How Oracle is Catering To The Requirements Of A Hybrid Employee In A Hybrid Environment?

The tech-savvy Hybrid employee is more resilient and is reliant on technology to work in the mixed remote and physical working paradigm


Oracle is launching a new solution Oracle ME to help organizations better understand, manage, and grow the skills of their workforce. AI-powered Dynamic Skills solution allows HR leaders to identify skills gaps and foster career development for employees. It also provides business leaders with an always up-to-date view of their employees’ skills to help attract, develop, and grow the right talent.

Deepa Param Singhal, Vice President, HCM, Oracle Asia Pacific is here to cover the concept of ‘The Hybrid employee; how has the notion emerged, the need & requirements of the hybrid employee in a hybrid environment, key challenges, and how technology is reinventing the game for both employees and CHROs. Oracle, as a technology enabler is launching Oracle ME, a complete employee experience platform designed to promote employee engagement by improving communication throughout the organization and increasing productivity by directing employees to relevant tasks.

  1. Remote working and specifically hybrid work models have gained significant attention in recent years, what is your take on this, and do you think that the trend will continue in the future?

The proliferation of technology is reshaping our work lives in many important ways and the concept of hybrid working models has emerged in the era where tech is given utmost importance. It is by far the most preferred style of work and has gained traction majorly post the pandemic. The model has gained significant popularity among employees & employers due to its flexible nature. With surging demand from the workforce, this working model can mitigate all the negative effects of remote work, while maintaining its merits, such as achieving work-life balance, boosting productivity, fostering collaboration among peers, and forging closer relationships with customers. According to IDC, employees working remotely are more engaged and have a stronger sense of well-being than those in non-remote jobs. 

Talking about its long-term applicability and future tendencies, based on existing trends, attractive studies, and concepts among employees and companies, hybrid working is projected to stay for a while and continue. Our recent [email protected] survey too revealed how workforce priorities have changed dramatically in the past year. Around 96% of the Indian respondents said the meaning of “success” has changed for them ever since the pandemic and explained that success is now more aligned, prioritizing mental health, achieving work-life balance, and having flexibility on when and where they work. If one would look closely, all these aspects are essentially pros of the hybrid work environment. Hence, one can surely say that the concept of hybrid working is here to stay for long and thus we can expect that a whole range of hybrid work models is going to evolve, with varying degrees of support for work-from-home (WFH).

  1. Who is a ‘Hybrid employee’ and what are some of the defining characteristics of this new age employee today? How has the pandemic contributed to the popularity of this concept?

The conception of the term ‘hybrid employee’ was first put in motion instigated in the era of the hybrid workplace, a phenomenon that has gained huge popularity in the post-covid scenario. Under this category, falls the blended workforce or employees who prefer to work in both physical and remote working environments. This set of the workforce works from home or from a central location on selected days of the week and from the office on others depending on company guidelines and policies. Employees can work from the places they want to, either in a central location, such as a warehouse, factory, or retail location, or in a remote location, such as the home.  The concept was prevalent and quite unique prior to the pandemic however, it has now practically become a norm in the new normal. Employees feel they are more productive in one location versus another and can choose to work in that environment -- or work in a combination of the two.  Thus, the COVID has been largely responsible for understanding the significance and implementation of this concept. 

There are several reasons why the employees globally and in India are usually more inclined to operate in this model and some of the most prominent reasons are also health, safety and psychological needs of employees first by allowing for social distancing. . Additionally, during the remote mode, employees, and employers both have realized that work does not necessarily require physical attendance and one can combine the benefits of remote work with the collaboration opportunities of in-person work in a physical location. Indeed, over the last two years, there have been multiple conversations about increasing productivity in the hybrid model. Employees ended up saving commute time, working with greater flexibility and autonomy, increase productivity, among other advantages, and on top of this managing their stress levels. 

  1. It is evident that the employee priorities and expectations have changed drastically. According to you, what are some of the most important priorities of the Indian workforce at the moment?

Ever since the pandemic has hit the priorities for employees have taken a shift and their expectations have also and emerged over these last few years. It has caused people to rethink their professional priorities and there are statistics that show employees aren’t satisfied with their employer’s support and they should be doing more to listen to their needs.  The 'Hybrid employees' today are anticipating their careers in a larger perspective and making their career choices wisely, with skill growth and professional development being major determinants. 

Our recent [email protected] survey too reveals that 80% of Indian professionals are willing to forfeit vacation time, 77% are willing to forego a monetary bonus, and 76% are willing to forego a portion of their salary. These are some surprising figures that highlight the shifting nature of employee priorities. Clearly, the workforce is willing to give up key benefits for more career opportunities and are motivated to advance their career in the next year. In this regard, dependence on technology, automation, and data analytics will be much higher and will rapidly increase as employees look forward to unbiased and data-driven career guidance that is consistent with industry needs. For instance, in India, 97% of people want technology to help them define their future and navigate their careers; by recognizing the skills they need to develop, suggesting ways to learn new skills, and providing the next steps to progress towards career goals. Hence, it is quite evident that time is constantly changing, and at present, we are in one of the most dynamic phases of workforce growth, with hybrid work trends disrupting the landscape altogether and bringing in structural changes to the entire space. 

  1. How can technology contribute to the advancement of workforce priorities like skill development which remains a hot topic of debate these days given the dynamic nature of technologies and business environment these days?

We saw businesses going digital and accelerating their digital transformation journey over the time span of last two years, resulting in a greater shift in the workplace priorities and demands. This transition has provided insight into a several key parameters of professional growth such as skill enhancement, career development, technological advancement, and so on. Meanwhile, leaders in the HR space are also striving to build organizational resilience and foster value. Indeed, the Hybrid Employee's skill development and changing priorities are intrinsically tied, and justifiably so. Technology here serves as a key enabler to ensure that HR leaders have the right means to embark the hybrid employee with right opportunities of growth. Skills are at the core of every talent process in an organization; they are the fuel that power organization’s growth. HR and business leaders know just how important skills are to an organization’s health, agility, ability to plan, and growth efforts. But maintaining an accurate view into current enterprise capacity is challenged by the frequency with which skills are changing in today’s rapidly evolving business and technology climate. Technology creates new skills almost daily, employees are expected to develop skills regularly, and because many people describe similar skills with different words or phrases, the pool of potential skills for an organization is essentially endless. Leadersacross the board have realized the importance of technology to help deliver an engaging experience that attracts new talent and retains the best employees. We are privileged enough to live in a time where sophisticated technologies have the potential to support the workforce, and analyzing the constant innovations, this will improve in the future. In that sense, tech solutions that are open and extensible can deliver more than traditional HR actions and can be integrated with finance, supply chain and even on customer experience side. 

  1. How are CHROs responding to the growth of the hybrid workforce, and what challenges do CHROs face today with this hybrid employee?

We see HR leaders across industries embracing this new norm of hybrid work models and supporting the hybrid employee. Although, this new model is best suited to kickstart the return to the office practice after almost two years of virtual interactions. CHROs have a greater role to play in the successful execution and implementation of hybrid work culture and making it more fruitful. It is quite evident that HR departments are also devising smart strategies to adapt to this new normal. However, the transformation to Hybrid work culture is not going to be a cakewalk for the CHROs.  HR leaders are deeply understanding the new concept of the ‘hybrid employee’ and are working towards diversifying their skills, yet it is going to be a settling phase for them. Some major hurdles such as lack of personal experiences, employee communication, team engagement, and collaboration, remain areas of concern that require attention. To address the growing challenges, they need complete employee experience platform to increase employee engagement and ensure employee success. Additionally, they need solution that has the  capability to streamline communication across the organization, increase productivity by guiding employees to relevant tasks, and connect your people with their peers to build professional networks and advance their careers.

  1. How is technology, specifically HR technology, helping the hybrid work paradigm and managing the industry's talent demand and supply deficit?

Presently, the hybrid work paradigm is primarily driven by advanced technology, which powers the entire communication and integration process. The success of a company’s hybrid work model is directly correlated to the digital technology it has adopted.  It is extremely essential for CHROs to implement robust and scalable solutions to sustain the entire organizational employee structure. Smart HR tech has the capability to handle all employee processes—from record-keeping to manager-subordinate communication to learning and development to mental health support. In the hybrid working models, these functions become even more relevant to ensure that the employees are given appropriate support despite not working entirely in the physical model. 

Given the current business scenario and the continual uncertainty around the COVID waves, it is extremely critical to have a synchronized framework of staff management, streamline communications, increase productivity by guiding employees through complex tasks, and improve talent retention by developing a more supportive and trusted environment at work and HR technology has a greater role to play here. With advanced technology HR leaders can get a complete view of this data helps them foster career development, more effectively plan, make better hires, and develop a highly skilled workforce. 

  1. What is Oracle doing to support the hybrid employee and how are they navigating CHROs in the hybrid work environment? What are some of the recent innovations that Oracle has come up with in this regard to facilitate a ‘hybrid employee’s’ journey back to work and ease the pressures on CHROs?

Technology is an important element and works as a key driver of a mechanism ensuring productivity. Organizations are realizing the need to invest in good technology and new-age solutions to create better employee experiences. Oracle has always pioneered in enabling organizations to its core with smart, efficient, and innovative HR tech solutions. We provide tools to help companies invest in and support their employees by improving employee experience, learning new skills, and accessing new career opportunities. We assists both employers and employees by providing the technology to support evolving employee expectations and help HR navigate continuously changing demands. One of our most recent innovations within Oracle Cloud HCM are Journeys and Dynamic Skills specifically aimed at helping companies better engage with their employees. One of our most recent innovations within Oracle Cloud HCM is Oracle ME, a complete employee experience platform that has been launched recently. It is an employee-centric platform essentially designed to address the needs of employees in the remote or hybrid working model. As part of Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM, it provides capabilities to streamline communication across any organization, increase productivity by guiding employees to relevant tasks, and connect employees with their peers to build professional networks and advance their careers.

Tags assigned to this article:


Around The World