Business leaders in the UK believe that the transition to a hybrid ‘human-AI’ workforce will be their biggest strategic challenge over the next five years. And, as the adoption of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and automation accelerates across a wide range of industries, two thirds (67%) of business leaders fear that their organisation will become irrelevant if it fails to move to a hybrid workforce.
New research launched today by Capita People Solutions reveals that 72% of business leaders see the ‘human-to-hybrid’ transition as their most important priority, while 93% acknowledge that they need to start proactively managing the shift to a hybrid workforce this year. Interviews with 500 leaders of medium and large-sized businesses showed that the role of HR will need to radically change. More than 90% of leaders feel that improving a whole organisation’s ability to learn and change is important or extremely important, while 88% said upskilling their staff was a priority, including in entirely new job categories.
The survey of more than 2,000 company staff also shows that they cannot afford to fail – with more than half (51%) of UK employees reporting that they will choose to leave their organisation if it doesn’t manage the transition to a hybrid workforce well and continue to offer opportunities to progress.
The study defines Human to Hybrid as ‘the new dynamic where humans will work in a fully digitised and technologically-optimised environment, and increasingly work alongside robots and AI, over the next ten years’. It also explores levels of understanding, expectations and concerns around the shift to a hybrid workforce among both senior leaders and employees within UK businesses.
Clearly highlighted is the need for organisations to approach the Human to Hybrid shift in a considered and structured way, with leadership from the very top. It shows that 88% of business leaders agree that that in order to drive a successful transition to more automated working they must invest in a three-pronged approach of developing:
- their use of digital technology;
- their use of data gathering and analysis; and
- the skills and capabilities of their people.
The research uncovers that the biggest worry for workers is that working within a hybrid workforce will result in a lack of human interaction at work (46%). Other concerns include reduced opportunities to progress (26%) and the possibility of a less inclusive and diverse workforce (23%). However, most workers are positive about the prospect of working within a hybrid workforce, believing that it will provide increased opportunities to learn new skills (44%), greater flexibility (40%), and more interesting and varied work (32%).