Artificial intelligence (AI) has undeniably stirred concerns about its impact on the workforce. However, rather than viewing it as a mere opponent, we must recognize AI as a powerful ally in redefining and improving the way we work. According to a recent study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, 40% of workers worldwide will need retraining as AI automation becomes more prevalent. This staggering figure accounts for 1.4 billion individuals out of the global workforce of 3.4 billion.
These findings emerged from extensive surveys conducted among 3,000 executives from 28 countries and 21,000 workers from 22 countries. The study reveals that skills acquisition has emerged as a crucial challenge. Although AI’s impact will be felt across all levels of the workforce, entry-level positions are expected to experience the most substantial changes. In fact, 77% of executives confirm that AI is already affecting these roles, with the trend likely to intensify in the future. On the other hand, only 22% believe that senior positions will be affected.
Contrary to apprehensions, the implementation of AI presents numerous opportunities for employees to enhance their skills. An impressive 87% of respondents opine that their workforce will grow alongside generative AI, rather than being replaced by it. Interestingly, this perspective varies across different roles, with 97% of executives confident about the growth of their purchasing employees. Similarly, large majorities of risk managers, finance managers, customer service employees, and marketing employees believe in the growth potential facilitated by AI.
One critical aspect emphasized by the study is the importance of meaningful work for employees. As AI assumes manual and repetitive tasks, workers increasingly value fulfilling roles that allow for personal growth rather than just flexibility. HR leaders must seize this pivotal moment to define their organization’s transformation strategy by harnessing the combined power of talent and AI. This entails reimagining workforce planning, designing impactful roles, recognizing critical future skills, managing transitions, and ensuring employee retention.
Moreover, process mining enables the analysis of task allocation and the identification of bottlenecks or inefficiencies. This data-driven approach facilitates the redesign of activities, leverages AI for optimal task assignment, and ensures that human expertise and personal interaction are prioritized wherever essential.
By placing workers ‘in the driver’s seat,’ AI has the potential to revolutionize the work experience. Mundane tasks can be automated, allowing employees to focus on activities they find most meaningful. This grants them additional time to develop their skills, pursue a work-life balance, and ultimately contribute more effectively to their organizations.
Q: What impact will AI have on the workforce?
A: According to the study, AI will require retraining for 40% of the global workforce, amounting to 1.4 billion people.
Q: Which employee group is expected to see the most significant changes due to AI?
A: Entry-level positions are likely to experience the most substantial changes, as confirmed by 77% of executives.
Q: Will AI replace humans in the workforce?
A: No, the majority (87%) of respondents believe that the workforce will grow alongside generative AI, rather than being replaced by it.
Q: What recommendation does the study make for HR leaders?
A: HR leaders should play a crucial role in defining the organization’s transformation strategy, focusing on talent, AI integration, workforce planning, role design, and employee retention.
Q: How can AI revolutionize the work experience?
A: AI can automate mundane tasks, enabling workers to concentrate on meaningful activities that foster personal growth and skill development.