Magazine article HRMagazine

How HR Can Live Up to Its Name

Magazine article HRMagazine

How HR Can Live Up to Its Name

Article excerpt

It seems as if we learn of a new scientific or tech- nological breakthrough every day-something that allows us to do more, faster and with greater ease. But for HR professionals, each innovation warrants tough questions: What does it mean for my company and the people whose jobs depend on the legacy processes? And what does it mean for our profession?

Last year, two demographic researchers estimated that 47 percent of all American jobs will be replaced by machines or software in the next one to two decades. One futurist predicts that 2 billion jobs worldwide will disappear by 2030. This is a sweeping transformation for which people, businesses and even nations are not prepared.

This is the time for the HR profession to double down on the "human" in human resource manage- ment and live up to our name like never before.

Peter Drucker first introduced the term "human resources" in The Practice of Management 60 years ago. It is as obvious now as it was then: Every busi- ness needs people. But today's businesses have alterna- tives in some areas. Technology can get certain tasks done faster, cheaper and without the distractions of us humans.

According to Drucker, however, humans have the unique ability to imagine. Similarly, Oxford research- ers have said that for workers to "win the race," they will have to "display creative and social skills." The maker of one popular industrial robot put it another way: "The human workforce is getting a promotion. …

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