It’s interesting that the branch of your company responsible for your most valuable asset – your team members – is called Human Resources. Because, of all your resources, the human ones are the most irreplaceable.
This truism is easy to overlook, as technology emerges faster than you can track. And no doubt about it, that’s awesome. But the successful future of your business is about fusing humans with technology – because one simply cannot survive without the other.
Automation Isn’t Perfect
While machines can perform countless tasks, often more efficiently than a person could, what they lack is the artistry in the activity: the uniquely human capacity to address a unique situation and cater to the needs of the individuals involved.
- People still matter. This is true because, as noted by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, they possess wisdom. A case in point: As described by Forbes, a San Francisco tech company used software to pull revenue from different zip codes. But, there were two codes that overlapped, and the company’s software didn’t know what to do. So, as a result, it simply didn’t register anything from that particular geographic area, which happened to include a significant amount of revenue. If humans hadn’t intervened and double-checked the report, key bottom-line numbers would have been missed.
- The old adage holds true: Garbage in, garbage out. Remember, systems are created by humans, so they’re subject to human errors and imperfections. And, bad stuff happens. Sensors break. Servers go down. Apps freeze. And humans are needed to troubleshoot and problem solve.
What Robots Don’t Understand
According to a recent report by Pricewaterhouse Cooper on automation in the workplace, as many as 30 percent of jobs in the UK, 38 percent of jobs in the US, 35 percent of jobs in Germany and 21 percent of jobs in Japan were at risk of being replaced by automation by the early 2030s. But, machines will never completely replace humans in the workplace because they don’t understand:
- Irrational thought: Artificial intelligence (AI) is completely rational, but humans are the polar opposite. So, asking a rational presence to work with an irrational one can be a prescription for disaster.
- Context: In any type of communication, understanding cultural norms and slang is paramount to effectiveness. People either get it or they don’t. And machines just don’t. Also, because of this weakness, they’re sometimes less suited to do analysis work.
- Customer service: Amidst great strides in AI, customers and potential customers still expect exceptional, personalized communications from the brand with which they interact. Real human contact from customer service teams is a leading differentiator in today’s competitive brand landscape. Robots offer zero emotion – which is fine for tasks that don’t rely on the complexities of human relationships. But for interacting with any customers where emotion may come into play, people are far superior to machines.
About Lyons HR
Technology is nothing without proficiency – and ideas are worthless without creativity. So, it’s crucial that you manage people in ways that keep you efficient, competitive, compliant and profitable. For your small to mid-sized business, Lyons HR functions like an offsite HR department, offering the right balance between high-tech and high-touch when it comes to successful talent management. Contact us today to learn more.