- As the workplace continues to change, learning leaders will need to prepare employees to work alongside AI and work as partners with machines, Udemy's 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report predicts — but most organizations aren't ready for this future. While 65% of leaders recognize that AI and robotics are "an important or very important issue in human capital," only 26% are ready to address how that tech will impact their workforce.
- While AI and automation may be most known for impacts in manufacturing, robotic process automation is having a similar effect on work within the more traditional office, Udemy said. In response, learning leaders are prioritizing Agile scrum (a form of project management) and risk management skills, as well as soft skills focused on innovation and change management.
Perhaps nothing has challenged employers like the digital skills gap, including the operation of devices and "basic technical language," according to experts that spoke at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event earlier this year. "While many employers are training employees to meet specific talent needs, many people may not have the basic foundational skills to successfully enter that training," Steve Preston, CEO of Goodwill Industries International, said during the event.
It follows that AI and more complex tech training may feel particularly difficult to achieve. Only 41% of employees in an Axonify survey said their employers are preparing them for the future and nearly a third receive no formal training whatsoever. AI, generally, requires an investment in talent, a study released by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group's BCG GAMMA and BCG Henderson Institute said. "As business leaders develop strategy with AI, talent is a complex problem without simple answers," said one of the study's authors in a statement.
Some companies are figuring out ways to strike the balance between talent and tech usage. Whirlpool Corporation, which has a century-long legacy of manufacturing, calls robots "co-bots" — essentially helpers that keep workers safe and make work more efficient. In this way, workers remain a priority. "People development is at the heart of what we're doing," Deboleena Bose, vice president of human resources, North America, for Whirlpool Corporation, told HR Dive in an interview. "As employees upskill and move to next level, we're continuously building on their capabilities."