BusinessDay

How can managers build a future-ready workforce?

Post-COVID, Business leaders must re-engage a digitized, robotized, diverse, and globally scattered workforce. Those who fall behind do so at their own risk.
In the next decades, managers will need to know certain facts about their employees. According to BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU) experts, the growing workforce is data-driven, conversant with Artificial Intelligence (AI); machine learning and robotics. This appreciates and demands “great employment”, which is dedicated to equality and the environment.

Data-driven organizations enjoy more revenue, better customer service, best-in-class operational efficiency, and increased profitability. In a world with more data, firms with more data-literate employees will succeed, says Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan professor, Miro Kazakoff. All workers must have access to their own data, which requires data democratization. Oluwatoyin Matthew, associate professor of Economics at Covenant University and Covenant University Centre for Economic Policy and Development (CEPDeR) Research Fellow, said, “Everyone will have a responsibility for propelling [firms] forward in new data-driven activities.” Firms may reorganize around data and analytics. Business leaders and developers may be involved. Successful firms centralize data and analytics across all business units.

Most experts believe AI will affect future work. Daron Acemoglu, an Economist at MIT, discovered that for every 1,000 workers displaced by robots, income and employment-to-population ratios fall by 0.42 percent. The worldwide robotics business might be valued at $260 billion by 2030. If we do not focus on the right AI, “economic inequality and societal cohesion might suffer”.

In education, healthcare, and training, companies will use AI to improve human skills, not replace them. Intelligent technology in the workplace may destabilize power relations between younger and older employees. Evans Osabuohien, an Institutional Economics professor at Covenant University, suggested a peer-training approach in which senior and younger staff rotate as teachers.

Read also: Teachers’ council boss, Ajiboye, elected AFTRA president in Ghana

According to MIT Sloan professor, Thomas Kochan, head of the Institute for Work and Employment Research, workers believe they should have greater voice and influence over working conditions, compensation, and fair treatment. Regularly, workers describe a “voice gap”.
Economic inequality contributes to popular indignation and political instability. Osterman contends that businesses should address these issues. BRIU urges firms and employees to develop a new social contract that gives investors great returns and promotes high-quality jobs. Employees must be properly picked and continually trained and developed. Respecting employees’ rights and letting them adapt to changing technology and job needs are equally important. So that employee earnings go up with the success of the company, pay structures must be made that are fair and clear.

Today’s employees desire a fair wage, a steady schedule, a professional path, safety, and security. Training or raises for low-wage jobs are not enough. Firms must also improve their employment quality, which affects the present workforce. Underinvesting in people leads to operational and customer service difficulties, which lead to decreased sales and reduced budgets, says MIT Sloan professor, Zeynep Ton. Recurring patterns cost investors.

Former Berkshire Bank executive vice president and current MIT Sloan professor, Malia Lazu thinks workforce diversity is key to bridging the digital gap. All children should be exposed to science and technology early on; higher education should be cheaper and fairer; employment should be based on competence rather than degree; and professional network diversity should be examined and enhanced.
According to an MIT Sloan management expert, organizations should approach promotions and raises with an unbiased, data-driven perspective.

According to Jackson Lu, associate professor of work and organizational studies, executives with multicultural expertise are better communicators and can manage multinational teams. Younger employees face governance and environmental equity problems. Sustainability has been crucial to a company’s performance in the previous 15 or 20 years. The “Inside-out” technique, which combines worker and stakeholder input, is popular for addressing environmental concerns. A company’s board, C-suite, and employees must discuss its mission and legacy in their quest for environmental betterment.

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