The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

A New Definition of Teams: Adding Augmented Reality

augmented reality and the new face of teamwork

As professionals in the workplace, we have to carve out time to look into the future. The crystal ball of what may or may not be coming down the pike is essential information to have as you evaluate options and create new initiatives for your business. Human Resources in the future is one of my favorite topics to explore this time of year as I update my Yes! You do have a crystal ball program for 2018.

One of the hot new human resource topics is focused on augmented reality. The conversation is now turning to how technology can support employee productivity in the workplace, not replace it. The idea of augmented reality is to take what currently exists, and overlay it with options and solutions. For instance, think of the Pokemon Go game that was all the rage last year. The game creators didn’t have to create a world for the game…. they used the world that existed, and overlaid the game elements right on the smart phones we all carry every day. It was both convenient and engaging for the user. But the key is that it didn’t replace the person working the game.

What is augmented reality?

In a recent SHRM article, they discuss the advantages of using augmented reality to supplement the level of expertise of employees. They explain that augmented reality is supplementing or improving on what a person sees or interacts with. This is opposed to virtual reality where something that does not exist is created. For example, can sales people use augmented reality to show a customer how a new product would look in their space, rather than having to get on a plane and fly to do the demo? Can a manager use a system to layout a new manufacturing line in 3 or 4 different ways to see how the team might maneuver around the equipment before it is actually placed on the floor?

Technology as a team member

As we focus on workforce planning in the future, technology will be part of the game. Every industry and position is creating new apps and systems that work alongside employees to add to the level of productivity and quality that can be produced. It is essential that managers and human resource professionals work together to understand how the technology can support the work being done by the team and communicate that effectively to the team. HR Topics has created an app that will support those new to human resources that ability to learn and practice vocabulary.  Team members don’t need to live years in a position to understand the terms, they can practice in the line at the grocery store and be up to speed in a matter of weeks. Check out HR Cards on the app store to learn more!

Communication is key

Communication in the workplace today cannot be emphasized enough, and it is critical as you begin to bring augmented reality into the organization to interface with your human capital.  Employees are scared of being replaced by technology. Taking the time to explain how augmented reality can assist in their role, not replace it, is key. But honesty is also important…. you must make employees aware of what the future has in store for their role. Just like the position of blacksmith was virtually eliminated when Ford made the Model T common place and the horse and buggy became obsolete, some positions will disappear.

Where do we go from here?

As a manager of human resources professionals, be sure that you are watching your industry and identifying the technology that is on the horizon. Look at other industries that overlap and see what they are using. As an organization, think about the positions you will need in the next 36 months. Create career development plans with your teams that will prepare them for those roles in the future.

Jobs don’t become obsolete overnight. Focus on your crystal ball and make sure that you are prepared for the future of human capital.

Lori Kleiman is an HR expert who presents to business people and groups. Click here to see a video of Lori in action. If you’d like to have Lori keynote one of her HR presentations at your upcoming event, click here, or email Lori directly at!
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