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Keeping your employees relevant to their jobs

A decision to do something will always take away an opportunity for something else, as the virtue of being responsible always takes precedence over being successful. But how hard is it to stand firm on your responsibilities and let opportunities to dig gold pass away? The answer is our entire history. From the decision made by warlords to send the first Calvary of thousand soldiers to be butchered for distraction to the fragile superiority ego of the British Empire for its colonies, we wanted history to remember us in the capital and bold despite the consequences. The 20th Century had options; three relatable movements that could direct our history forward; fascism, communism, and liberalism. Triumphant of the liberalism and thought to be an impregnable economy of the United States of America advertised the idea of “The American Dream.” Unfortunately, liberalism gave birth to a child named Capitalism, now that child has gone rogue.

Somewhere around the world, an ambitious individual is about to create the next big thing on his laptop that will disrupt a system. In the last twenty years, we have seen change so much that a person who developed a skill-set for ten years became irrelevant to his job overnight. Let’s have an analysis, how many accountants did your finance department have in 2005? How many accountants are needed now in that same department? You installed one software to streamline the entire process and to cut the cost and made three of your accountants irrelevant. At this point, we should review how a multi-billion-dollar company defines its principles. Are they really about people or just the number they bring to the table? Do we see how much effort companies and Human Resource managers are putting into training and development, but is that all? Is there anything else they can do? Are they responsible for something much more? The underlining principle of any entity is to look after its people. You cannot let go of people because they are not needed anymore. Maybe reducing your departments by 15% to 20% does not seem wrong, but this problem will significantly increase. As managers, we need to figure out how to keep our employees relevant to their jobs. Because replacing them with technology is the right thing to do in terms of number and on legal grounds, if you provide a financial package. But is it ethical?

Scenario: an automobile assembly in Germany needs five workers, whereas, same assembly line needs nine workers in an automobile plant in California. The difference is in the comparison of the robotic assistance in both plants. Automakers in California can equip more machines, which will give them a cost cut, but that decision will affect four families. The philosophy is to take care of each other, to look after each other. Ironically, an American automaker will never be as selfless as this scenario but taking an opportunity to save few millions from the billion figure annual profit by letting go of a hundred workers worth it? This problem would have been less concerning if we were increasing industrialization. You do not have ways to employ people anymore because every new business model proposes less human capital with a tech-centrich approach. The population trauma is not even included in the discussion yet. In 2050, we will hit economic rock bottom, probably worse than the 2008 recession. To save the planet, we need to plant more trees and figure out how to keep everyone employed.

There are two ways forward for Executives sitting in big board rooms, either decide when to say enough to incoming technology advances to keep the workforce relevant or up-skill the people above 40. Whatever the decision is, it will cost you opportunities to save millions, and are we ready to make that call? What would be better; keeping everyone at their jobs or sponsoring education for children who cannot afford it because parents are unemployed? Regardless of how you put it, branding is at the center of every social responsibility cheque a corporation sends away. It’s not an easy task to be on the agenda. This issue will open a Pandora for companies to address many practices that may be considered unethical, but we have to start at some point. A company’s philosophy is to build together, to move ahead together. Regardless of how spoiled Capitalism is, we can always get back to the core fundamentals of working together and for each other.

Debaaj Abidi, "Keeping your employees relevant to their jobs," Business Recorder. 2021-04-01.
Keywords: Social sciences , British empire , Economic rock , Capitalism , California , EFP

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