What place does human capital consulting have in today’s business ecosystem? The history of technology in the workplace is one full of tension and, sometimes, downright fear. Workers have frequently worried that technology would replace them, and with the rise of robotics, machine learning, and automation, it is not a wholly unfounded concern. The key to minimizing these worries is positively managing human capital alongside technology investments.
In short, businesses must invest in company culture, ensuring people understand how important they are to the processes that drive success. People who know and understand that human capital has a place in an organization despite technological innovations are likelier to adopt tech that enhances productivity and bottom lines. Human capital consulting helps a company identify opportunities for improvement.
Technology and Human Capital Consulting to Build Company Culture
Human capital solutions require employers to look at all tech trends and innovations in their businesses through a human capital lens. For example, what does innovation mean for the status of employees, and what might employees think about these changes? Human capital consulting firms can help companies bridge the gap between tech innovations and the people who power processes, but businesses can also start with some of the basics below.
How to Use Human Captial Consulting to Enhance Communications
Leverage technology to enhance communications. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many teams remain in hybrid or remote work structures, relying on technology to keep them tied together. But even teams that are 100% back to the office or those in other models, such as field service or manufacturing teams, need ways to bring everyone together, ensure team members are aware of important information, and support better interpersonal connections.
However, business leaders cannot simply invite everyone into a group chat or video meeting. Using technology to enhance communications in a positive manner that does not merely add more checkboxes to worker to-do lists requires careful strategy and top-down investment. Human capital consulting considers solutions that:
- Are easy to use and even automate some routine tasks, so employees are not spending valuable time ensuring communication workflows work
- Are as inclusive as possible and do not require constant manual intervention to ensure everyone has access to the information they need to do their jobs and feel like a productive, meaningful, and appreciated part of the team
- Support interpersonal and fun communication in an appropriate manner to help teams socialize and build trust
Remember That Employees Are Customers Too
Businesses that implement technology solutions must be aware of who the customer is for those solutions. Frequently, the customer base is comprised of internal teams.
Too often, however, leadership adopts and implements technology without consulting or considering the needs of the internal customers. That is bad for employee morale and productivity at any time. Moreover, in today’s competitive hiring environment, it can also be disastrous for attrition. Employees who do not feel they are being listened to or are struggling to adopt innovations they perceive as being unnecessary and cumbersome frequently seek employment elsewhere.
Enable Success With Technology
Ultimately, companies should never adopt new technology solely to chase something shiny and new. Instead, each innovation should be carefully considered and implemented, whether a human capital solution or a technical one. If a business cannot point to specific — and measurable — ways technology supports success for the organization and its employees, it should consider whether the tech investment is appropriate.
For example, many banks today offer mobile banking. Customers can log into their mobile devices to take pictures of checks and deposit them, check balances, make transfers, and conduct other basic banking transactions. This technology increases customer success and drives success for banks. On the surface, it may seem like it replaces teller jobs, however. But a human capital management approach looks at how mobile banking enables employee success. Tellers are no longer inundated with repetitive, basic tasks that can be handled on mobile devices. Instead, they can concentrate on higher-value tasks, better customer service, and training that lets them move up with the organization.
Data Sharing, Decision-Making, and Human Capital Consulting
One of the best ways to use technology to enable success is to empower people at all levels of an organization to make job-appropriate decisions in the workflow. People need proper access to data and decision-making tools to make those judgment calls.
Technology supports this in several ways, including:
- Housing documents and data management via cloud software, which ensures team members in any location have access to the information they need to serve customers, make decisions, and complete work
- Automated workflows that help teams make decisions or route tasks based on preprogrammed criteria
- Real-time training, wizards, and prompts that can trigger and guide team members through processes or decisions in the moment, enhancing team member confidence and increasing accuracy
Technological Fluency of the Workforce
Of course, businesses can only reap the rewards of technology managed through the lens of human capital when they invest in the technology fluency of their workforce. Businesses should:
- Provide education on digital topics for team members, especially when implementing new solutions
- Support growth of technology skills by offering and paying for outside webinars and other training
- Encouraging employees to adopt new innovations by creating scaled quotas or other requirements that provide time and space for mastering new skills
- Taking a top-down approach so leadership can demonstrate adoption and mastery of new technology
Drones, Robots, and Communications
Technical solutions and devices that support remote work change company culture by:
- Putting potential barriers between human capital
- Removing routine tasks that can be automated from human workflows
- Reducing face-to-face communications and team building
- Causing workflows to evolve often involves individuals taking on higher-level work as drones, robots, and other machines handle lower-level repetitive tasks.
Company culture tracks in two possible directions when your organization faces human capital adjustments. It either transforms into fear among staff that jobs are in jeopardy, or it leads to understanding opportunities for success and advancement for all. Leadership is responsible for ensuring that teams take the path to success by frequently communicating, at all levels, the power of their human capital and its importance in your organization.