Why People Skills Still Rule The Age of Technology


Technology solves problems and invent useful tools but there are some people fear that technology can also take over human jobs. In a world of self-driving cars, caregiving robots, and even automated cashiers in fast food chains, it’s clear that those are at least three jobs positions that people could do.

Filipinos are not alone in this fear. Up to 70% of Americans and 90% of Japanese shudder at the same thought--and they have more advanced technologies to begin with.

In reality, artificial intelligence and tech advancements are the least of professionals’ problems. If anything, they should count as helpers rather than destroyers of one’s career goals. While AI can do automatic tasks in a heartbeat, there is one aspect that humans can still do better: people-oriented skills and services.

Jonathan Engalla, Head of Sales of Salarium (middle) is joined by Ronald Suico, Vice President of People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP)-Davao (left) and Marie Garcia, Operations Manager of Web Design Davao (right), one of Salarium’s first clients in the region during a business round table at Café Demitasse last February 28.

The HR grind

Globally, 90% of employees grumble from tedious, repetitive, and downright boring tasks in the workplace. Data search, entry, processing, and collating can hinder the most important task of all: interpretation and analysis.

There is no other department in a company that understands this more than human resources. For a department that handles the lifeblood of any company--its people--HR needs to be more than just a hiring, filing, transacting, and sometimes firing arena. Sadly, these tasks make up the bigger picture of their workflow and makes it a thankless job.

Consider the monthly needs of every company: administrative tasks, attendance monitoring, coordinating with employee needs, filing paperwork, and interviewing potential recruits are the most commonly known duties of an HR professional. Except for the last one, a misstep can immediately equate to drawbacks from other departments. Imagine payroll being even a day late and those who are enduring petsa de peligro will immediately rally outside the department bunk.

HR is actually more crucial in two tasks: hiring potentials and maintaining the power house that is already within the company. This takes more than simple paperwork. As the front-liners of the company in getting new manpower, HR has to embody all the company values and understand how things work to assess whether a candidate is a hit or a miss.

Practicing their people skills is more than just showing candidates the people-side of the company. It’s also about managing the power within by implementing well thought-out rules, seeking strategies for improvement and growth, and creating an environment that builds up a person beyond just their career.

From productivity pains to productivity-plus

This is where technology can help rather than hinder HR success. Automated software Salarium was conceptualized to do away with productivity pains so HR professionals can do more with their time in the office. As the one-stop shop to assist HR, it integrates technology that can be used to process payments, manage payroll, track time and attendance, and provide a secure payout method.

By taking paperwork and clerical tasks off of HR professionals’ hands, Salarium allows HR employees to focus on tasks that require critical thinking and judgment, empowering them to become more high-impact and integrated into the company. High-impact HR refers to how the department taking the lead in transforming and shaping company culture, leading digital transformation efforts, and optimizing the network and productivity of each team. As a department in charge of the company’s people, it’s imperative to put people at the top of one’s to-do list every day.

Thus, people skills reassure everyone that despite the presence and fast spread of technology in the workplace, there’s nothing to fear. It’s hard to replace the human heart for work and camaraderie in the workplace. Most importantly, a person’s need to grow, evolve, and change is irreplaceable, even by technology’s standards.

Automating HR has its perks as discussed by Jonathan Engalla, Head of Sales of Salarium, during a recent business round table in Davao City. (L-R) Marie Garcia, Operations Manager of Web Design Davao, Jonathan Engalla, Head of Sales of Salarium and Ronald Suico, Vice President of People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP)-Davao

That’s why any career, be it HR or any other workforce, can outpace the evolution of technology. Let them take over the frustrating grind--let the people skills be your true ammo towards a more fulfilling and meaningful career.

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