HR Management Can be the Key to Future-Proofing Your Workforce
By Andrej Kovacevic
January 14 2020 - It is true that millions of jobs may be affected one way or another by the digital revolution. Regrettably, there are a number of people in the UK who don't think this digital revolution is going to affect their jobs.
Employers need to find ways to future-proof their workforce, and thankfully, HR representatives are being trained for this change. The following are some ways your HR representative may be able to help ensure your workforce is ready for the inevitable changes that are on the way.
Evaluating Soft Skills
One important step your HR representative is going to have to take now is evaluating your employees for soft skills.
As more jobs become automated, soft skills will become more precious, which is something several employers are already paying attention to and why your HR is going to assess the soft skills you already have in you workforce.
Several straightforward tasks may be automated in the near future, but the creative aspect of many jobs, including some of the ones in your business, are still going to be important.
You want to make sure your HR representative not only identifies skills like critical thinking and complex problem solving but also helps refine these types of skills.
You'll also have to refine people management skills, emotional intelligence, negotiation skills, and judgment skills. There is no telling how these skills are going to be used exactly because the ripples of this revolution are not totally predictable, but having them ready is a smart move.
Some of them could be used to improve public relations if your employees deal with customers while others can help you make informed business decisions after analyzing data. The possibilities are endless, which is one effective way your HR representative is going to help future-proof your workforce.
Identifying Digital Hard Skills
Okay, soft skills are there to help ensure that your workforce is prepared for changes in roles and labour in general, but that doesn't mean you don't have to worry about digital hard skills.
Specific digital hard skills are going to become a bit of a necessity as time goes on, so identifying those hard skills so that you understand where your workforce stands is part of the job of an HR representative.
The identification of skills, even underdeveloped skills, is something an HR representative learns to do before jumping into this career, and it is what you'll need now. The technological advancements that may be happening during this revolution are going to test some of your employees, but assessing these skills can help you and your HR team develop a development plan to bring everybody up to speed.
The skills the HR representative is going to be looking for depends on your company's industry, but they may involve things like mobile expertise, data analytics, social media marketing, networking, or information security, just to name a few things.
The digital revolution, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution as some call it, may bring along even more technologies that no one can predict, which makes developing hard skills important so that your workforce can adapt more effectively later on.
Reassuring Workforce Things Will Work Out
There is no doubt a number of people in your workforce may be concerned about what may happen during this revolution. Change is scary for you and for your workforce, but change is also inevitable.
It does no good to hide your head hoping it'll all blow over. No, the best thing you can do is find a way to face these changes head on, which is what your HR representative is going to help your workforce with.
The anxiety some individuals in your workforce have needs to be addressed the sooner the better. Anxiety is not something you want to infect your workforce with because it can reduce productivity, and it could even lead some of your best employees to seek employment elsewhere, thinking there will be no roles for them here any longer.
A good HR representative will help your employees understand that AI and automation are things they shouldn't fear. These things are there to make jobs easier to complete, but they aren't tools to be feared. These tools will be worker-friendly, which is what the HR personnel is going to help your team understand.
Helping each employee understand how their roles might change and why automation is not a bad thing should help reduce the anxiety that could hurt your bottom line in the long run, which is the HR personnel's ultimate goal. Most of the time, the fear or anxiety some people are feeling regarding this digital revolution stems from hype and misinformation.
Having someone who is well-versed in the incoming changes should be an asset, which is what an HR representative brings to the table. Your HR representative is also going to take additional steps to make classes, seminars, and all other sources available to your employees if they are interested in advancing their skills.
The reality is that tomorrow's employees are going to have to learn to become constant learners. The way technology might be changing and evolving during this revolution is pretty fast.
The only way to help maintain a capable staff is to make skill development part of the job. A business that wants to stay on top of things is going to have to work with the HR personnel to figure how to establish continual development within your establishment.
Hopefully, this information helps you see how effective an HR representative can be at the moment. The changes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution may be bringing can feel a little scary but not if you have a good HR team to help your workforce and you adapt to the future more effectively.