Six ways to keep a human touch in an automating world

Training and development leader reveals how firms can be tech-savvy, without losing their humanity

Six ways to keep a human touch in an automating world

As technology continues to automate and revolutionise the way we work, it’s essential that firms find ways not to lose their human touch. According to a new study of APAC organisations by international training and development leader Cegos, the firms that reflect this ethos will be the ultimate winners.

The study looked into the human factor of organisations and found that over two-thirds of people say their organisation is welcoming to people from different genders, races and generations. Communication between managers and their workers is also positive, but needs improvement in some areas.

Written and verbal communication needs to be clearer and more relevant.

Six in ten APAC firms say that, while communication exists within their organisations, it’s often not clear or engaging enough. More alarming, only 33-38% of respondents in China, Singapore, and Australia say their managers value communication in the workplace.

This means that over 60% of management teams are unable to communicate adequately enough with their workers.

One third of managers fail to support the use of communications technology.

The Cegos study found that, while Singapore’s tech-driven social environment and corporate services put communications technology at the forefront, these tools don’t always make it into the workplace – 35% of Singaporean respondents report that their managers do not use enough appropriate technology for communications. That figure goes up to 42% with Malaysian respondents.

Employees today expect to work collaboratively, both physically and digitally. The report suggests management facilitate this by providing the opportunity, infrastructure, and technology where appropriate.

Organisations generally welcome people from different backgrounds, but more can be done to promote diversity.

While more than half of firms in Australia and the Philippines are reportedly committed to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, it is by no means a universal push. One in four respondents from India felt that organisations do not value diversity as highly as they should.

Good communication is essential for maintaining the human touch, the report stated. Not only should communication be clear and relevant, it must also be frequent and productive.

Here are six ways to sustain your firm’s human touch, well into the digital age:

  • Encourage more staff-management interaction with regular ‘town hall’-style meetings, staff lunches, or other gatherings.
  • Use tools like WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, ‘chatbots’, and cloud-based services to help connect staffers, especially those in remote locations.
  • Create open spaces or hot-desking opportunities for staff to work together.
  • Use new technology to pair up staff as mentors.
  • Be creative with staff appraisals. Replace rigid grading and reviews with something more interactive, focusing on human outcomes, such as training and coaching, rather than on ‘box-ticking’ exercises.
  • Avoid treating your staff like robots – ensure they don’t burn out and have regular opportunities to re-energise.



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