Whilst the acceleration of hybrid working has undoubtedly been positive for many, it has also ushered in challenges for small businesses that are still getting to grips with rapid change. 

Employee engagement has been difficult to maintain in a virtual context, and the move to hybrid working – a mixture of in office life and home working –  is creating an even bigger challenge for HR teams who are now trying to get engagement right in a variety of working environments.

As we transition into life after Covid, HR teams will play a critical role in supercharging their workforce. To be effective though, they must be strategic and harness technology to encourage a flexible yet controlled approach to maintaining high levels of employee engagement. As without an engaged workforce, small businesses are at risk of increased disruption and declining morale, which will make it harder to achieve success in the long run.

Working smarter, not harder

While it can be difficult to apply a successful workplace engagement strategy to a hybrid environment, there are simple ways to cut through the general communication noise and simultaneously stimulate engagement.

Specialist HR cloud software ensures transparency between HR teams and their workforce, by providing one single source of truth. Harnessing such tools streamlines the ‘day to day’ for HR teams and allows for them to become more strategic with their approach. For instance, reducing the burden of HR admin – which can be very time-consuming. This means HR teams can focus on other areas – such as mental health and development programs – to ensure that levels of engagement and productivity remain high. Ultimately allowing for more freedom and flexibility for smarter HR – all through automation and digitisation.

It can also provide HR teams with the capability to optimise employee development plans to ensure all employees can excel in their role. Certain software providers have specific functions that regularly recognise the efforts and accomplishments of employees, helping to strengthen team bonds and encourage employee engagement. These features mean employees can digitally send each other feedback and praise, as well as virtual badges promoting team interaction no matter the location, which suits the new hybrid working style.

Employee engagement platforms, that automatically import staff data and enable targeted SMS messaging, email and digital form collection, are another tool that can increase transparency and engagement. These are designed to make all interaction and communication with teams easier, less expensive, faster and more effective. With staff spread far and wide, implementing a secure staff engagement strategy bridges the home/office gap and ensures HR teams can stay in touch with every member of the team.

Supercharging the future workforce

Employee engagement isn’t a silver bullet, but it is crucial to the success of any business. By harnessing the right tools and software, HR teams have an opportunity to make a real difference across the business by putting their employees first and supercharging their engagement. So, with support from technology, HR teams can make better decisions, faster and move forward with confidence all through smarter HR.

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