Guest blog by Peter Van Ostaeyen, Blockchain and IoT Consultant at SD Worx
you really imagine yourself sitting next to a robot at your desk? No. Neither do
I. And when it comes to AI and automation entering the workplace, this is not
the future we’re talking about.
Workforce automation is here, and it’s not going to be a passing fad. No one yet knows the full impact it will have on the workplace, but it’s clear that the very nature of HR and staffing is going to evolve dramatically in the next few years. In a recent survey by Gartner, two-thirds of business leaders reported that if their company didn’t digitalise more by 2020, it would no longer be competitive. That’s why when it comes to AI and automation, it’s time for HR to adapt and adopt.
effectively deployed into the workforce, AI and automation offer companies and
their employees the opportunity for innovation, growth and long-term value.
However the realisation of this potential lies squarely in the hands of HR to
intelligently and sensitively integrate these technologies into the workplace.
Increasingly HR will act as the interface between human employees and AI
technologies – and this should be seen as an exciting strategic
teams need to ensure they are the hub of workforce technology innovation.
Failure to make sure staff not only know how to use the new technology but are
comfortable working in tandem with it, could result in retention rates falling,
productivity diminishing and ultimately, an inability to drive revenue. When
businesses are investing considerable sums of money in introducing this new
technology, this is a failure they can’t afford to make.
The present and the future
organisations state that people are their greatest asset. The truth is, not all
businesses look after their people as well as they could. The introduction of
automation into the workplace is a chance to reprioritise humans – to really put
them at the heart of the organisation. As such, HR teams have to be at the
forefront of leading the way in ensuring their employees don’t feel they will be
replaced and instead prove to them the real benefits that automation can bring
to their workflow.
recent report from
has revealed that up to 50% of tasks we tackle at work today could be automated
by 2055. But, rather than seeing this as a negative, this is very much an
fully capitalised upon, we can already see that AI and automation are proving to
be invaluable in the workplace. As they take on time-consuming, repetitive
tasks, they’re delivering new services that previously never existed, they are
allowing for more high quality human to human engagement and subsequently,
they’re driving innovations that would otherwise be missed due to a lack of
the digital powerhouse
will require significant change management that must be carefully orchestrated
from the outset if it is to be successful. Today when a new team is created, or
a new employee joins the company, processes are typically in place to fully
integrate them into the current culture. The introduction of new technology
should be no different. HR departments need to consider, even before the
technology is in place, what strategies are needed in order to best prepare
their employees for the rise of automation.
and automation do not necessarily mean that there will be a loss of jobs, but
the skill sets required are likely to change. As such, it is necessary that HR
departments maintain transparency during the transition. Employees will need to
know exactly how AI and automation is being implemented in the workplace and how
it will affect their work cycle. HR will also serve as a steady hand to manage
uncertainty and maintain motivation. For example it is likely that employees
will need to go through training to upskill, with HR providing a steering role.
Furthermore, when it comes to recruitment HR departments will need to consider
more carefully what skill sets potential new employees have.
to prepare, prepare to fail
automation is a reality and is something that organisations, particularly the HR
teams, need to be prepared to effectively and properly integrate. Businesses
need to recognise that this a real opportunity for them to upgrade, not
downgrade, their workforce – to empower their people to truly be the best asset
of the business. HR teams that ensure they consider and efficiently manage how
they will add people, upgrade skills and seamlessly integrate machines into the
workplace will have a much greater chance of driving growth and return on