While the dawning of the robotic age, has undoubtedly made its impact felt in the job market, not just in the form of layoffs and lower-skilled jobs being replaced by robots; on a bigger picture, automation technology has elevated expectations of bosses and senior managers to heights, wherein they expect humans to be robots at work. Round-the-clock working hours to be extended over weekends and working on the move (during business travel) is the new corporate norm.
Work-life balance has been emphasised by senior HR professionals in multinationals, but the balance seems to be restricted to policies on employer books. Employers require employees to be connected all the time, round the clock, wherever they are. Does this lead the talented individual to be productive always? Seldom discussed, is these demands impacting employee morale, confidence, motivation, creativity and innovation at work to result in reduced performance efficiency.
See also: 5 Signs of a Toxic Workplace
Robots are supplied with energies through cells and batteries, and considering they are machines, they are able to execute tasks and commands immediately. However, this automation technology cannot be productive in itself without right instructions provided by the employee in-charge.
It is required of HR managers in these times, to enact fair working practices and policies in place and also limit the amount of extra workload that can be shouldered by competent professionals. Else, these talented lot would soon suffer from productivity burnout to hurt profits and business returns.
Humans come with constraints to extend their capacities, while some are blessed with above-average intelligence to sustain pressures at work in a fast-paced environment, while some others cannot and they just break down.
Since human capital are precious assets of the company, they can never be replaced by robots, they need time-offs and breaks from work to recharge their brain cells and maintain equilibrium in life.
In this maddening race for success, employers tend to pay little attention to employee’s concerns at work such as lack of cooperation in the team, conflicts with coworkers, or extra work pressures and treat humans as robots at work.
A 2014 study on 20,000 employees held by The Energy Project and the Harvard Business Review stand testimony and further establish the facts, that employers are trying to make employees work like machines. “More than half of the employees (59%) surveyed said they are distracted, drained and tired because they feel like their employers treat them more like machines than human beings.”
Four Core Needs of Employees – Are They Met?
According to the study, there are four core needs of employees at work that define employers to treat them as humans endowed with physical and mental capacities, with inability to work like robots at the touch of a command prompt.
Employers need to show more compassion and care, to help improve employee morale, boost their confidence abilities and retain the talented workforce.
Unlike machines or robots, human beings are designed to act on feelings and impulses, which move rhythmically between work space and resting hours. The physical need of every employee is crucial to be met for organisational success. Humans need renewal of energies, and to help these basic need met – they need sleep, break between work hours, fitness and nutrition.
Those who take at least a brief break every 90 minutes report 28% higher levels of focus than those who take just one break, or no breaks at all. These employees also reported 40% greater capacity to think creatively and 30% higher level of health and well-being.
Enjoyment and satisfaction are key factors to setting pace with the emotional drive. Based on the study, those who experience enjoyment and satisfaction at their workplace, are 54% more focused and 2.3 times more engaged.
Also, safety and trust contribute to employee’s emotional need parameter. Those companies which encourage a culture of safety and trust, drive higher returns on investments, as employees become more peaceful and sincere at work.
Focus and prioritization are two things essential to meet the mental needs and capacities of employees. Stacks of duties with unclear focus lead the employees to feel uncertain and anxious every single day. Lack of prioritization will lead to heavy burden of workload and might result in situation of productivity burnout.
Clear communication with employees about the mission to be achieved, meaning and purpose of the job would meet the spiritual needs of the worker. These factors encourage employees to understand why they have to do something, seek orientation, focus and be optimally productive to achieve business goals.
Should You Stay or Quit?
It is not easy to find an ideal workplace that supports these four core needs of employees. Keeping in mind that both humans and companies are growing dynamically, it is imperative that before an employee decides to quit, do a deep reflection and evaluation – whether you have optimized your potential and put your best foot forward to stay and not seek reasons within to quit.
Alongside, also assess your company and employer, if you are being provided the right environment for career progression and personnel development, and evaluate if you are becoming static in your career.
Give your company a chance and continually support them by your timely contributions to make your workspace, a place to learn, enjoy and thrive. When there is no more choice you foresee for future growth prospects, quitting should be the last resort an employee should seek.
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