New technology is not just transforming the workplace, it is also transforming the way HR managers go about their jobs. As the pace of technology increases, HR managers will need to upgrade their management skills and become more adept at facilitating rapid changes to the technology employees need to master their jobs. You may need to become version 2.0 of you in order to lead the way for your team.
We are hardwired to resist change. While some people are naturally more adaptable than others, at a basic level new systems and new tools give everyone in the organization some level of anxiety. This employee anxiety can be manifest in numerous counterproductive ways:
Because we are social creatures, fear and anxiety spread quickly throughout an organization. HR managers must not only model positive attitudes towards the new technology, but also help well-meaning employees overcome their fears and embrace the new technology. They must also make help employees to understand that technology will empower them to do more for the company, and is not meant as a way to replace anyone.
There is no doubt that providing training for employees can make them more productive. However, it is often difficult for employees to see this connection. Hard working, high achieving employees can see trainings as a waste of time that prevents them from getting "real" work done.
HR managers need to persuade employees that the trainings will help them be more productive and that the time lost to trainings will be more than made up for with their proficiencies. HR managers should make sure that trainings are narrowly tailored. When possible, self-paced trainings with interactive features should be used over the standard group lecture format. Self-paced trainings are more effective and are usually preferred by employees.
Information is the true currency of business in the 21st century. Human resources play a pivotal role in making sure all employees have access to all of the information they need to succeed, while also keeping certain information, including private employee information, secure. New technology presents HR managers with the challenge of both access and security. To meet this challenge, managers need the right technological tools and knowledge as well as the right systems in place. This includes having a written policy that delineates who can have access to private, confidential information and what the process is for gaining access to that information.
HR managers also need to make sure that employees know how to gain access to both mission critical information for their jobs and how to access their own private information.
Are you up to all of the challenges presented by new technologies? Chances are you have some areas that need improvement. It is critical that you lead the way in your organization in both accepting and understanding how new technology will change the workplace.