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Keep Calm and Save Manpower?

I saw yet another of these kinds of advertisements on the side of a small van today. One can only wonder at the mindset which encourages them. Save Manpower with tech? What does that mean, reduce headcount? Listen to the language. Headcount. Scalping? Reduce manpower costs by investing in technology, or expand people’s capabilities and capacities by integrating technology into your ecosystem? Cutting costs and cutting waste is very often simply a way of glossing over underlying issues with business operations. Yes, we need to reduce waste and business efficiencies need to remain high or you’re out of business. Yes, we know that. But is Tech really capable of replacing inefficient humans and helping us thrive as businesses? No. But it’s a lot easier and sexier than investing in the lives of people. The labour involved is a lot less. Or so we think. Witness the mass exodus from Facebook, Whatsapp, etc, for all kinds of dubious reasons. Security? If you have anything online or say anything recorded on media, just assume that every man, woman and child on the planet has read it, watched it, heard it, and have already judged and executed you for saying it. That makes things a great deal more secure for you. 

We need to stop this. If you’re running a business, one of your jobs is to ensure that the people working for you and, hopefully, with you, gain knowledge and skills which would be needed for higher-level jobs. If you don’t have vacancies for such jobs in your outfit, help your growing people set up their own businesses or place them with another company so that they can grow further. I assume you realize that they have to deliver value to that company you’re placing them with as well.

So, keep calm and keep on improving your business. By growing your people and demanding their best all the time. Their best. Not their whole lives. You should be giving your life to them, not the other way round.

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