Half a century ago, the dominant workplace culture was based
on the centrality of the corporation (owners and shareholders), and the
prevailing logic was to prioritise the corporation first, then the employee and
the customer. The rationale behind this was that a strong organisation would be
able to secure the lives of its employees, thus providing goods to its clients.
After the emergence of e-Government, a new culture of
prioritising the customer/client evolved, based on the thought process that
customer satisfaction would guarantee sustainability of the institution, and
therefore the salaries of its employees and the profits of its owners.
Today, we need to look at it from a different angle. In
light of the digital transformations and destabilising technologies, 70 to 80
per cent of the value of work is based on service, not commodity. This
necessitated comprehensive and radical revisions in the management methods, and
especially in the area of human resources. The new equation is that a digitally
qualified employee is the one capable of understanding the customers/clients
and meeting their expectations and requirements, and therefore he/she can
achieve the institution's material and non-material goals. So, how do we get
We need to review the future of work, the future that we are
already living in. In today's world, digitisation is a key element for business
success. Digitisation is not just technical transformation, rather it is a
smart integration in the digital age with all its concepts and tools. It is not
only a culture, but a lifestyle.
The digital generation, those born after 2000, are about to
knock on our doors for work. Are we ready to receive them and even employ their
skills, let alone develop them? Do we really realise the psychological and
educational background of these young people who have not lived a single moment
in a world without the Internet?
This digitally savvy generation joining us is a matter of
time. In order to avoid the shock that might arise from this, it is necessary
to work sooner in the field of human resources, to develop the current
competencies in order to embrace the digital generation and work with them to
achieve customer happiness. The first element to be considered is the concept
of the job itself. Human resources in a digital organisation are more focused
on work than on the job.
What is the difference?
The job is a 'job description' that revolves around a basic
skill that gives the employee his/her importance in the organisation. But in
the digital organisation, work means that an employee, would necessarily
possess a 'basket of skills' without which he/she would not be able to do the
job. For example, a sales employee cannot succeed without a certain amount of
data analysis skills, digital marketing skills, and planning skills. The
corporate communications employee needs to have content, technology, social
media, and design skills as well as strategic planning, and many others.
Finally, when we talk about prioritising the employee, are
we contradicting ourselves while promoting customer priority? Definitely not.
In order to prioritise the customer in this crucial moment, we must take steps
towards a digital employee that is significantly different from what we have
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori
The Director General, TRA