Divergence Between Employer and Employee Work Priorities

In Singapore, executives identify the most significant talent challenges as being the availability of external skills and the development of new skills for their current workforce.

Executives based in Singapore have projected that approximately 40% of their workforce will require reskilling due to the implementation of AI and automation within the next three years. This forecast stems from a recent global study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value. The current global workforce, as indicated by the World Bank, comprises 3.4 billion individuals. Consequently, it implies that around 1.4 billion workers might necessitate reskilling in the immediate future.

The most pressing concerns identified by surveyed executives in Singapore center around the availability of external skills and the development of new skills for their existing workforce. The surveyed respondents display a preference for investing in reskilling efforts (62%) over recruiting externally (38%).

The study titled “Augmented work for an automated, AI-driven world” additionally unveils insights regarding the impact of generative AI across various organizational levels. Notably, 77% of executive respondents from multinational firms in the U.S. acknowledge the effects of technology on entry-level roles, whereas only 22% of those surveyed observe similar effects in executive or senior management positions.

A disparity emerges between employers and employees concerning their prioritization of key factors in the workplace. Within the Asia Pacific region, 46% of surveyed employees express a primary concern for engaging in meaningful work beyond mere compensation and job security. This aspect outweighs considerations such as flexible work arrangements, growth prospects, and financial equity. Curiously, this viewpoint is not fully recognized by employers. In Singapore, surveyed executives rank impactful work as of lesser importance to their workforce, attributing higher significance to flexible work arrangements and well-defined performance metrics.

Lai Yee Ng, Manager Partner of IBM Consulting in Singapore, remarks that generative AI is significantly reshaping job roles and skill requirements, particularly at entry-level positions. While emphasis on skill development is vital, Ng underscores the need for a broader shift that reimagines the nature of work itself. Ng states that businesses must adapt their workforces to match new AI applications. Integrating human expertise and intricate business process knowledge with AI tools holds the potential for accelerated achievement of business objectives.

Furthermore, the study outlines actionable recommendations for leaders to address talent challenges in the AI era, emphasizing a focus on skill enhancement and innovative operating models.

In conclusion, the findings from the study “Augmented work for an automated, AI-driven world” underscore the transformative impact of AI and automation on the global workforce. The projections made by Singaporean executives, revealing that a significant portion of their workforce will require reskilling, highlight the urgent need for proactive measures in preparing employees for the evolving landscape. As AI permeates various levels of organizations, the disparity between employee priorities for meaningful work and employer perceptions of these priorities calls for a more holistic understanding of the changing dynamics. The observations made by Lai Yee Ng regarding the necessity to not only focus on skills but also reimagine the very nature of work align with the imperative to drive comprehensive workplace adaptation.

As businesses continue to harness AI’s potential, the recommendations offered to leaders become crucial guideposts for navigating the challenges of talent management. Cultivating a culture of continuous skill development and aligning operating models with the demands of an AI-driven era are key strategies to ensuring organizational resilience and success. Ultimately, the convergence of human expertise and AI capabilities presents a formidable opportunity to usher in a new era of innovation, efficiency, and collaboration. By heeding these insights and taking decisive action, leaders can empower their workforce to thrive in a future where technology and human ingenuity harmoniously coexist.