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A research paper from IHRM students Kristy McGovern and Nikita Simon has been accepted for the scientific conference of the Eastern Academy of Management which will be held in Rhode Island, America.
The paper is the result of a two-year research in collaboration with Sjoerd Peters and Stephan Corporaal from TechYourFuture and the research group Smart Industry & Human Capital (Saxion).
Peters, McGovern, Simon and Corporaal have been exploring how work changes through technology and what consequences this has for the skills of the technician in the future. The research examined more than two hundred companies in the engineering sector in the east of the Netherlands. According to the research, companies are crystal clear on the point: The technician is first and foremost an expert who continuously develops oneself. A technician of the future possesses solid business knowledge and can renew and extent their own knowledge through smart ways of collaborations with other disciplines.
However, it is not obvious that technicians are supported by their employer in the development of these competences. In the research a number of technicians were followed, who according to their direct manager, already posses the competences for the work of the future. It turned out that they had often developed these competences by doing experiments in their spare time. The technicians rebelled and set to work on their own experiments as virtual reality and new applications for smart machines.
The research shows that in both large high tech and SMEs the necessity to prepare the technicians for the future is pivotal. This should not happen through traditional ways as trainings programs but with work that constantly encourages development. This makes smart job design a top priority for HR professionals. Peters and others also observed that employers should pay more attention to the design of learning communities in which technicians work together with, for example, suppliers and customers on smart technology. Technicians note: “It is said that employees should become more innovative and creative, but employers offer (too) few concrete tools to make this a reality.”
The researchers will soon present their results in America at the Eastern Academy of Management conference. According to Peters, that is only a stepping stone for more. In the upcoming year, he will be working with Saxion students and researchers to design smart policies and instruments for both companies and educational institutes that will encourage technicians to constantly keep developing themselves. "Companies need these refreshing insights from students and our research shows that these insights are also more than necessary. Traditional HRM knowledge is no longer enough”.
TechYourFuture is and remains closely involved in the next steps. Soon an ebook will be published directed to employers and education with practical tips for preparing technicians for the future. This ebook, the complete research and more will soon be available via techyourfuture.nl