our survey found that 62% of respondents saw more employees quitting their jobs. And it seems that the trend will continue as hybrid work allows people to sever ties with their employer easily.
So, how can companies keep talent around for longer? Our respondents shared these top ways to retain employees:
- Compensation or salary (75%)
- Benefits (73%)
- Career growth and opportunities (70%)
If these findings tell us anything, it’s that compensation and benefits can encourage people to stick around. Hence, companies must improve these aspects to keep retention rates high.
Employee Engagement is Vital
Our report also touched on employee engagement. In our survey, most respondents stated that employees care about employee engagement activities and believe engagement can help improve overall employee well-being.
Yet, some respondents overlook employee contributions, with 63% organizing employee engagement activities without worker input. Companies in hybrid work set-ups need to adopt data-driven decision-making, but leaving employees out of these decisions does more harm than good.
To prevent such situations, HR leaders should involve employees in the decision-making process. This way, they can save time and resources while encouraging team members to contribute. Thankfully, the market offers numerous tools to help HR teams collect and analyze workforce feedback.
The Link Between Employee Benefits & Retention
As we’ve mentioned, people seriously consider compensation and benefits when deciding whether to stay or resign. Nearly 98% of HR professionals agreed that benefits affect employee retention, while almost 85% stated that they reduce attrition. Thus, improving benefits packages is a must for businesses after higher retention.
On Employee Well-Being
Retaining talent isn’t just about helping them grow via learning opportunities. It should also consider people’s mental and physical health.
Some HR professionals we talked to said employees want to enjoy wellness-related benefits. Specifically, they suggested mental wellness programs and health and fitness benefits. And it seems that local businesses have taken note, with 79% of HR professionals handling employee wellness programs.
Along with the figures above, our survey reported these results:
- 54% spend more time recruiting new employees.
- 36% stated that lack of budget mostly keeps them from leveraging HR technology.
- 85% said innovation and technology would help HR teams succeed in 2022.
The Future for HR Departments in Hybrid Set-Ups
The way we work has drastically changed over the last few years. Hybrid is now the future of work, and technology is necessary when navigating this new environment. Hence, HR teams must use digital tools to help their workplace grow and succeed.
Besides digitizing HR processes, HR leaders must conduct employee wellness and engagement activities addressing people’s needs. Worker input should shape these initiatives, and HR teams can use tools to gain insights. When it comes to professional growth, reskilling and upskilling programs are vital.
More importantly, companies should leverage automation to innovate. In turn, they can streamline critical HR tasks and succeed in a hybrid working environment.