Technological disruptions are already changing the face of American business. We can assume that things are going to become more chaotic, rather than less, with changing regulatory compliance burdens, outsourcing, and automation. With the rapid rate of both internal and external change, one way business leadership can plan for agile adaptation is to write employment contracts and job descriptions with an eye to changing roles.
Outsourcing departments have become the norm for medium and small businesses, with finance, payroll, accounting, and HR being run on a contract basis by specialized companies who can afford to invest in the latest software. But oversight of these outsourced departments should be closely monitored. It may not be a full-time position, and it's a common practice to rotate oversight among senior leadership or small teams of leaders. Writing job descriptions and employment contracts for all employees that address the specifics of additional needed tasks or duties, such as providing oversight and supervision for outsourced departments, might prevent misunderstanding of roles and conflict later.
Regulatory compliance burdens in areas of employment law have typically been handled by human resources departments. Even with recruiting and hiring being outsourced, a company is still responsible for ensuring that federal civil rights and employment laws are being followed by the contractor. This field is rapidly growing, and along with workplace safety, needs close supervision by leadership. Annual reports and assessments are common practice, but with many of these functions being automated and outsourced, it may be prudent to provide closer supervision from within.
According to attorney Jake Posey, managing shareholder of The Posey Law Firm, PC, employee impact and transition during times of technological disruption should be carefully planned for by leadership. For companies that have offered equity shares or ownership to long term and senior employees, planning for capital disruptions during a reduction in force should be considered.
The possibility of hybrid management teams, human and AI hybrids, is being discussed and may soon be common practice in business. Language that supports working with AIs, and the possibility of tandem or hybrid management with new technologies, may be introduced to staff early in employment contracts and job descriptions. Changing roles for employees and leadership is the new normal for business, and introducing the ideas of agility and adaptation in roles early is one way business can help employees adapt to changing expectations.
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