- Rather than worry about losing their jobs to automation, 76% of U.S. workers said they would upgrade their skills or undergo training, according to a recent Randstad U.S. survey. The 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research study found that only 14% of respondents thought automation would replace them on the job, and 30% said automation would make their jobs better.
- Of U.S. companies, 84% believe AI and robotics will positively affect the workplace in three to five years; 48% said automation/machine learning either transformed or positively impacted their business in the past 12 months; and 31% said they increased the use of automation/robotics in their business during the past 12 months.
- Other key results show that 51% of employees said they would be "happy to retrain" if they were paid the same or more than they currently earn, pointing to the increased need for robust training overall.
The prospects of automation and AI for today's workplace are clear: both are here to stay.
Employees' acceptance of the technology is the buy-in to change that drives organizations forward. It also challenges employers to provide training that allows employees to work alongside the technology. CHROs can help ensure that workers' experience with technology is positive as organizations expect more automation and AI in the workplace. Getting ahead of the curve now and preparing workers for the change will ensure fewer talent disruptions.
Not all news about workplace digitization is good for employees. A study conducted by Cornerstone Capital Group for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) estimates that automation could eliminate between 6 million and 7.5 million retail jobs in the upcoming years. A CareerCast report says that automation is already eliminating some postal workers' jobs.
But many of these heavily impacted industries, especially retail, will also partly rely on improved customer service and a more personable experience — a human touch that not even the best AI on the market can replicate.
Whose job is safe from automation? According to a State of Automation report, truck drivers and some healthcare workers are safe for now. But as self-automated vehicles become a more reliable mode of transportation, truck drivers could one day join the "endangered species" list of occupations.