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Employees rank ‘impactful work’ as a top priority

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Building new skills for existing employees was identified as the top talent issue

UK executives estimate 41% of their workforce will need to reskill as a result of implementing AI and automation over the next three years according to a new survey.

The IBM Institute for Business Value, in cooperation with Oxford Economics, report “Augmented work for an automated, AI-driven world” is based on an analysis of over 3,000 global C-Suite executives across 20 industries and 28 countries (December 2022 and January 2023). The global study provides insights into the challenges and priorities of business executives and employees in an ever-changing technological landscape.

Building new skills for existing employees was identified as the top talent issue, according to surveyed executives, followed by technological illiteracy. The survey highlighted that 46% of UK executives are currently investing in reskilling their employees internally.

However, the study found a disconnect between the priorities of employers and employees regarding work priorities. With AI primed to take on more manual and repetitive tasks, UK employees reported engaging in ‘impactful work’ as the top factor they care about. Whereas, executives ranked ‘impactful work’ as one of the least important factors to their workforce. Both employees and executives agreed that flexible work arrangements were an important factor beyond compensation and job security.

The study provides recommendations to help leaders address their talent challenges in the AI era and future-proof their organisations – with a focus on skills and operating models.

Andi Britt, Senior Partner, UKI Talent Transformation Leader, IBM Consulting, said:  “As we embark on a future where AI becomes an integral part of the workforce, our task is to adequately equip our employees for this key technology shift. Our research reveals that improving technology literacy for employees is a top talent issue, according to business leaders. It is clear from the survey that impactful or meaningful work is now a higher priority for UK employees – a trend which is not yet fully recognised by their business leaders. Bridging this gap will be crucial in ensuring that AI and automation are harnessed in a way that enables employees to redirect their time and energy to meaningful and impactful work within the organisation.”

For more information visit: www.ibm.com/ibv.

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