Automation: 3 Ways to Alleviate Fears of Job Loss


After experiencing enormous economic disruption during the pandemic, many people fear that automating will make matters worse. History shows that since the Industrial Revolution, automation has indeed disrupted employment and the wage structure, but it has also created more jobs over time. Indeed, according to a World Economic Forum report published last year, 97 million jobs will be created by 2025, far exceeding the 85 million that are expected to be lost.

Automation will reorganize processes, reorganize tasks, and eventually create more jobs, which we have never done before. These jobs will require new high-level skills that will be in high demand and scarce in all regions of the world.

This provides an opportunity to tackle both the job losses associated with automation and the global skills shortage. But it will require new skills and new learning models from job seekers as well as education providers, professional organizations and other members of the employment ecosystem. Executives also need to directly address the job loss issues associated with automation.

[ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free eBook: Managing IT with Automation. ]

How To Deal With Automation-Related Job Loss Anxiety: 3 Tips

Keep the following three principles in mind to help your team members feel more comfortable sharing tasks and workplaces with software-powered machines and controllers.

1. Emphasize the value of problem finding

Both new talent and seasoned employees need to focus on discovering and articulating problems. Smart digital technologies are already proving better than humans at solving well-framed problems. But what they can’t do is find and frame problems that are still unknown; these capacities remain the exclusive domain of human beings.

Educational institutions, often bound by rigid agendas designed to convey information about defined solutions, must pivot to instill creative thinking, curiosity and exploration in students from an early age. Likewise, companies should strive to develop a culture of innovation as well as training programs such as design think tanks that inspire employees at all levels to become problem seekers.

At the FEM research94% of business leaders surveyed said they expect their employees to learn new skills on the job; Employees who show initiative in exploring new areas to grow and add value will simultaneously improve their skills to improve their chances of advancing in their careers, despite automation.

[ Automation can help you hold onto talented people. Read also: How automation strategy can help you retain IT talent. ]

2. Recycling for life

The best way to find a job even when jobs are automated is to stay employable. As the half-life of jobs is rapidly diminishing in all sectors (especially at the junior levels), employees will need to upgrade and retrain in order to evolve.

This will happen not once or twice, but several times in a typical career, turning employees into lifelong learners who are constantly learning in small increments. Since each employee will have unique learning needs in terms of content, timing, intensity, and duration, a single solution will never work. Instead, employees should be empowered to decide on their own learning conditions. Digital platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, Google Career Certificates and others will be able to provide modular and personalized micro-learning at scale.

3. Learn for all

One of the reasons for the widespread skills shortage in our economy is that too many people lack access to digital education. To solve this problem, policymakers, academia and industry leaders must unite to democratize education. They must make higher education more inclusive so that even people from less advantaged backgrounds can benefit.

This is another area where digital learning platforms, with their flexibility and accessibility, can help. Companies can also broaden their talent pools by including candidates with a non-STEM background by hiring on the basis of skills – not just degrees – and employing candidates from marginalized and disadvantaged backgrounds.

According to a recent investigation from PwC, many workers continue to fear losing their jobs due to automation and believe their jobs will soon become obsolete. Retraining is the solution. With AI removing menial tasks, people must develop new, higher-order skills to improve their confidence and willingness to take on bigger, more strategic roles. The interaction of digitally skilled workers and automation will unleash and develop human potential.

To prepare for this, companies should strive to create a culture of lifelong and lifelong learning, including job rotations and training / apprenticeships, to ensure that their employees are better equipped. for a digital future.

[ Where is your team’s digital transformation work stalling? Get the eBook: What’s slowing down your Digital Transformation? 8 questions to ask. ]

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