Do You Have a Fear of Automation?

28 Aug

Whether you’re a business owner, self-employed or part of the employee workforce, automation is not something to be scared of! If anything, automation of the future is being designed to streamline and help the workforce, not put you out of work.

Despite the fact that a recent multinational study revealed that 210 million jobs across 32 countries could be at risk, these numbers fail to show the real picture of the future of work.

Unpacking automation fears

There are several reasons why now is not the time to panic when it comes to industry automation. In fact, what businesses really should be doing is taking action – setting up their companies for a shifting landscape of work in a way that will ultimately protect valuable employees and business practices.

While several studies have been carried out on job safety with regards to automation, one such study shows that only 5% of jobs could be at risk of full automation in the near future. While many occupations may also be partially affected by automation, this could swing in favour of many employees on a global scale.

So what can be done to prepare and protect your business and your employees from future automation? Experts recommend these three critical steps:

1. Seek out adaptable employees

The working world is forever changing and adapting, and so should your criteria for selecting employees for your business. Now is the time to look further than education and past experience when choosing a prospective candidate. While these are still key considerations, employers must also look for ‘’soft skills’’ such as adaptability, cognitive and social intelligence, personality and an ability to work well under pressure. These key factors will indicate whether they will be able to thrive on your team and in a changing environment.

2. Learn to work with automation, not against it

Integrating automation into your business does not mean going from human-based function to 100% machine-based work. The cross-over will most likely be a little slower than that! However, there will need to be a mindset shift from managers and team members alike where automation is viewed as supplementation of work and not a replacement. Business will need to arm employees with the training and tools to successfully harness automation in the workplace and use it as a beneficial tool and not a hindrance.

3. Update employee training

This goes without saying as the successful integration of automation takes place throughout your business. A large part of marrying both human and machine-based work is providing the necessary skills and training to your employees in order to develop their technical, diagnostic and interpersonal skills. Addressing this skills gap early on will help to set your business up for future success when it comes to automation.

In reality, automation is not something to fear, shy away from or avoid as a business owner or employee. Embracing new technology and trends is set to be the way forward if you intend to keep your business afloat for years to come!

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