Season 2, Episode 7: HR Strategies For The New Hybrid Workplace

Business Excelleration Podcast

Host Franco Girimonte talks with Senior Research Director Tony DiRomualdo and Senior Director David Polacheck about winning HR strategies for the new hybrid workplace. They discuss the return to the office, the future of work, and provide recommendations on how to redesign work for the better.

Show Notes:

This episode of the Business Excelleration Podcast is hosted by Franco Girimonte, North American HR Executive Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. Franco is joined by Tony DiRomualdo and David Polacheck, both within the Hackett Group’s HR advisory practice acting as the Senior Research Director and HR Senior Director respectively. Today’s discussion is centered around winning HR strategies for the new hybrid workplace.

To begin the conversation, Tony elaborates on the opportunity for workplace efficiency as people begin returning to offices. He believes the last thing we should do is return back to the way things were before the pandemic. After the last year of working remotely, employers and employees alike have a much better grasp on what does and doesn’t work for them. Likewise, we all appreciate what we miss from the office.

With Covid and vaccination rates fluctuating, David says this is all still in the experimental phase and will continue to be for some time. He urges HR to be as flexible as possible for both employers and employees. There should also be more of a level playing field when negotiating these dynamics between employer and employee. Then, they touch on the two major challenges employers will have to overcome in the future. First, employees have been given a newfound sense of flexibility that they aren’t willing to give up. Second is the need to rethink the purpose of the office and redesign its configurations. There has been much attention around remote work and its impact on productivity, but the analysis doesn’t stop there. HR’s current push to their clients is to reexamine their definition of collaboration.

It is a win-win when flexibility can be implemented while work is still being completed. Employers may be able to determine one day per week or month for employees to visit the office to maintain that in person contact, while having most work done remotely. This presents the opportunity to reexamine manual work altogether, questioning new ways for it to be completed. Many hiring managers are experiencing high stress in regard to the amount of positions currently unfilled in light of labor shortages.

As the episode ends, Tony states that we won’t be going back to the way things were before. The future will be more flexible and individualistic, and one-size-fits-all methods likely won’t continue to work. Rather than looking to rebuild the past, employers should seize the opportunity and create a new, better method for the future. Those who do will be the outperformers in the industry.

Timestamps:

  • 0:55 – Franco introduces himself and guests Tony DiRomualdo and David Polacheck.
  • 1:20 – The future of work.
  • 4:30 – Flexibility for employees.
  • 6:00 – Two major challenges for employers to overcome moving forward.
  • 11:07 – Reexamining productivity and collaboration.
  • 15:51 – What could flexibility look like?
  • 20:00 – Looking towards the future.