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Managing a Blended Workforce - with Smart HR

Blended Workforce

At the last Disclose. Discuss. Discover. event in Sydney, we discussed the challenges of leading in a digital age and touched on the issue of maintaining a company culture in a blended workforce.

Aside from discovering guest speaker Colin Hamilton’s utter hatred of the word “culture” (check out our post-event Q&A for more on that!), we learnt that, while we’re all trying hard to find ways to manage people from different generations, we’re forgetting the critical fact that deep down they are all just human.

As Colin rightly pointed out, what’s important is that teams are united by a shared purpose.

Blended workforce - a changing definition

Blended workforces can be defined from a generational sense, with teams made up of Baby Boomers and Millennials, Gen X and Gen Y. However, now more than ever, the term is also used to describe a workforce made up of people employed on a differing basis.

The average number of part-time, contracted, freelance and remote workers per organisation is growing, bringing about a new set of challenges.

The fact that the two definitions overlap further indicates just how complicated an environment today’s HR leaders are faced with. This is particularly true when you consider the workplaces that are encouraging a move away from an entirely full-time staff but are yet to move on from the HR processes that worked in a more traditional workforce makeup.

A smarter approach

In today’s fast-paced working world, HR professionals need to be nimble and adaptable.

And while the saying, “We need to work smarter, not harder” is becoming somewhat overused, there’s no doubt that trying to keep up with the pace of change without adopting smart, tech-based solutions is simply not sustainable.

Beyond the efficiencies of technology, the additional insights it delivers will help HR to secure its place at the boardroom table, and provide evidence to support the HR tactics that drive broader business-critical decisions.

Beyond the bots

But it’s certainly not all about tech.

When we talk about smart HR, we’re referring also to the need to adapt the way we look at the other defining factors of the function, including:

  • Strategic thinking - identifying the best approaches to strategic tasks such as talent mapping and pipeline building to meet organisational objectives

  • Project management - recognising the value of a project-based working that encourages a collaborative approach to meeting goals, rather than working in silos

  • Data handling - while technology increases the amount of data HR - an already data-heavy industry - has access to, we need to know what to do with it - how do we put data to use while avoiding compliance breaches?

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