The Human Touch DOES Matter
The very foundation of the human resource function is people – encouraging communication, relationships and engagement between the workforce while remaining open to deal with the day to day issues that come with talent management.
In the world of business where most transactions, processes and communications are done electronically, are we losing the human touch?
Electronic communication steals away traditional methods
A Gallup poll revealed that 52% of email users regarding sending online messages as their most common online activity, while between 47 and 68% of 18 – 49 year olds reported using text messaging “a lot” in their daily communications.
With such a concentration on electronic communication methods, HR might be losing the human touch with a lack of face-to-face interactions with workers. Establishing trust between the department and the rest of the organization is imperative for improving engagement, and this can’t be done through a computer screen.
Of course, shooting over a few quick emails or texts is a fast and easy way to connect with others in your company, and not everyone will be in the same location, or available to talk. But HR must consider how it can improve staff relationships by influencing physical talking through regular meetings.
High tech systems affecting customer relations
A Forrester Research paper commissioned by Xerox found that “decentralized communication processes impede customer relationships,” as more companies turn to depend on systems that fail to deliver the “quality, cost or customer experience required,” which results in the customer being frustrated with inaccurate information which crushes the brand image.
The study, which interviewed 20 organizations as part of their research, also found that “relentless automation had eroded the human touch,” and that companies are now setting on the idea that the current trend in customer communication is failing to fully connect with clients.
An overwhelming process goal is stronger and more intimate customer engagement that will require standardized and more central control of communications.
As high tech systems begin to not only effect the relationship with have with our colleagues, but also with our customers, it is clear that the current trend in un-human HR cannot continue if organizations wish to be people-focused departments.
The people team should be mindful of how much of their communication is electronic, from candidate recruitment to conversations with employees.
As businesses move to shift their medium through which they reach their customers, human resources should pay the same kind of attention, whereby meeting in-person and encouraging the use of video chatting services are used as opposed to impersonal emails and influencing the workforce to physically talk to each other is sure to put the “human” back in the people function.
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