Employees fear losing human connection as automation takes hold
- Employers and employees aren't overwhelmingly concerned about artificial intelligence, analytics or robotics in the workplace, but they do worry that work is losing the human connection, new data from MetLife shows.
- The company's 16th annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study points out areas where employee experience depends on the human touch, such as benefits, work-life balance and development.
- Employees' concerns may stem from unmet needs for personalization and recognition, a MetLife executive said in announcing the findings. Employees increasingly see work as an extension of themselves, the group said; therefore, personalized options for professional development, work schedules and employee benefits can go a long way toward building loyalty and trust.
Concerns about the workplace losing the human connection aren't new. Although studies indicate that fewer people fear being replaced by automation than might be expected, some wonder what life will look like once they're working right alongside their new co-bots.
And it's not just employees that companies need to worry about: two-thirds of consumers in a recent PwC study said that companies were losing the human touch and that they wanted more human connection, not less, in this age of technological dependency.
If the answer is personalization as MetLife suggests, employers already have plenty of resources at their fingertips. From recruiting to benefits to training, personalization is already the name of the game. Employers who make that initiative a priority now may be well-positioned to deal with any erosion of the workplace's human connection as automation becomes widely adopted.