There has been a lot in the news about the transition the world is going through. They say the great recession has created changes.
This last week on our Facebook page we posted a segment from PBS Newshour about robots and computers taking over more jobs. The report told how paralegals are now endangered because software can now perform many of the searches they were required to do. While this sounds somewhat dreary, those who talked during this segment didn’t necessarily think it was all bad. They suggested that better jobs could be created from this transition. The experts they interviewed thought more skilled jobs would be needed that a robot or a computer program would not be able to do. These jobs, they said, would be more interesting. Some jobs that are boring or are more repetitious could be done by the robot. These may be jobs people are not really interested in doing.
Changes in how jobs are performed was even more evident in another survey from Deloitte. Two weeks ago we blogged about a survey on what millenials wanted out of leadership but this survey identified workplace issues from the organizational leader perspective. The results came out in March.
In the survey, it talked about the difficulty in engaging employees because the nature of work is changing just as it was said on PBS. The difficulty stems from the workplace culture. Computer-based jobs, such as those mentioned in the PBS segment, are a greater problem not because of the jobs themselves but because of job descriptions needed for them and determining an employee’s knowledge or ability to perform those jobs. Workplaces are becoming more multifaceted which is also creating more stress and there is a reluctance to reduce any impediments to make it better. Unless employers take steps to engage their employees, there is a pending crisis.
In addition to the problem of employee engagement, employee retention is also becoming a problem. Whether the lack of employee engagement is related specifically to the retention problem was not said but you can draw your own conclusions. The survey did identify engagement as a problem within the workplace culture. The culture and the lack of engagement could be related to the inability of workplaces to keep employees.
Leadership was identified as a problem in this survey, too, and it continues to be a growing problem. The lack of leadership could be the reason for the lack of engagement and retention but it also could be the other way. If organizations are not willing to engage employees, or allow employees to have some input into workplace improvements, this could stifle leadership ability and cause employees to leave. The millenials have a different impression of leadership as it was reported in the other survey. It could be there’s a clash between existing leaders and those who could be possible future leaders.
The survey is a good report. It’s ironic, though, how Deloitte suggested to solve the problems. They said HR people should resolve the problem and find out what motivates people. That is part of the problem because that’s how traditional organizations have normally resolved problems. Instead of involving those who are directly impacted, traditional workplaces will only have managers look at the problem and come up with a possible solution. The irony is that people are motivated when they are engaged. They are engaged when they feel like they are playing a significant role in resolving workplace issues such as these. It would be great to put a group of employees together to look at these issues and other issues that impact the success of the organization.
It’s understandable where organizations have come from. Since the recession, it’s been very difficult trying to maintain and survive. Changes, demands, and global competition are huge and just coming out of the recession has added to these tribulations. Increasing wages is a good thing but it’s also time to look at different ways of managing and involving employees. Again, more irony, workplaces are concerned about maintaining the organization, meeting the competition and challenges to survive which is okay but the real crisis for them, according to the survey, are the things they aren’t doing.