3 Ways to Create a More Human Workplace

Photo credit: NEonBrand

In 2019, we are part of a global economy whether we admit it or not. Technology has taken business to new heights. Employees from entry level to executive management work from wherever they happen to be. We know where we are, and we know how we got here. However, even experts in the field of E-Commerce cannot pinpoint where we are going.

Technology’s growth

In 2009, less than 15% of people were connected to the internet. By 2019, 40% were connected to the internet. That means over three billion people were using computers by 2019. To many countries, this was the beginning of a new economy.

In places like India and the Philippines, this was an opportunity for under-employed and unemployed people to get work. Wages that were unacceptable to employees in the Western world, were gladly taken by labor forces in lower income countries.

In a five year period (2014 – 2019) more than 213 million people were added to the virtual job market.

Executives and High-Skilled Employees

Technology continued to grow. Executives and upper management found themselves connected to technology around the clock. They utilized their computers, tablets, and smartphones to conduct business 24-hours per day. By now, not only their employee base was global, so were their customers. With the help of award-winning solutions to complex issues, they defined programs that work globally. They began to look for more people to work virtually.  

Corporations hired virtual assistants, marketing directors, and salespeople that would work out of their homes. While this level employee got a rate of pay that is competitive in the Western job market, corporations saved money on offices, insurance, and costs associated with having employees in their office. Employees liked the freedom and flexibility of working at home. But, this was just the beginning.

The need for highly skilled IT employees skyrocketed. They began to demand higher salaries. The national average for skilled IT employees is a little over $50,000.00 per year. But that does not include commissions, bonuses, and profit sharing. When you add the additional benefits, it is not unusual for their salary to hit $ 75,000.00 per year. Further, this only accounts for 50% of the employees in the field. Roughly 10% earn $36,000.00 per year. The balance are drawing salary and benefits that average $96,000.00 per year and more.

Examples of big companies paying big money to a their IT executives include:

  • AT&T – $72,046 plus bonuses and benefits
  • IBM – $77,779.00 plus bonuses and benefits
  • U.S.A. Internal Revenue Service – $117,380.00 plus bonuses and benefits

While these salaries are climbing to new heights, the employees in poorer countries are stunningly low. For example, IBM hires call center employees in India. The average salary they pay these people is from 9,000 to 10,000 rupees per month. Converting the rupee to the dollar, IBM is paying people in entry level jobs in India $126.52 per month. Is it any wonder that employees in India outnumbered the number of IBM employees in the United States?

Photo credit: selenajain

Making the workplace more human

In order to have a more human workplace, we must allow workers to stand tall on their culture. Do not confuse teaching them English with teaching them to become more English. They have their own culture, traditions, and code of ethics. In any workplace, a person wants to be appreciated.

  1. Hire people not numbers

When an entry level employee is hired in India (for example) they are given a few weeks of training. The main focus of this training is to teach the employee how to speak in English so they are understood.  If a company cares about their employees they want them to

feel empowered to share ideas and point out issues. When we stop encouraging this behavior, we turn our managers into bullies and our employee into little more than a robot.

   2. Encourage people to try for something better

In the United States we would not dare speak to an employee with disrespect and contempt. Allow room for growth. Engage employees in the process of doing their jobs well, and recognize their efforts. Supervisors should the helping them to be the best they can be, and he should be held accountable for those who he manage

3. Trust and flexibility

People feel the strain when they are micromanaged. They also lose all faith in this situation. You have created a place where the only contact your employees have is their supervisor. If this person in a position of power over them, doesn’t share the credit and still blames the employees for problems that come up, they cannot form a trust of him. In their eyes, he represents you. Therefore, employees will not form loyalty, trust, and security with your company. The complete lack of trust is what leads call center employees away.

Industry is changing but not all changes are good. Taking the time to hire the right people to train employees is priceless. If the next 5-years show the same growth in technology (and there is no reason to believe otherwise) your low level employees will be in a position to train them. Your employees are an investment. But, they are also people. So be kind, respectful, and let them shine.


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