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The Human Side of Automation

The Human Side of Automation

By: A Staff Writer

Updated on: Nov 23, 2023

The Human Side of Automation: Reskilling the Workforce for the Future

Introduction The acceleration of intelligent automation across industries is raising pertinent questions regarding the future of human work. While machines take on repeatable tasks, the need for distinctly human skills like creativity, empathy, judgement and collaboration only continues to grow. This underscores why responsible automation must be accompanied by strategic workforce planning and reskilling.

CXOs have a crucial role to play on this human side of automation spanning the following aspects:

Assessing Automation Impact

The starting point is identifying functions, activities and tasks likely to get automated using assessment models and risk matrices. Analytics can size expected redundancy and change impact across business units, job families and locations. Such visibility allows targeting reskilling interventions towards vulnerable roles, high-risk profiles and disruption hotspots.

Identifying Reskilling Needs

The next step is determining emerging proficiency gaps as technology redefines roles. Capability estimators can quantify future human capability demand across domains like software development, data science, design thinking, advanced engineering and human-centered service. Such insights help design relevant learning interventions.

Designing Training Infrastructure
Enterprises need dedicated business and technology infrastructure powering their reskilling programs at scale, spanning:

  • Dedicated office to manage initiatives end-to-end
  • Enterprise skills ontology mapping competencies to training
  • Centralized Learning Experience Platform (LXP)
  • Digital instructor and training content marketplace access
  • Testing and certification management systems
  • Automated skills gap analysis engine

Curating Future Skills Curriculum

Standardized curriculum covering next-gen proficiencies in areas like AI, robotics, internet-of-things, cybersecurity, cloud computing and augmented reality needs curation by experts based on industry outlook.

Instructional design for specific learning modalities – like virtual/blended/digital bootcamps, microlearning, apprenticeships and coaching is imperative for quality delivery.

Aligning to Individual Interests

Providing guidance and personalization matching program opportunities to employee aptitude, experience and aspirations ensures better engagement. Self-assessments can allow mapping current competencies and identifying ideal future roles.

AI recommendations can even suggest best-fit reskilling paths aligning individual profiles with business demand projections.

Blending Delivery Approaches

Integrating multiple modes of delivery accelerates capability building aligned to use cases:

  • Virtual instructor sessions for new concepts
  • Online labs and demos for technical proficiencies
  • Contextual microlearning for point reskilling
  • Chatbot practice questions and simulations
  • eBooks and expert interview videos
  • Gamified skills assessment and virtual assistants

Scaling Virtual Instructor-Led Training
As workplace dynamics get distributed, digital delivery models provide convenient skilling access:

  • Live video sessions by industry practitioners
  • Interactive online small group breakouts
  • Replayable video content 24/7
  • Discussion community access anytime

Developing Microlearning Content

Bite-sized learning focused on specific concepts allows scalable point reskilling:

  • Short videos distilling key ideas
  • Quizzes testing comprehension
  • Infographics explaining processes
  • Flashcards building memory
  • Short practice activities providing application

Leveraging Immersive Technologies
Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality promote experiential learning:

  • Simulated equipment operation without risk
  • Virtual scenarios promoting muscle memory
  • Immersive visualization enhancing understanding

Tracking and Optimizing Progress

Skills development platforms continuously assess proficiency gains using AI, providing dashboard analytics on individual and cohort achievement, certification completion rates and area gaps to refine content.

Intelligent automation demands enterprises to make workforce resilience a strategic business priority today, not an afterthought. CXOs must lead the charge by institutionalizing holistic skilling infrastructure, prioritizing vulnerable profiles, enabling flexible options, and continuously optimizing programs based on real-time diagnostics. With pragmatic action, it is possible to shape an augmented future of work where both technology and human potential thrive in harmony.


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