Is HR looking at technology too negatively?

Is technology really about to steal the world’s jobs? One global HR leader says that we should learn to see it in a positive light instead

Is HR looking at technology too negatively?
Obsolescence or changing roles is listed as the top job concern for 40% of employees, according to Workforce 2020 a combined study by SAP and Oxford Economics.
Since technology is here to stay, we talked to Christian Schmeichel, senior vice president and COO, global human resources at SAP, about how HR could try and adapt to these changes and ultimately allay the workforce’s concerns.
“Every profession needs to constantly transform to continually meet changing internal and external conditions,” he said.
It is important for HR to realise that this type of change doesn’t necessarily lead to job threatening scenarios, he stressed.
“In reality, the past has proven that the economic growth as a result of the digital revolution was able to create new and often more jobs.”
Schmeichel has great faith in the digitalisation of today’s corporate world and its ability to free up space for new and possible even superior roles in the workforce.
This is where the role of senior HR professionals comes in, he added, saying that the function now has a responsibility to do the following in a timely manner:
  • Anticipate new job requirements
  • Define corresponding skill sets
  • Derive enablement strategies
The only way to do this efficiently is for HR to empower the workforce to keep up with the rapid speed of change, he said.
“To do that, we should actively communicate about digitisation and proactively turn a potentially negative perception into a picture outlining the opportunities ahead of us.”
Related stories:
How will HR evolve by 2020?
Future technology: Are your staff present?
Drag and drop: The employee of the future

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