Like so many things, we’ve been reminded over the past year how critical digital innovation and automation is to a global economy. We increasingly see its application even in the most unexpected industries, like food and beverage, to the more common ones — such as manufacturing, engineering, and logistics. Whether you’re a shipping company using machine learning to streamline delivery fulfillment or a basketball team developing complex algorithms to evaluate players and prospects, digital transformation is becoming an essential element of change management and organizational success. And, now, the human resources industry is no different — whether it’s recruiting, payroll and benefits, or employee training, automation has quickly become the norm. The question is, how does a people-centered industry automate in a way that empowers employees rather than eliminates them?
First, automation and cloud capabilities allow for effective internal management, organizational development and remote work. Regarding the latter, think Slack, Monday.com, Zoom, Microsoft Teams. This alone is a significant boon for companies looking to improve their productivity. In April 2021, Bloomberg shared a study that predicted work from home would represent 20% of all work days even after the pandemic, leading to a 5% increase in productivity across the US. Platforms like Zoom and other teleconferencing solutions, allow companies to provide employees with personal convenience without compromising professional results.
The phenomenon is now extending hosting entire events and conferences virtually, which greatly expands their potential reach and attendance of speakers, guests, and prospective partners. Conferences in this format need to be designed with an online – and likely global – audience in mind (a relatively complicated but manageable task, as laid out by the Wall Street Journal). Utilizing these features in the workplace – both for corporate exposure and employee professional development – becomes invaluable and, ultimately, allows for greater interaction than before the pandemic.
While some of the recent standout digital productivity solutions are ones that drive a modern, at times virtual, collaborative office, the workforce is now primed for benefiting from automation tools that solve (or streamline) the world’s most complex problems. At the highest level, cognitive automation solutions like IBM’s Watson, accept a wide variety of queries to help solve complex problems that traditional AI and machine learning solutions cannot. So, whether we’re talking about mitigating crime or maximizing water recycling , automation and machine learning is working to aggregate data and information in ways that make the outcomes more effective. This may seem like the first step toward a human-less workforce or society, but the reality is that automation is still supported by people…and employees. In fact, a 2018 report by KPMG estimated that just 5% of the workforce is actually automated. For the most part, a workplace integrating partial automation and machine learning technologies is augmenting the power of employees, not replacing them.
For an HR department, taking advantage of empowering technology is extremely useful if embraced early. The Academy to Innovate HR stresses that tools available today can already improve efficiency, create actionable insights, and greatly reduce errors, among other benefits. Combined, it makes the menial tasks that once took up so much of an HR department’s time not only easier, but more effective – therefore, freeing existing employees to focus on more important strategic decisions. The Society for Human Resources Management states “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.”
Integrating automation and other digital solutions into the workplace, and especially in HR departments, can seem intimidating, but smart implementations of these and other available technologies will allow companies to build a happier, more productive, and more sustainable workforce. If used properly, these technologies can increase collaboration, amplify the power of current employees, decrease overall workload within existing teams, all without significantly adversely impacting the foundational operations of a business. The upside? Helping employees develop new skills, creating stronger teams and becoming an employer of choice.
At Viveka, our mission is to help companies transform their workplace by making learning and development for all employees — from executives to entry level — more accessible and easier to manage. Our automated tools and all-in-one platform help HR departments bring talent and technology together for corporate growth. We never lose sight of people – our mission is to harness the power of our 20,000 coaches to positively impact the lives of employees and the overall success of a company.
To learn more about our enterprise solution, V-Corp, visit our website or email us directly.