Article: How AI is reshaping work: Imperatives for HR leaders

Strategic HR

How AI is reshaping work: Imperatives for HR leaders

In the next three years, about 40% of the world's workforce - roughly 1.4 billion out of 3.4 billion workers - will need to learn new skills because of AI, according to World Bank statistics.
How AI is reshaping work: Imperatives for HR leaders

Work has changed a lot in the last six months. Leaders are realising that the skills needed for the future might not be the same as before. The new technology of generative AI is raising questions about how it will affect jobs. Even as AI becomes more common in business, people are still really important. But business leaders are facing a host of talent-related challenges, as a new global study from the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) reveals, from the skills gap to shifting employee expectations to the need for new operating models.

The skills gap is a real problem that's getting bigger. Leaders think that 40% of their employees will need to learn new things because of AI in the next three years. That's a lot - about 1.4 billion out of 3.4 billion workers worldwide, according to World Bank statistics. They also say that helping employees learn new things is one of the most important talent issues.


How generative AI can transform HR

AI will affect different groups of workers in different ways. Everyone will feel it, but people just starting out in their careers will feel it the most. A big 77% of leaders say that entry-level jobs are already changing because of generative AI, and it will keep changing.

AI can make employees even better at their jobs. Actually, 87% of leaders think that AI will help employees do their jobs better, not take their jobs away. But this is different in different parts of a business.

Employees care most about doing work that matters. Even with AI doing more of the routine stuff, employees still want to do work that's important. They care about this even more than having flexible hours or chances to grow in their job. Also, almost half of employees think that the work they do is more important than who they work for or with.

What HR leaders can do about it

HR leaders hold a key role in helping organisations adapt to the changes brought by generative AI. They can guide their organisations through these challenges, reshaping work and operational models for a future-forward approach. Here are some steps they can take:

Rethink work design, starting with Operations: Just automating old processes won't improve them. Instead of repeating the same tasks, businesses should take a fresh approach. Process mining can analyse how work is done and pinpoint where there are slowdowns or inefficiencies. From there, they can reimagine and restructure how work is carried out. 

Investing in people and skills: HR leaders have a pivotal role in preparing the workforce for AI and technological disruptions. They'll drive workforce planning, identify critical roles, and manage transitions. This includes reviewing and streamlining tasks for AI, creating new roles, and providing targeted skill development.

Prioritising skills: Leaders should focus on enhancing technical proficiency. This forms a foundation for employees to adapt to new technologies like AI. Understanding AI basics empowers critical thinking. Interactive career roadmaps can guide progression. Addressing the global AI skills gap requires strategic investment.

Empowering employees for a meaningful work experience: AI has the potential to revolutionise how employees engage with their jobs. By automating repetitive tasks, individuals can focus on their passions, allowing time for skill development and work-life balance. This may lead to the creation of exciting new roles and career paths. Engaging employees in this process is crucial. Encourage teams to suggest tasks for automation, enhancing job satisfaction through continuous feedback.

Fostering a growth mindset: We're at a pivotal moment in the world of work. HR leaders have a unique opportunity, but also face risks. As AI integration advances, successful change hinges on prioritising a new talent and operational approach. This approach emphasises synergy between people and technology to enhance productivity and drive business value.

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Topics: Strategic HR, #Artificial Intelligence

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