Creating a humane shift in People Management with new technology

People Management

The role of people in the workplace has seen a vast shift of tasks during the last few decades with the role of worker and employee changing constantly with the advancement of the technology.

At the beginning of the 20th century when technological development was just taking its first baby steps, people had to substitute for the role of machines to increase the efficiency at office and factory. Men and women alike were largely performing tasks that are mainly done by the machines today.

As Henry Ford, a founding father of modern motor industry once famously questioned ' why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?' reflected the common sentiment of industrialists in 1960's and 1980's, when people in the workplace and factory were trained to perform tasks better than the machines.

Empathy and creativity were the last characteristics an employer of 20th century was looking for and the workforce was encouraged to perform tasks with minute precision without question or logic.

However, the increasing efficiency of machines has reversed the demand for a machine-like workforce and has reinstated the need for a workforce with qualities that are essentially human.

The process of ousting a machine-like workforce from the workplace started with the invention of the first microprocessor, the intel 4004 in 1971 and has reached greater heights today.

Every two years, the processing power of computer microprocessor increases by two-fold and the infotech power has increased by a factor of a million during the last 50 years. To clearly visualise the giant leaps the computers have been making in their processing powers, it is best to compare it with jet travelling. Jet travelling has only sped up human transportation by a factor of 100 against walking while a computer has already sped up our processing power by a million-fold.

The drastic improvement of intelligent machines has changed the face of the modern workplace forever. Many of the tasks that required the full day commitment of a number of people can be performed in a matter of hours today while a whole factory line can be programmed and monitored successfully to perform a task with accuracy and intricacy no human can ever achieve.

With intelligent machines revamping the role of humans at workplace, one of the areas that has seen a radical changes is the field of human resource management.

Human resources managers are no longer handling and selecting a general group of people with common qualifications to execute a monotonous task, which the employee could master with time. Today, the role of humans at workplace requires more talent, creativity and empathy than ever before. In short, the human resource managers are compelled to find people with the right human qualities and talent for a particular assignment.

After a decades- long task of finding humans that can match the performance of machines, the human resources managers now face the challenge of identifying people with the right human qualities and talent to perform a task that cannot be replicated by machines, no matter how intelligent.

The task is also made hard by the rising competition for such individuals who have the right mixture of talent, intelligence and people management skills to perform a task with the intricacy that cannot be found in a machine.

Today, one of the most challenging tasks faced by a human resources manager is the recruitment and retention of talent. People, unlike machines, need to be engaged, trained, aligned and supported through their careers and the changing of an employee's role into one of a consumer or customer who is screening the job market in search of the best offers has left the human resource managers walking on thin ice.

The task of creating a people's environment at workplace, which retains, harbours and encourage talent is one of the main responsibilities of HR managers. With each employee defining their own terms at workplace the HR managers are seeking the assistance of people management software to create a platform of integrated talent management.

A platform like OPPTIMO combining the versatility of a task management board with the flexibility of people management options allows any member of the management the access to the performance data of an individual in real time.

With a clear record of performance which offers intricate people analytics of the workforce, the human resources team can collaborate with project managers and team leaders to create a unique work experience for each individual who brings out the best talent in the market across a number of disciplines.