The obsolete employee

As more and more jobs become automated, job obsolescence is in the news.  Our preliminary survey data shows that employees are in fact worried about being replaced—positions changing or becoming obsolete is the top concern among the employees we have surveyed so far.

While many tasks may be assigned to machines over the coming years, a recent article from SAP’s Jenny Dearborn argues that there are three main job skills that robots cannot replace:

  • Complex perception and manipulation—These are skills that are performed in an unstructured work environment, involve handling irregular objects, or require tactile feedback. A surgeon is a good example of a role that involves these tasks.
  • Creative intelligence—Creativity involves both novelty and value, which are challenging for a computer, because both vary by culture and over time. Examples include fashion designers and biological scientists.
  • Social intelligence—Social intelligence is fundamental to professions involving negotiation, persuasion, leadership, or high-touch care. Examples are public relations specialists, event planners, psychologists, and CEOs.”

Employees who demonstrate social intelligence, creativity, and the ability to handle complexity are likely to contribute a great deal to their companies—but according to our survey results, these skills may be undervalued by executives looking to hire. We’ll have more to report soon—stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “The obsolete employee

  1. Pingback: Employee education and the skills gap | Workforce 2020

  2. Pingback: AI a potential threat to employees in Japan | Workforce 2020

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