Businesses risk talent exodus and future irrelevance if they fail to manage shift to hybrid human-AI workforce.

The future is hybrid.

Research from Capita People Solution suggests that 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. In addition to this, two thirds (67 per cent) of business leaders fear that their organisation will become irrelevant if it fails to move to a hybrid workforce.

The research also found that 72 per cent of business leaders see the ‘human-to-hybrid’ transition as their most important priority, while 93 per cent 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 per cent of leaders feel that improving a whole organisation’s ability to learn and change is important or extremely important, while 88 per cent 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 per cent) 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’. 

“The shape and make-up of workforces across all industries will change dramatically over the next few years and business leaders have to get on the front foot to manage this transition,” said Erika Bannerman, executive officer at Capita People Solutions. “Investing in AI and automation is not enough to build a sustainable or productive hybrid workforce; organisations also need to ensure they have the skills, cultures and processes in place to work alongside this technology. It has to be a people-first approach, where innovative technology is used to support, enable and empower a highly-skilled, motivated and agile human workforce to deliver higher value work. That means business and HR leaders listening to their employees and engaging in a meaningful dialogue around these future workforce dynamics, being open and transparent about their vision and plans, and motivating and engaging their people to thrive in this future world of work.”

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