Here is one subject matter, that today, has all the major and consequential business leaders talking and philosophizing about it: “The future of work” and what impact does it have on the future of jobs and humanity, at large.
We are living in a world which is going through a rapid and fundamental transformation. Technology, Digitization and Automation are replacing human tasks and jobs and are altering the skills that organizations generally look out for in their potential employees. These momentous changes, while opening up a way to several opportunities, create huge organizational, talent and HR challenges- all of this at a time when business leaders are already grappling with unprecedented risks, disruptions and political and social upheaval.
How the future of work is being reshaped
Let’s first discuss the mega trends that the workplace is currently facing:
- The workplace is becoming irrelevant: With more gig, remote workers there will be fewer full time, traditional working employees in the future. Rather people will prefer to work independently for several different companies at once, given the availability of online digital platforms.
- Co-existence of humans and machines: There have been several advances in technology such as the implementation of chatbots in retail enabling businesses to collect more data and information from customers, the use of more intelligent robotics in manufacturing supporting the ability to quickly reconfigure machines to produce prototypes and new production runs etc. Thus, there is a need for employees who are well versed with the appropriate technical expertise and are able to increase their productivity. Like Garry Kasparov said “It’s time for humans and machines to work together”.
- The rise of the Digital Wave: If one were to assess the amount of time the digital natives spend on twitter, slack it would be tough to comprehend when they are left with any time to work. This is probably the most important mega-trend that we should be watching out for. Digital skills have become the minimum ticket to ride the wave of the next generation of business.
- Diversity and Inclusion: The agenda is clear and it’s about time that companies start taking action. This is not a call for inclusiveness any longer it’s a call to address the human-potential that we are missing out on. Be it women, LGBTQ, marginalized populations everybody needs to brought on-board front and centre. Recent events related to pride are a step in the right direction.
A recent study by KPMG, which surveyed 1200 global HR executives from 64 countries, reveals that 39% of forward-looking and confident HR leaders are harnessing the digital resources and insights to redefine obsolete models, and implement technologies such as analytics, digital labour and AI, in order to:-
- Pave the way for strategic growth across decisions relating to recruitment, compensation, talent management, performance management, training, employee experience and more.
- Bridge the gap between human and digital resources.
- Manage a sense of ownership by enabling people to understand what autonomy in work means and empower employees to create an impact that becomes the winning ticket.
- Manage cohorts of people instead of managing linear teams.
- Provide employees with new age skills such as digital expertise, problem-solving ability, critical thinking, people management, cognitive flexibility etc. in order to achieve a balance for the future of work.
Hence, one thing is clear, the future of work won't be about degrees, it'll be about future oriented skills, which a traditional school/university education is incapable of providing. It is crucial to equip the corporate professionals with digital capabilities and future technologies via effective education and training programs such as Pearson Professional Programmes for increased productivity and efficiency in the workplace.