A focus on employee engagement can help companies introducing automation remain productive and competitive. Communication and training are key to employee acceptance.
When researchers at organizations such as PwC report that upward of 30 percent of jobs worldwide will be lost to automation by 2030 or that 375 million people may need to find new work because of automation, both inflammatory statistics intended to grab headlines, what they fail to mention is that the nature of work has been changing hand in hand with labor automation for hundreds of years.
Many of us work today in jobs and fields that we didn't see coming, a number of which are a result of increased automation. According to the World Economic Forum, up to 65 percent of children in grade school will end up working in jobs that do not yet exist.1 Those jobs — jobs that we cannot even conceive of yet — will largely be a result of advances in technology and automation. If your employees think that the robots are coming for their jobs, getting them engaged now and keeping them engaged during a time of transition can help increase profitability, improve employee retention, and create a work environment where employees welcome, rather than reject, advances in technology.
1Chapter 1: The Future of Jobs and Skills. (2016), Retrieved from http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/chapter-1-the-future-of-jobs-and-skills/#view/fn-1,