By Silvia Flores
In the recent years, AI (artificial intelligence) has been disrupting the human civilization with new technologies. Automation and robotics have started to enter the mainstream. While their existence helps in heightening our quality of life, many people begin to worry about whether their jobs will be threatened in the future.
In retail stores, for instance, more self-checkout machines have been installed, allowing store owners to hire fewer human cashiers. In modern high-volume warehouses, robots have substituted human workers. On farms, automated machines have been used to harvest vegetables and fruits instead of migrant workers.
However, instead of getting anxious about whether automated machines and robots would eventually replace humans, it’s better to be informed about how the future of the workforce would look like, which positions are likely to be replaced, and which skills will stay or grow. Also, as a leader what should you do to prepare your team members transitioning into this automation age?
According to McKinsey’s report titled “Skill Shifts: Automation and the Future of the Workforce”, there are five groups of skills:
- Physical and manual skills
- Basic cognitive skills
- Higher cognitive skills
- Social and emotional skills
- Technological skills
In 2030, jobs with higher cognitive skills are likely to increase by 9 percent, social and emotional skills 26 percent, and technological skills 60 percent. While AI and automation will likely kill jobs that require physical and manual skills and low-cognitive skills, many new positions will be created to run the automated and robotic technologies.
Examples of declined jobs:
– Requiring repetitive motion
– Requiring quantitative calculations
– Requiring detailed precision
– Requiring data entry
– Requiring speed and accuracy
Examples of staying and growing jobs:
– Requiring emotions
– Requiring empathy
– Requiring human interactions
– Requiring higher cognitive thinking
– Requiring artistic expression
– Requiring psychological understanding
– Requiring technological skills from basic to advanced levels
– Requiring data analysis
– Requiring in-depth research
– Requiring engineering
As a leader, depending on the industry you work in, it’s wise to introduce automation and AI usage to team members gradually. Prepare them psychologically and emotionally with the understanding that new technologies need to be introduced and used in the business to facilitate productivity and increase overall performance.
Train them how to use these technologies correctly, so they can see the functionalities well and appreciate them instead of feeling threatened. If the company needs to install technologies that reduce the number of employees, encourage them to learn new skills that would help with their job search in the future. Use the above lists as guidelines.
Transitioning from analog and manual to automation and AI technologies require a leader to recognize the team members’ reservations so he or she can provide logical answers that are both soothing and comforting. Overall, automation and AI technologies are intended to make our lives better, easier, faster, and more accurate.
Remind your team members that it’s an unprecedented opportunity to improve their overall skills, particularly about higher cognitive, social, emotional, and technological skills. Robots and AI are our helpers, not our enemies.
See original article at Alder Koten