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When Humanoids Roam HR

humanoid

 

adjective

  1. having an appearance or character resembling that of a human.

“a small, green, and hideously warty humanoid figure”

 

noun

  1. (especially in science fiction) a being resembling a human in its shape.

“a three-eyed humanoid”

 

As organisations start to focus on digital transformation in order to conquer their markets, what might come out the other end? What will our human resources be? What might our humanoid resources be?

 

There is much talk about robots taking over the workplace, maybe the world, maybe nothing, but one thing we do know, is that the technology is changing every aspect of our life and as we spend so much of our life working, it’s pretty clear that significant change will happen within the workplace.

 

But do we try and change the technology for the user, or will the user change to become the technology? Be augmented by technology. Be enhanced by technology. Use technology to deliver more business impact, more quickly than a wholesale change of a core system can deliver. But if so, how?

 

It’s not just about the data

 

Data will not be big data – one simple version of the truth; it will be about data balance, business impact and people productivity. So much time can be spent ripping out your core HR systems, disrupting payroll, time and attendance, workforce planning, waiting years to get all of the data in one place – one simple version of the truth. But by the time you think you are there (and you never will be), the world will have changed again. We are drowning in massive data because it’s everywhere: it’s in your hand, it’s in your head, it’s in the cloud hence we have no chance, or more importantly no need, to have it all in one place which is why the concept of one core system with “all the data” is fallacy.

 

It’s about people performance

 

If you want to improve the productivity of your logistics operation, you don’t just want internal data, you want data from outside, from suppliers, from your people, from the cloud. But where you start to see the real opportunities is by focusing in on the operation. Taking an existing process, finding the bottlenecks, calculating the value of improvements then augmenting people with technology such as Google Glass, so you can monitor the adoption of change, the impact on performance, then act on results, deliver real-time learning based on real-time information; that’s the kind of data that has immediate business impact. Focused. Immediate. Impactful.

 

We’ve forgotten our mission

 

We have talked so long about harmonising data into “one version of the truth” that we’ve forgotten our original mission. Although I’d also argue that we don’t even know what the “truth” looks like anymore as companies such as Tesla, Amazon and Airbnb keep on breaking the rules, never staying the same, never giving up. Market leaders never believing these start-ups would survive let alone make an impact, but by the time these start-ups catch-up and make their impact, they have so much momentum they can’t be caught, and anyone in their way, is likely to see some collateral damage to their organisation.

 

Augmented HR

 

As we augment the workforce with real-time productivity enhancements, on-demand information, do we need HR to become the controllers of (human) augmentation? Setting the ethical and moral levels of biological vs. nonbiological workforce transformation. But in turn adding their own augmentation to manage the flow of data and decision making from the ever-changing sources. Never one set of data, never one answer to a continually evolving workforce.

 

Peter Gold will be joining the HRN Blog at HR Tech World Amsterdam 24-25 October, 2017. Buy your ticket to the show here

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