With the advent of technology, transformation at the workplaces have been constant. This process has seen a massive push by the sudden lockdowns caused by the pandemic. Today, business experts are predicting that the future is not very far when many of the business processes will be automated and operated by artificial intelligence which will reshape the workforce with new functions and skills.
To take a deeper dive into the ocean of skills that will be relevant in such a future, we spoke with Urvi Aradhya, CHRO, K Raheja Corp. Here are some excerpts from the interaction.
1.What according to you is the future of work going to look like?
Workplaces and work philosophies have witnessed a sea change in the past couple of years. Transforming business models and evolving roles, have had their impact on the roles of employees, across functions, levels, industries, and organizations. The current environment demands greater flexibility and agility from team members to develop and hone the skills necessary to collaborate across locations and time-zones, in real time, to successfully attain their business goals. As the scenario unfolds, technology has been at the forefront of enabling this transition.
Working styles will see some hybrid elements. Offices, however, are here to stay as a place for congregation, camaraderie, mentorship, interactions, training, learning and development, which all benefit immensely from interpersonal interactions.
2. What is going to be the probable ratio between AI and human resource moving into the future of work?
This is an often-asked question, with a lot of commentary on losing jobs to machines and so on. But outside of the realm of science fiction, AI or any other technological progress will ease life.
We must remember, AI is still a tool. A hammer, no matter how smart, will still not be able to do anything without people to lift it.
Much has also been written about technology being an enabler and it has never held truer. With the volume of data required to be processed only increasing and waiting times shrinking every day, we have reached a point where automating is more efficient. And the roles and areas AI are implemented are usually mundane and monotonous for people. Instead of losing employees to burn outs and quiet quitting due to dissatisfaction with their jobs, it helps to automate the machine-executable roles and allow the employees to better utilize their talent in areas where they can contribute better.
3. It is anticipated that the present-day mid-seniors are going to be leaders in 10-15 years. How is Raheja Corp planning to invest in upskilling them to ensure that they lead a future-ready workforce seamlessly?
Identifying future leaders and equipping them with the right training and mentorship is an ongoing commitment at K Raheja Corp. This helps us attract a diverse set of leaders, from across locations, ethnicities, backgrounds and specialties.
At K Raheja Corp, we have developed an intuitive leadership enhancement programme -‘Shikhar’. This is a six to eight-month, high-potential blended learning journey that allows us to evaluate employee performance, understand their natural inclinations, and assess their leadership potential.
Another offering is the Re-launch policy, whereby we hire talent that is keen to return to work after a sabbatical. For such returning talent, we provide function-specific training to help update them on the latest required skills and information on digital marketing, architecture, engineering, as well as upgrade sessions on interpersonal skills, mental health, emotional well-being, and more!
We are committed to groom our talent holistically to evolving as better managers and inspiring leaders.
4. What, according to you, is going to be the biggest ‘mantra’ of success for the leaders in the age of automation?
American submarine officer Don Walsh once said, “Manage machines, lead people.” And this is the best way to lead companies into the new era of technology-enabled workplaces.
Machines and technology improve human efficiency; they do not replace them.
That is why highly trained employees will never go out of vogue. We are not in an age of technology-induced obsolescence, but in times of tech-enabled transformation. The success of leaders, today, rests on how well they can leverage technology to make the best decisions they can, since they affect all stake holders, especially employees and customers.
5. The workforce that will join the future is probably in schools and finishing their education right now. Thus, it is expected that they will come ready with their hands on AI and other tech skills. So how are you preparing yourself to lead such a workforce in future?
We are heading towards an era of collaborative working.
We already see teams harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence through predictive analytics, data mining, business process automation, and other avenues. And the skills for this are being sown in schools currently.
The path to success for a progressive organization is to transform with the times, not only to improve efficiency, but also attract and inspire future generations. As bots assist in various low-level processes and operations, employees will be able to hone higher skills in their respective fields to perform better and optimise resources.
At K Raheja Corp we continually evolve our digital and technological footprint to be future ready – with a workforce that has the skill sets to with the latest technology and still deliver on hallmarks of traditional human roles, delighting our customers and stakeholders.