The robot overlords promised to you have not yet arrived. It’s understandable that you might think they’re coming soon, as media coverage of workplace technology has focused on an inevitable conflict between human jobs and robotic automation. However, this catastrophic scenario will not come true, and it never will be. This is because people are the most important technological asset that businesses have.
In 2011, when McDonald’s announced it would set up 800 self-service kiosks across France to take orders and payments, the company was criticized for planning to cut thousands of jobs. Since then, McDonald’s has multiplied self-service kiosks across the country, the continent and now the world. What happened to the hiring? In 2017, McDonald’s France hired 20% more people per year than before the kiosks were installed. So much for the prophesied conflict between people and technology.
At Forrester, we understand what’s really going on. Yes, bots, automation, and technology of all kinds – from Microsoft Teams to Salesforce to Zoom – are emerging in more and more people’s working lives, taking our time and effort to learn and use. But the result of so many technologies, when done right, is that they free humans from the burden of repetitive, often mind-numbing tasks, and free them to do what humans do best: be creative, insightful, and collaborative. .
As part of Forrester Technology and innovation North America event, I will be presenting a talk titled Make Your People the Key to Your Creativity. This session will kick off a trail to the forum designed to highlight the role of employees in what we call a future fit business. In the track, we’ll talk about employee experience, burnout, performance management, inclusive leadership, and where we stand on hybrid workplans. To support these sessions, we will use new data we have acquired from surveys of thousands of workers in the United States and five other countries around the world.
Will it surprise you to learn that only 24% of American workers think the company they work for is very creative? Wait until I share the data that shows the effect of this belief on how a person performs best at work. It affects how they feel about the organization’s management, processes, and even technology strategy.
All of this should help put the title of this article in context. If you invest in a technology that allows your employees to be creative, they will turn around and use the same technology to be more inventive and collaborative. They change the processes in your organization, generating more customer-obsessed products and experiences. This then stimulates the organization to deliver even better technology to support their ambitions, and before you know it, you’re spinning a flywheel that will run for as long as you want it to.
You just have to consider your employees as your most important technological asset.
To learn more, register to attend Technology & Innovation North America here.
This article was written by Vice President, Senior Analyst James L. McQuivey, PhD, and it originally appeared here.