Illustrated people to represent blog post on using people more effectively by Mark Dale, Director at Stripe OLT

Are your people focusing on what’s important to your business?

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“Another reason for optimism about demand for human workers is that, increasingly, they provide the competitive edge. “

This sentence jumped out at me the other day. It’s from an essay by Steve Bainbridge from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, in this publication.

The author is discussing how education and learning needs to adapt to cope with the skills required in our increasingly technological age. As technology replaces the routine, low level tasks and some of the middle level clerical work of commerce or services, his view is that businesses of every type will continue to need human beings for the all important non-routine tasks, such as building relationships with customers.

Automating business processes frees up time

Our experience certainly bears this out. Every day, we help clients to automate their business processes and reduce the human intervention required in routine tasks. This frees their people up to focus on the bits technology can’t do yet: talking to customers, thinking laterally about problems, or strategy planning for example.

And it’s not just limited to our clients: we recruit our engineers to be problem solvers, good communicators, and able to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. We do this because with every technological advance, another routine element of their work can be taken care of automatically. This means that rather than people who will do the same thing over and over again, we need people that can get to grips with a clients’ business, understand their needs, and help with the more complex challenges: such as putting in place a robust technology strategy to support their growing business. As Steve Bainbridge puts it, “jobs of the future will require people to think, communicate, organise and deal with varied non-routine tasks”.

What are your people doing?

Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, says: “Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people”. I would add that it’s not just about getting the right people – it’s also about making sure they have the time to do the right things.

So ask yourself – in my business, have I got good people doing routine tasks that could be automated or made simpler? Could I use technology to free them up to focus on what’s really important: such as relationships with customers?

If you’d like to discuss how technology can help your business, talk to Mark Dale on 0117 974 5179 or email hello@stripeolt.com.