Remote work, online ordering, and click and collect are just some of the lasting impacts of the pandemic as every company has now become a digital business. More than 80% of employers have accelerated digitisation in response to COVID-19, and consumers and employees alike now expect tech to make the way they live and work easier.
The right blend of tech and talent is now front and centre. Acute skills shortages continue – in logistics, IT, cyber security, software development, data analysis and more – creating new urgency for organisations to upskill their people so they can translate data into insights, make data-driven decisions and combine the best of human and machine learning.
The latest ManpowerGroup trend report, The Great Realisation: A Look at the 2022 Labour Landscape, breaks down the key trends that will unfold over the coming months and years and that story wouldn’t be complete without a closer look at the impact of tech acceleration.
Trend #1: Human vs. Robot – Hyperconnecting Human Strengths
As every aspect of life becomes more tech enabled, we must strengthen the connection people have with work and colleagues for improved productivity and creativity. Machine learning and workforce data will enable prediction of potential performance, matching of individuals to ideal opportunities and will help people know themselves better than they ever did. 1 in 3 organisations plan to invest more in AI technology including machine learning over the next year, which will enable people to specialise in human strengths – in empathy and honesty, judgement and creativity, coaching, compassion and more.
Trend #2: Closing the Chasm – From Digitisation to Adoption at Speed
Advanced technologies are increasingly impacting how companies transform business models, enhance customer and employee experiences and become more data-driven. To meet the growing need, 1 in 3 organisations plan to build out internal capabilities in e-commerce and digital trade platforms, big data analytics, cloud computing, cyber security and IoT. But investing in and even deploying technology and innovation is the easy part. Digital-led transformation alone is no differentiator. Human capabilities and having the right culture enterprise-wide to execute are key to tech adoption, speedy ROI and continuous transformation.
Trend #3: New Dawn of Sustainable Tech
Organisations are responding to calls from a variety of stakeholders-investors, customers, employees, board members, governments, industry regulators and NGOs to act as good global citizens and using technology to reduce emissions, transform supply chains and nudge consumer behaviour. As tech giants compete to be the first to open up the metaverse, the blending of the digital and physical worlds will emerge as one of the most important new trends, creating new opportunities to reimagine hybrid meeting and working with less environmental impact.
Trend #4: Using AI to Increase Diversity and Reduce Inequities
An increase in understanding of neurodiversity means artificial intelligence must have in-built benevolence filter in diverse talent, not filter out the atypical. Organisations will recognise the value of machine learning match and predictive performance so we can help people know themselves better than they know themselves, charting a pathway of employability, equity and increasing prosperity.
Despite increased investment in AI technologies across industries, 1 in 5 organisations cannot find enough AI and machine learning specialists for roles that require these skills. The full potential of AI cannot be realised until the right amount of skilled labour comes into the workforce, thus making it imperative for organisations to continue to invest in up- and reskilling in this high growth job and talent demand area.
Trend #5: Win-Win = When Wage Gains Are Paid For by Productivity
Organisations seek to balance higher wages with productivity growth. And policy makers prefer this dynamic because there are no current or latent inflationary pressures as the potential of the economy expands. Technology will unlock producing more with existing inputs or producing the same with fewer inputs.
Trend #6: Smart People Analytics Will Enable Data-First Decisions
Providing a seamless and scalable digital experience for employees will require changes in technology infrastructure, management practices and employee and customer engagement models. Workforce and talent data/analytics will be front and centre in leveraging data and analytics to identify match for a role and predict potential performance. 76% of organisations with more than 100 employees rely on assessment tools such as aptitude and personality tests for external hiring. Employers will have even more data to manage and draw insight from as increased employee led data sharing and aggregation from data lakes accelerates.
The pandemic has changed the game. But the biggest mistake that business can make is thinking their “return to normal” will be a return to the way things were. Those ways are over. Digitisation means companies can now work faster, and in new, exciting ways that not only help them better compete in the marketplace but also provide their customers with the digital experience they’ve come to expect.
Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We’re always exploring and experimenting.” Be forward thinking and you’ll be able to create a better workplace environment for your people while improving customer experiences, thus ensuring better outcomes for your business.
For more information about tech acceleration and other key trends, download ManpowerGroup’s The Great Realisation: Accelerating Trends, Renewed Urgency – A Look at the 2022 Labour Landscape.