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Changing world of work - Panellists share opinions

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Prof Robert Ebo Hinson
Prof Robert Ebo Hinson

Before COVID-19, there was already pressure on organisations to do things differently and according to the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, as many as 88 per cent of organisations admitted that there was the need to review the way they worked and operated.

 Also, the World Economic Forum 2020 Future of Jobs Report also noted that 94 per cent of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills on the job; with around 40 per cent of companies expecting their workers to acquire this re-skilling within the next six months or less.

On the flipside, the PwC Workforce for the Future Report has also indicated that about 73 per cent of the workforce think technology can never replace the human mind.

Contributing to discussions on the future of jobs on the Springboard, Your Virtual University, a radio programme on Joy FM, the Group Head of Human resource at Enterprise Group, Ms Eva Richter-Addo, said while automation, technology advancement, and digital transformation was the way to go, organisations needed the human mind as well to top up.

He said the human mind must therefore learn new skills to be able to use the new technologies that are coming up.

“We need the two together but the human mind must be able to interpret the machines. I will need the human beings, but I will need them to be re-skilled to be able to fit into the new world of work,” she stated.

Ms Eva Richter-Addo

Commitment to learn

She said while organisations were required to take the lead in developing its staff, the staff must also show the commitment to learn.

“Some staff are not willing or committed enough to develop themselves. There is a huge chunk of people that are doing it themselves, finding courses on their own, pursuing webinars outside world and we also have those that the companies have provided and invested heavily just for them to be able to develop quickly but the commitment level is very low,” she explained.

She said HRs must therefore quickly find innovative ways to make it matter and mandatory.

“We have to find ways to ensure that these learning platforms we have provided are being utilised to the max to benefit of the organisation,” she stated.

New ways of working

The Deloitte report also noted that COVID-19 had required people to work in radically new ways and as organisations emerge from the pandemic, HRs must build on their newly enhanced position to shift their role from managing workers to re-architecting work.

Ms Richter-Addo said HRs must therefore change the way work was done to make sure efficiency and productivity were still there and even higher than before.

“Companies must assess the skills or competencies each person has, what they actually need and then design systematic responses to bridge the gap, clearly defining what the individual must do and what the firm must do,” she stated.