Digitization: Is it just about technology and millenials?
To be honest, they annoy me Article as HR Management Digitization and Change in 6 Steps: Wake Up! by Ulrich Jänicke. We speak of “HR management”, but only technical parameters are emphasized. The soft, human parameters of digitization, which are at least as important to me, remain completely irrespective.
The guideline is always what millennials would expect. The question arises, however, how much knowledge millennials actually have of what digitalization means for them in the long term. It is as if we trust children who are used to using weapons from an early age to have a peaceful future. Older employees and their needs in terms of “digitization” are no longer addressed anyway, and they represent the majority.
Employees who can not compete with the rapid development
But what is of use if everything fits technically, but people will no longer be able to control what digitization has on their work performance, their own social environment and, last but not least, their own health (e.g. sleep deficit) ? We always assume so unasked that a young “millennial” knows all about it and tells the older ones how everything works.
But also the young, digital-afflicted Millenial of today, will perhaps already belong to the old iron in 10 years, because he can not keep up with the speed of the development both physically and mentally. Anyone who has programmed web pages before 15 years is already out today if he has not adapted this speed of development. And the speed increases rapidly. The 15 years of the past may be 5-8 years of the future. And we must not forget, the first representatives of the post-millenials (Generation Z) are already in the starting holes with freshly printed Abi testimony. Wherever the border between these two is drawn.
Technology is the least problem
The change to the digital age is technically the smallest problem. There is an army of consultants who can do more or less well. The biggest problem will be on the one hand creating the link between Millenials and older employees, but on the other hand, it is above all a speed that can be sustained by a human being without being left in the middle of life.
True HR management should strategically prioritize this aspect of all technical elements, if it does not want to fight at some point with excessive absenteeism due to BurnOut, depression, sleep deficit and psychosomatic illnesses to suicide. Millennials have no idea of what's going on in 10-20 years. They go into the world in a technology-rich and technically demanding way, without even thinking for a second about what that can mean in the long term for them, their health and their social ties. The danger that their enthusiasm eventually becomes the firewood for their own lives is more present today than ever before in history.
Connecting man and technology sensitively
The aim of innovative HR management must be to accompany employees and managers in digitization, human, psychologically and physically, and not just to provide tools. This applies equally to corresponding change management in companies.
In that sense, I pick up the first question. Who can accomplish this change? If it is to be implemented long-term and really sustainable, then not the artisans and techies among the consultants, but
- those who can connect people and technology sensitively;
- those who understand how people (especially young people) are ticking, and who are able to accompany them (not advise) humanely and technically, without presenting a pre-prepared path;
- those who can also use the brake pad sensitively and do not just turn at the gaspahn;
- those who understand that the future is not to bend people around digitization / work, but to digitize / work around man.
For the benefit of society, the company and ... of the people!
Employees in change management
Companies must finally move on to include individual support in profound change management. The employee is the best USP. In the medium and long term, it pays off and there are now also coaching techniques that allow such support very efficient and sustainable and thus cost-effective, without needing an army of consultants. They are barely known.
Michael Wellenzohn, project manager of the “Smart Working” project at Credit Suisse, once coined the phrase: “Every employee has to go on his own change management journey”. Leaving him alone creates big problems on the way to digitization. But if you understand it, you will shape your future positively.
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