Make it real – add a human factor to the equation

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Written by Armin Hopp on 25 July 2018

Business success may be measured in numbers – higher sales totals and more customers. However, human factors are key to achieving that success. New technology, new business models, new products and services will only have an impact on the numbers if they first have an impact on people, creating happy customers or more productive employees.

Technology + innovation / human impact = business success.

Training professionals should focus on the human factor in this equation, but it is easy to be blinded to that by shiny new tech. In its 2018 ‘Global Human Capital Trends’ report Deloitte says, “AI, robotics, and automation have gained a rapidly expanding foothold in the workplace, faster than many organisations ever expected.

While organisations are increasingly using these technologies to automate existing processes, true pioneers are radically rethinking work architecture to maximise the value of both humans and machines— creating new opportunities to organise work more effectively and to redefine the human workforce’s skills and careers”. 

Training professionals should focus on the human factor in this equation, but it is easy to be blinded to that by shiny new tech.

Put a human touch at the heart of the business

The workforce is changing and most organisations are not ready. Only a quarter of respondents to a recent report were ‘highly confident that they have the right people and skills needed for the future’ even though 86% said they were doing all they could to build a better-prepared workforce, at the same time only 17% of them said talent and HR were a priority.

If you suspect your organisation has lost sight of its human-shaped priorities, consider:

  1. Is soft skills development given weight in your organisation? While vocational skills development is important, business cannot succeed without effective interactions and communications between humans. Soft skills development in areas such as leadership, negotiation skills and communication incorporating language skills is key. It is even possible to teach and improve skills such as creativity and emotional intelligence.
  2. Are you doing everything you can to ensure employee satisfaction at work? A happy employee will be more productive, provide better customer service, and stay with you longer – all of which will have a positive effect on bottom line numbers. Consider using the Net Promoter Scores (NPS) that are normally employed to measure customer satisfaction, to gauge employee satisfaction. The NPS process is an opportunity to ask employees why they have given the score they did – and take action on the responses. People data can deliver great insights, but handle it with care. Issues of trust around the organisation’s use of personal data, whether that is employee data or customer data, can have a major impact on perceptions of the organisation.
  3. Are individuals in charge of their own development? Deloitte points out that in the new world of work, “The individual and his or her experiences take center stage. Instead of a steady progression along a job-based pathway, leading organizations are shifting toward a model that empowers individuals to acquire valuable experiences, explore new roles, and continually reinvent themselves. However, 59% of our survey respondents rate their organizations as not effective or only somewhat effective at empowering people to manage their own careers”.

In essence, sophisticated digital learning platforms go a long way towards putting learning power into the hands of people. However, it is one thing to provide employees with learning content that they can access wherever they are, at the point of need, perhaps on the job.

It is quite another thing entirely to inspire employees to take charge of their own development and use these learning resources for maximum benefit to themselves and the enterprise. Motivation for self-directed learning will only arise from a truly social enterprise, where humans are valued and there is a culture of cooperative learning, engagement and development.

For more insight on how to drive a culture of engagement through successful learning, download this white paper.


About the author

Armin Hopp is the Founder and President of Speexx. Speexx helps large organisations everywhere to drive productivity by empowering employee communication skills across borders. For more information, visit



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