HRM and skills development – March 2023

06 April 2023

University of Hull research helps to improve human-robot interactions
New research from the University of Hull has found that people are usually better at understanding human movements than robotic movements, but this gap can be closed when robots are positioned amongst relevant environmental cues that may make the robot's behaviour more predictable. An article about the research is published in the International Journal of Social Robotics.

Robots can help improve mental well-being at work, if…
Researchers from the University of Cambridge conducted a study (1.17 MB) using two robot well-being coaches, where 26 employees participated in weekly robot-led well-being sessions for four weeks. Although the robots had identical voices, facial expressions, and scripts for the sessions, the physical appearance of the robot affected how participants interacted with it.

Transforming human capital into competitive advantage
McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) analysed 1,800 large companies across sectors in 15 countries, sorting them based on two factors: how much they focus on developing human capital and whether they financially outperform their sector peers. Results are given in the report ‘Performance through people: Transforming human capital into competitive advantage’. You can download the report after filling in your details.

Closing the gender pay gap across OECD takes another two generations, says PwC
The Women in Work Index 2023 (5.83 MB) by PwC provides detailed looks at gender-focused matters affecting the global workplace. The study, published to mark International Women’s Day, shows that despite a return to some normalcy post the COVID-19 pandemic, the workplace continues to be an unequal place for women globally.

Workers moving products in the U.S. food supply chain at high risk of injury
Workers tasked with moving products in the immense U.S. food system are at a high risk of serious injury, according to a new Penn State-led study. Pandemic-caused, supply-chain problems have worsened the situation, according to the researchers. An article (abstract) about the study is published in the Journal of Safety Research.

Are digital humans the employees of the future?
With the rapid emergence of artificial intelligence and spill-over from Hollywood special effects, digital humans are entering the workforce. They’re sales assistants that never sleep, multilingual presenters and trainers, and social media influencers who always stay on-brand. Mrs Ivy Yuan, assistant professor of information systems and business analytics at Iowa State University, has researched the emergence of digital humans over the last seven years. To reach industry leaders, Yuan and her colleagues wrote “AI with a Human Face: The case for – and against – digital employees” for Harvard Business Review.

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