Article (May-2018)


It is now from ER to employee engagement

Zubin Zack

Designation : -   Managing Director

Organization : -  O. C. Tanner India, Mumbai


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In your sector, will robotics impact blue-collar jobs negatively and if yes, what proactive steps HR should take in advance to maintain a fine balance in job opportunities and technology advancements?
ZZ As a rule, automation and advancements in technology will directly impact the labour market. It can lead to displacement of workers doing a particular job in a particular industry that can impact the employment opportunities and wages of such workers. According to a report by Gartner there is a prediction that one third of jobs will be replaced by software, robots, and smart machines by 2025. It will not just challenge blue-collar jobs but they are starting to take over white-collar professions as well.
There are certain steps that HR leaders need to take to improve employee's acceptance towards technology, which are :
1) HR should understand the existing automation levels in the workplace and scope for possible technological advancement.
2) HR should comprehend the feedback from the employees towards technology and try to make them more positive towards the change.
3) HR should have an active training plan to make them more capable for better jobs in case of technological advancements.
How can dignity of job and respect for labour be enhanced across industries?
ZZ Every job in each sector has its own importance and impact and that is the very reason they exist. Dignity of work enables an employee to deploy his skill sets to his maximum to get the work done in the most efficient way. Employees should be provided with a platform to showcase their skill sets which helps in bringing change or development in their workplace.
Hence, the most important step to maintain dignity of a job and show respect is by simply recognizing the efforts and appreciating it. Companies must also look at working towards their employee's skill development and training as this will encourage, appreciate and improve their quality of deliverables, simultaneously enabling an equal working ecosystem.
How do you see the emerging scenario and dynamics of labor - management relationship in India?
ZZ Building internal employee relations is very crucial in ensuring a better work environment, which helps the organisation to function efficiently to achieve its business objectives.
In comparison to the traditional work scenario, organisations are now giving a significant amount of thought to manage their employee's interest. Unlike before, the labor - management relationship in India was more focused in acquiring an efficient and reliable set of labor. However, it has drastically changed as their focus now has further extended from labor management relations to organisational growth to employee engagement.
In a nutshell, leaders now should not only understand importance of the work done by their employees but also look at engaging and recognizing their work. This will help organisations to take major initiatives that will help to achieve the organisation's business objectives.