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The workplace is changing and becoming more digital, fast-paced and dynamic than ever. Regardless of industry, the work environment today is unrecognizable from 20, or even 5 years ago. In this fast-paced environment, one thing is certain – technology is disrupting our profession and creating opportunities for us to drive better, smarter HR processes through automation. This isn’t a surprise to anyone in the HR profession, but what it means for how HR operates today and in the future can certainly vary among HR professionals. In this new tech-driven atmosphere where there’s constant demand for increased speed and efficiency, are we losing sight of what the entire profession of Human Resources was founded on: people?

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The fact is that we are only at the beginning of the digital economy’s exponential growth – automation and artificial intelligence will affect every aspect of human life, and therefore, the workplace as well. As technology takes over increasingly complex tasks, new forms of human-technology interaction will emerge, and industry and society will have to evolve to accommodate that relationship. We have to work to blend the best of technology with the best of human abilities. There are certain things that technology will not be able to replace and those are the things we should start focusing on putting back into HR.

All humans have basic needs, needs that technology cannot provide. We need to feel appreciated, valued and a sense of belonging. Face-to-face interaction provides the emotive qualities that we need in order to feel heard, respected and valued. Emails, texts, virtual environments and automated responses can result in a misconnection. Customer satisfaction is not based solely on response time; relationships and experiences are crucial.

Here are a few suggestions for HR on how to find the right balance between technology and human abilities:

• Leverage technology to connect: Connecting does not always have to be done in person – virtual meetings are our most common form of interaction. I challenge you to turn on your video camera the next time you are connecting with a colleague. We want to feel noticed, and using video functions can help to make a meeting feel more personal.

• Make automated services personal: When accessing an automated service, the interface should utilize technology to have interactive videos to guide employees through a request. Lengthy descriptions on how to utilize a tool are time consuming to read and leave the requester feeling incapable of completing a request. Having a friendly face pop-up to walk you through a process would provide real-time guidance and would bring the system to life – the perfect blend of human and technology!

• Constant personal connections: Personal connections allow you to have a pulse of the people and organization. When analyzing key data, trends emerge enabling you to build proactive solutions. It is up to us to bring the analysis to personal contacts to continue the investment in people and ensure we implement the proposed solutions.

• Engage with technology: Create an environment that inspires employees to make your business their career, by engaging the right talent across your workforce – and make sure they succeed. With technology you can streamline and standardize your HR processes, get new hires up to speed quickly, and reward your employees in an instant. This enables you to attract and care for your most important resource, the human one.

The technology evolution is only beginning. It is our job to stay on top of the trends and find the right balance to combine the best of technology with the best of human abilities.

When People Make the Difference HR is LIVE – Run live.

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