Technology has become a lifeline to keeping workers connected from anywhere at any time. However, despite our growing dependence on digital tools, there remains a fundamental truth that cannot be ignored: humans crave connection.
At a time when bringing Australians together and ending workplace loneliness is a matter of national priority, fostering genuine human connection is vital. This is particularly pertinent for Human Resources (HR) teams, who have had to bridge the gap between technology and people – embracing innovation while building trust and wellbeing among employees.
As technology becomes increasingly important in many aspects of HR, how can companies lean into digital transformation while keeping a sense of humanity?
Humans and technology: a balancing act
It’s been quite remarkable to witness the rapid adoption of emerging technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the HR industry and its functions. From candidate screening and people analytics to digital learning platforms, advanced collaboration tools and SaaS-based workforce management, Australian organisations are turning to a variety of technologies to attract and engage the best talent.
For organisations in Australia, the HR experience can never be defined purely by human or technology interaction. Striking a balance between the two is crucial for fostering effective work cultures, based on an ethos of “human when you want, digital when you need” to improve the employee experience. Workplaces need to prioritise putting empathy at the heart of their operations and leadership – even more so today as we continue to face a talent shortage in the country. When HR leaders work from this approach, we can create more understanding and effective work cultures. This will empower our teams to use technology for its best functions and to support their efforts.
To create the best outcome for candidates and employees, HR teams and leaders in Australia have to get comfortable redesigning the concept of work and what it means to realise both human and technological potential.
By using technology for manual or repetitive tasks, team members can focus on more value-adding strategic work. For the ultimate HR experience, teams must find ways to use tech innovations to support human connection. As workforces become even more distributed and global, achieving the perfect balance to keep teams connected, engaged and productive will be crucial.
Cultivating a global mindset
Thanks to technology, geographical boundaries no longer confine businesses’ hiring decisions.
Organisations across the world depend on global skill sets and talent to gain a competitive edge, however a geographically dispersed workforce can also experience common challenges of cultural differences and a lack of emotional connection which leads to mistrust and misunderstanding.
According to G-P’s 2023 Global Growth Report, when it comes to working in global teams, Australians would also be concerned about the challenges of working across time zones as well as tax and legal considerations.
With globalisation, the world of work has gotten bigger because companies continue to move into new emerging markets. But it has also become smaller thanks to increased connectivity and collaboration technologies that enable teams from across Australia or indeed anywhere in the world to remain connected.
When building global teams, it’s important for HR leaders to note that every country and market has its own requirements, laws and standards for hiring. For example, an organisation may need to set up a legal entity in a new market so it can do business there. Or it might make more sense to engage with new technology alternatives, like the employer of record model, to remove entity requirements and enable onboarding in new markets in minutes.
Through a combination of customisable growth technology and human interaction, HR teams can more easily ensure that new global hires have all the tools necessary to succeed from the beginning. It’s also a win for HR because it helps cut down on the amount of complex backend work that goes into maintaining entities and regional hiring, supporting seamless employee onboarding and offboarding and adhering to complex labour laws.
Fostering genuine human connection
In today’s globalised world, Australian organisations are increasingly looking to build a diverse and talented workforce that spans the globe. However, selecting the right technology to support and manage a remote team can be a daunting task.
Technological advancements have revolutionised the modern workplace, enabling companies to quickly assemble global teams and tap into a rich pool of talent from emerging markets.
Human creativity and innovation have always been at the heart of Australia’s economic success. Prioritising the development and well-being of employees across diverse cultures and regions, companies can foster a sense of unity and shared purpose.
Companies embarking on this journey will also need guidance on how to get started and support in implementing and managing effective strategies that unlock new opportunities. As technology continues to revolutionise the way we work and connect with teams globally, human insight and digital capabilities will become increasingly intertwined. HR leaders will need to play a pivotal role in balancing cutting-edge technologies with human-centric practices to address concerns of loneliness and disconnection. This shift will not only cultivate more fulfilled employees when building global teams, but also drive new benefits for companies and individual workers alike.