2018_Flipbook_Noe_Fundamentals of Human Resource Management_8e

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©stevecoleimages/Getty Images PART 1 The Human Resource Environment Introduction AT&T's chief data officer, Steve Stine, observed that many employees were performing the same routine tasks on their computers day after day. He realized that software robots, called bots, could automate rules-based work— that is, tasks where if x is true, you should do y. The company set up training in how to write this software, and within a couple of years, more than 2,000 employ- ees throughout the organization had learned to build bots. Some of the bots target work that is monotonous for a human, such as activating new equipment. Oth- ers handle jobs that are time consuming because of the amount of data involved. For example, bots now gather data on the sources of phone calls from customers and prepare reports on the network traffic. Previously this work would take humans a week. Now the bots format the data quickly, enabling employees to focus their time on resolving problems. This use of bots, called robotic process automa- tion, has changed the nature of work at AT&T. Some observers predict that the bots will reduce the number of employees needed. But Stine says the technological change has primarily made AT&T's jobs more interest- ing. He points out that learning to create bots empowers employees to shift the focus of their jobs from routine tasks to problem solving. He assumes employees would rather be analyzing data than formatting it. For the future, he hopes to add artificial intelligence to robotic process automation, so the bots can take on even more tasks. That advance in technology will further reshape the work humans do for AT&T and other organizations. 1 Analyzing Work and Designing Jobs 4 What Do I Need to Know? After reading this chapter, you should be able to: LO 4-1 Summarize the elements of work flow analysis. LO 4-2 Describe how work flow is related to an organization's structure. LO 4-3 Define the elements of a job analysis, and discuss their significance for human resource management. LO 4-4 Tell how to obtain information for a job analysis. LO 4-5 Summarize recent trends in job analysis. LO 4-6 Describe methods for designing a job so that it can be done efficiently. LO 4-7 Identify approaches to designing a job to make it motivating. LO 4-8 Explain how organizations apply ergonomics to design safe jobs. LO 4-9 Discuss how organizations can plan for the mental demands of a job.

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