* 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report
Businesses are tasked with the complex task of retaining staff, maintaining competitive advantage and continuously trying to innovate at a rate outpacing productivity levels. Should businesses invest in new systems and technologies? What are competitors doing? How can they maintain competitive advantage whilst retaining talent and keeping costs down?
“41 percent of C-suite executives surveyed believe that difficulty attracting and retaining talent is the greatest risk they will face in the next 12 months” Accenture
In Gallup's 2016 How Millennials Want to Work and Live report, millennials (the largest portion of today’s workforce) are more than three times likely to switch jobs than their generational counterparts.
Whilst “millennials are as satisfied or more satisfied with nearly all aspects of their job”, the fact that they are still more likely to leave an organisation is highly influenced by the fact that what they demand is more than just job satisfaction. They want job engagement. They are no longer just company resources, they have become internal customers themselves, with a new array of demands and values.
* Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
Simply put, a millennial will not come to work because of basic physiological needs. They have higher aspirations and want higher levels of engagement. They want career development, to feel passion for what they do, to have creative outlets within their job and to reach their ‘full potential’.
So does automation take the HUMAN out of HR?
When it comes to ‘automation’ within HR, narratives generally focus on productivity, efficiency, cost savings and scalability. In fact, these are the same terms across most IT narratives. Far removed from the human and in stark contradiction to creating ‘the employee experience’. Businesses should be identifying the sweet spot where digital meets human values and create new strategies that enable engagement and productivity. If anything, this role requires a far higher intelligent behavioural cognition. The premise of what sets human apart from non-sentient beings.
From that perspective, automation and digital tools can be seen as facilitating more humanistic practices compared to traditional HR. Development of RPA software (robotic process automation), seamless UX intranet systems, as well as intelligent onboarding and training tools, should be seen as enhancers to the human experience. Leveraging these technologies not only removes the menial repetitive tasks but also allows HR teams to execute smart strategies and focus on driving forward employee experiences.