The future of work is now - and HR must catch up

SPONSORED: People professionals need to embrace new technology and innovations or become obsolete, says Anton Riolo, organiser of the 70th CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition (8 - 9 November, Manchester Central).

by Anton Riolo

Work has evolved dramatically over the past few years, with new technology and digital innovation disrupting the way we do business and changing the way we operate within organisations. Data and algorithms are now capable of making better and less biased decisions than human beings, while artificial intelligence is able to learn and provide a better customer experience than many of our employees.

Smartphones and apps have already ‘gigified’ many industries - from food delivery to house cleaning and taxi driving. The omnipresence of social media has created an always-online society in which employees and customers expect to get what they need here and now. Bad employers are named and shamed not only by the press, but also online by their own employees - anything short of great is now no good at all.

HR no longer has a choice: writing policy after policy or coming up with new tick-box processes is just not good enough. The world has moved on, and we need to move with it if we want to remain relevant. We must embrace technology, digitalisation, flexibility, engagement, inclusion, automation. We need to make a bonfire of the policies and really start empowering people to work at their best to build a fairer and more inclusive society.

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