With the release of PwC’s report Workforce of the Future: The competing forces shaping 2030 there has been a lot of attention given to what tomorrow’s worker will look like. The rise of robotics and artificial intelligence has stirred worry over whether today’s jobs will exist in the future. The report is practical, rather than pessimistic, and urges leaders to put people first.
“Organisations can’t protect jobs which are made redundant by technology – but they do have a responsibility to their people.” Executives, it argues, need to understand the current skills of their workers and the gaps in skills they’ll encounter down the road. By nurturing agility, adaptability and re-skilling, there will be opportunity for employees to put their minds to other areas of work where the human touch is critical.
Adapting or re-skilling, however, will not be the same for everyone. As this infographic from Next Generation suggests, people in the workforce have different behaviours, qualities and backgrounds, often influenced by their generation.
Will Generation X with their business savvy and commercial qualifications find it easy to adapt to new business models? Perhaps it will be their oversight that helps guide the new digital age in, mindful of how technological decisions must still make organisational sense. Generation Y with their areas of specialisation may find it difficult to embrace knowledge in other areas, whereas the innovative and creative Generation Z may thrive.
How can business leaders accommodate these differences in their approach to change? It’s time to start thinking.