Contextualized Attitude and Communication skills

What according to you, Workforce of Future should look Like?

The shape and contours of the Workforce of the future will be dictated to by the emerging environment. There will be a gradual merger of Blue and white collared jobs and the consequent emergence of no collar jobs. More and more focus will be towards knowledge workers, especially in the data sciences domain. Routine and repetitive jobs will be taken over by AI and robots. Employees will have to be multi-skilled for sure. Contextualized Attitude and Communication skills will be the deciding factor for selection. We will see a workforce emerging which will sell or provide services and may increasingly work from home utilizing electronic-highways rather than physical highways.

When we look at the workforce of the future, what are top of the mind issues/priorities for key stakeholders – CEO, HR, and employees?

CEOs may find that many of the departments may either become redundant / less important and/or merge either partially or wholly due to dictates of technology. They will also find organizations/startups providing distributed services of high professional caliber at a lower cost. A fine balance of cost vs in-house core competence will have to be taken in light of continuity and confidentiality. They will have to strategize amalgamation of these virtual distributed services into a physical entity using AI, AR, VR, and Robotics to produce physical products using these very technologies assisted/powered machines.

HR will have to prepare themselves to handle “hiring” of services rather than individuals, with consequent impact on processes and integration. Newer job roles manned by multitasked on or off-site workers will be created. Technology inserts like blockchain verification will impact their functioning. The reaction times will be lower and the area of operations will expand manifold. Replacement of physical employees by technologies like AR, VR, AI, and Robotics and entrusting critical jobs to virtual space workers will become commonplace. Upskilling, reskilling options will have to be personalized using new age technology and catering to the abilities of the person and requirements of the employer.

Employees will no longer be picked up by their subject matter expertise or by formal qualifications. More and more emphasis will be laid on demonstrated soft skills, psychological build up of the individual and ability to multi-task will become dominant factors. Many of their assignments will be less / not supervised and their performance will be judged by tech assisted assessments.

What has been your experience with digitization, AI & Robotics in HR? Is India ready for such a huge transformation?

Digitization, robotics and AI have yet to make much of impact on HR. Graeter impact on HR is through office automation processes and packages as of now. While the current impact is discernable in the operations domain, there is a huge amount of scope even in the HR function like the use of AI in hiring and AR/VR in training. India is aware of the upcoming transformation and has started preparing for the same. Getting ready is an ongoing process in real time.

What are your views on “The Economic Times Workforce of the Future Summit” and how important do you feel is the need for organizing such summits?

Such summits are of immense use to bring awareness and spell out future courses of events by intelligent crystal gazing by thought leaders in conjunction with the present and future practitioners/beneficiaries/ consumers of this workforce. However, too many pseudo seminars are emerging as business ventures and are actually detrimental to the system. Maybe sometime in the future, a rating agency will get formulated in this space too.

Lt Gen Dr. SP Kochhar

AVSM**, SM, VSM, CEO Telecom Sector Skill Council

For more information about the Workforce of the Future Summit, please visit: http://et-edge.com/conferences/workforce/

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