The People Management – June Edition 2022
Power of Automation – Keeping The Workplace Human……
Will automation cause the workforce of the future to be dominated by malevolent, beady-eyed robots gleefully expelling humans from their offices and cubicles to lay claim to their jobs?
Probably not. But if it takes scary robots to alert HR professionals to the importance of tracking and responding to the rise of automation in the workplace—and the threat that automation could pose to the careers of many—the image will have served its purpose. Automation is everywhere, and its impact on human resources is expanding, but many say HR professionals are only dimly aware of the trend.
There’s no doubt that a more automated future is coming.
For HR, automation increasingly affects workforce strategy. It vastly expands the potential of, and expectations for, HR analytics. Technology is transforming traditional HR functions such as hiring, training and benefits administration. And the execution of all this change demands a strong HR role.
The understanding and use of the power of automation may prove to be the dividing line between those who advance in the field and those who are marginalized and, eventually, automated out of their HR jobs.
Increasingly, people will be working with machines that don’t need benefits, reassurance or human support—or weekends and holidays off. They will provide endless streams of data and conceal nothing.
This is prompting fears that automation could lead to a race to the bottom regarding work conditions. Criticisms of Amazon and other technology companies have included allegations of excessive measurement of, and expectations for, employees, particularly lower-level workers.
Keeping humans at the top of the agenda is important in automation efforts.
Also, the need of the hour is to find or develop HR professionals who have/can master new skills and technology, speak the language of the business (financial impact and return on investment), share unique business insights and manage a diverse workforce by protecting the organisation’s brand. These business-focused, digital HR professionals possess the skills to anticipate changes that will impact the workforce and lead the business through disruption.
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