workforce planning & talent management
Who Will Be Replaced
by a Robot?
WHAT BUSINESS AND HR LEADERS NEED TO KNOW
By Michelle Moore
As the barriers between man and machine continue to dissolve,
how work gets done and who does it will continue
to change dramatically. To prepare for this significant
revolution, HR leaders need to understand how to leverage
technology to replace or complement the human workforce to
improve productivity and business results.
HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN IMPACT JOBS
Technology has the ability to positively impact jobs in three ways,
each of which provide potential costs savings as well as opportunities
to better leverage human workers (see Figure 1 – How
Technology Improves Job Performance).
1. REPLACING HUMAN WORKERS
The first way that organizations can use technology to improve
the outcome of a specific job function is by completely replacing
jobs with technology. In these situations, organizations automate
the tasks associated with a particular role. The workforce is either
reduced, or people are reallocated to higher value jobs. For
example, driverless trucks are now able to deliver goods to customers.
In the short-term, drivers will still be in the truck, but
they spend their time doing paperwork and other higher value
activities versus driving. Another example of jobs that have been
replaced by technology can be seen in retail organizations and hotels
who are turning to life-like robots to greet guests and perform
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ CONFERENCE ISSUE 2018 ❚ 57