High-tech training can help prepare your teams to embrace automation instead of seeing it as a threat.
Over the years, dozens of movies have showed the potential impact of robots replacing humans in a variety of jobs. Yet, a new study suggests that workers actually are more worried about being replaced by another person than by a machine. While they have concerns about what technological advances might mean for their job security down the pike, they don’t see this as an immediate issue.
Interestingly, employees surveyed for the study say that they would prefer people in other jobs be replaced by humans over technology. However, when it comes to their own job, they would rather be replaced by a machine. Study authors suggests that this finding has to do with self-worth. They explain that being replaced by another human feels very personal; while they see being supplanted by a machine as having more to do with efficiency and financial considerations.
The results of another study suggest that fear of being replaced by technology doesn’t apply to all aspects of automation. In this report, only 12% of employees say they’re concerned that artificial intelligence (AI) will negatively impact their work, and 40% actually think such technology will positively affect their jobs.
Overall, employers should begin preparing workers for technological jobs and take opportunities to update their tech training on a regular basis. This will enable employees to work with technology, whenever possible, instead of being replaced by it. At the same time, these skills will help reduce their anxieties about change and help them feel less threatened (and more engaged) by technology.
Of course, according to some sources, any insecurities employees have about automation may be well placed. In one recent report, only 47% of HR leaders said they think technology will create more jobs than it will replace.
Since technological innovation will happen whether employees are ready or not, it behooves HR and other organizational leaders to improve workers’ knowledge of and engagement with technology and how innovations will make them more efficient and productive. A few tips:
· Use applications and new skills to maximize the value of technological innovations such as AI and data analytics.
· Boost training that emphasizes the value of the human-machine connection.
· Help employees envision how technology will integrate with (and not replace) the workforce of the future.
· Encourage people to be comfortable with new technologies to increase communication, support their work, and help them solve challenges.