Computerization of production in recent years has become quite common, and there are now four versions of the application of computer technology in the production of computer-aided design (CAD) involves the use of computers to design parts and products, which increases efficiency, because it exempt the creation of prototypes. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) involves the use of computers for planning and controlling the production process. It is useful if the product or parts are bought frequently, because the computer can provide a better control over the ordering, receiving, assembly and product structure.
Integrated computer-aided manufacturing (CIM) is the result of joining the CAD and CAM, where the computer system that controls the production, receives information and provides the appropriate setting on the machines; when production process starts. All activities for the design, verification and manufacturing are controlled by the computer. Organizations use computer operated systems to develop a layout of equipment and its mode of operation which increase the complexity and flexibility of planning. Flexible manufacturing systems are the working robotic units, workstations, assembly lines, or other forms of computer-controlled transporting systems that are required by industries to move materials from one part of the system to another. Robots are the machines that are capable to do work instead of a person.
Robotics is usually related the industries such as science, engineering, construction, maintenance automotive, aerospace manufacturing and communications. The utilization of robotics has increased since 1980's, and it has continued to grow rapidly and more companies are realizing its benefits. Currently, there is a tendency to use small robots that are faster, stronger and smarter, and these are widely used in the service sector.
Chester (2001) argued that the role of HRM becomes more important when the organization adapt new technology. The technology and HRM activities have strong relationship with each other. It is the responsibility of HR to build up the skills and conduct training of their employees according to the requirements and demand of technology (Chester, 2001). Technology changes the way decisions are made and the demand of skilled employees increase with the use of latest technology. In today's work environment, we can safely say that technology has changed the way people work. The introduction of new technology also brings excitement among the employees. Moreover, organizations use technology to reduce or eliminate the chances of human error.
Human error can be caused because of work pressure or stress. Technology has also made the decision making process much easier and accurate. The acceleration of decision making process ensures that operational tasks are performed without any delay. Improved communication process in the workplace is one of the major advantages of technology. However, organizations have to consider that too much reliance on technology can make their employees lazy and it can destroy their skills and creativity (Kingston, 2007).
Recommendations for Aging workforce
The role of HRM becomes very important to handle aging workforce in an organization. As an HR consultant, following are the recommendations to handle aging workforce:
1. Retention of Key employees
It is very important for organizations to keep their aging workforce who have comprehensive understanding and expertise in their field. The organization should design their policies to retain their valuable employees.
2. Flexible Policies and Strategies
Strategies like workforce expansion, flexible workforce policies can be put into practice to preserve the valued senior employees of an organization. The flexible policies such as increase in their retirement age, alteration in retirement incentives and old age pension funds agreement.
3. Avoiding discrimination between employees
Strategies should be made to avoid age discrimination and conflicts between young and senior employees. Strategies such as: making a team of employees of same culture or making legal efforts to ensure friendly atmosphere in the workplace.
4. Training and Development Program
Proper training and skill development programs should be conducted to make sure that there is no labor shortage in the workplace after the retirement of aged employees.
5. Relationship between Employer and Employee
The employers should keep a good and healthy relationship with their aged workforce to make them feel comfortable and that they are still values and important asset of the workplace.
6. Addressing Health issues of Aged workforce
Aged workforce should be given rest breaks and managers should not give them stressful tasks. The health issues in the age's workforce are likely to increase therefore, organization should take care of the health issues of their senior employees. Good medical incentives should be given to senior members. Health awareness programs should also be conducted such as importance of physical activity, eating healthy food, avoiding tobacco use and timely health visits.
Recommendations for Technological changes
In today's world, technological changes have increased rapidly. The use of technology is the way to go for every organization. Businesses use technology to make easiness to access the information, exchanging the information and facilitating knowledge. The effective use of technology is in the hand of its user. Therefore, organizations must make sure to their employees are fully trained to use the new adopted technology effectively. Following are the recommendations for organizations, which are facing technological changes:
1. Assessment of Current Employees
The new technology should only be adopted after the assessment of the skills and capabilities of employees. Organizations must make sure that their employees have capability to handle new technology.
2. Training and Development
Training is a major part of technological change to achieve optimum output of the investments made and maximum productivity from the employees. The absence of training strategy, new technology is useless rather than efficient. Without proper training and expertise for using the technology, organizations are likely to suffer productivity loss and it will create negative impact on employees' morale. On the other hand, professional training for using technology can ensure minimum input and maximum output.
3. Retention Strategies
Organizations should design retention strategies to keep their skilled employees who have expertise to use the technology. This strategy is important to avoid labor shortage. The loss of key employees can have a negative impact on the whole organization. However, proper planning can avoid such circumstances. Organizations can create pipeline of skilled employees, which will be handy in case of certain mishap.
4. Anticipating the Technological Changes
Technology will change and it will continue to change. Therefore, the it department of an organization should be capable enough to anticipate new versions of technology and plan accordingly. The it department should explore how newer version of technology can benefits the workplace, its pros and cons, its adaptation process and requirements. Reliance on one type of technology can be disadvantage because of its changing nature and can limit the options. The organization should diversify their technology to ensure better results.
There are certain environmental forces that play a major role in determining the success and failure of an organization. Organization must handle these forces effectively to survive in the market. Aging workforce is a reality that every organization has to face at some stage. The number of aged employees in an organization increases because of various reasons such as financial needs, pension plans and sufficient health reimbursement. It is also a fact that aged employees typically provide certain benefits to their co-workers, such as their experience of life, good attitudes, flexibility towards work and eagerness to learn new things.
The role of HRM is vital in various issues regarding the aging workforce, when it comes to the success of an organization. HRM has to think about the number of aging employees working currently in the organization and their valuable senior employees that are considered to be an asset of their organization and they cannot afford to lose them. Certain policies and strategies have been presented to manage the aging workforce that can be helpful if they are implemented properly.
To survive stiff competition in the market, organizations should be aware of the latest trends and changing nature of advanced technology. Technology can be divided into three types: automation, computerization and robotics. The use of technology is the priority of every organization. Technology ensures easiness to access the information, exchanging the information and facilitating knowledge. The effective use of technology is in the hand of its user. Therefore, organizations must make sure to their employees are fully trained to use the new adopted technology effectively. Finally, recommendations are given that can be considered in the process of adoption of new technology.
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Feinsod, Roselyn R., and Thomas O. Davenport. "The Aging Workforce: Challenge or…