CIOs Focus On Retraining Workers As Automation Is Increased

When technology takes over jobs, workers have to be retrained
When technology takes over jobs, workers have to be retrained
Image Credit: untitled exhibitions

The person in the CIO job has the responsibility to find ways to use the importance of information technology to automate how the company performs its different tasks. However, one of the downsides of this push to automate more and more of the company’s daily activities is that it will result in worker’s jobs going away. In this era of low unemployment it can be difficult to get new workers to join the company to fill various jobs and so people who have already gone through the company’s hiring process are good candidates to fill other positions in the company. It is becoming the responsibility of the CIO to retrain workers who have been displaced by automation.

Dealing With The Challenge Of Displaced Workers

The person in the CIO position has a real challenge on their hands. As automation has swept through the company and replaced workers jobs, the company has started to experience an identity crisis. The workers who used to perform tasks such as procurement, transaction processing, and call-center operations are more and more finding themselves being replaced by automation. CIOs are going to have to make a decision about what to do with the company’s workers when automation arrives. Should the workers be laid off or should the company go through the effort of retraining them?

In this era of low unemployment, letting workers go can be an expensive proposition. Since those workers have already gone through the company’s onboarding process, you know that they are well suited to doing the type of work that the company does. However, their current job has gone away. At some firms, they are making the decision to retrain all of their automated workers. For a CIO this brings up the big question of just exactly how this type of retraining can be paid for. At some firms, 60% of what the firm is saving because of automation is being used for training. The remaining 40% is flowing back into other parts of the business.

CIOs need to understand that their firms are currently dealing with a skills shortage. At the same time the company is being pressured to transform itself into a fully digital enterprise. CIOs need to realize that to accomplish what they need to do will be both expensive and time-consuming. A mass retraining of a company’s workforce can be both complicated and, in the end, rewarding for both the workers and the company. Retaining the workers is not just a case of sending everyone to class for a week. This task has to be looked on as a never ending process.

The Best Way To Retrain Workers After Their Jobs Have Been Automated

One important way to look at the retraining of workers that will be required is to evaluate how much the company will be spending per worker to retrain them. At some firms this amount can run from US$2,000 to $4,000 per worker. CIOs also have to understand that how the retraining is delivered to workers is important. The old style of having everyone sit in a classroom to learn new material is outdated. The modern approach is to provide more effective opportunities to learn that are highly tailored to each student. What this means is that you will need to use internet connected classrooms, digital learning activities and mobile access where they are available.

CIOs need to be aware of how others in their firm may be viewing the arrival of automation. Most executives see automation as creating value by reducing labor costs. This is one of the reasons that there may be an internal push to use artificial intelligence to automate tasks that are currently being done by people. CIOs need to be willing to sit down with the company’s senior managers and have discussions about how the incentives created by automation can drive decisions about how technology should be adapted versus using reskilled workers.

One of the most important things that CIOs need to understand is that automation will cause a great deal of change to occur at their firms. Not everybody deals with change in a good way. What this means is that the company should expect to see the number of workers who are leaving the firm increase. Even when retraining is offered to workers, some may decide that the new roles that the firm has for them does not fit what their career plans are. In these cases, the worker will leave the firm because their job has been replaced by automation. CIOs need to understand that this will happen and then they need to make sure that replacement workers with the right sets of skills are being brought in.

What All Of This Means For You

There’s no stopping it – automation is coming to your company. CIOs are the ones who are responsible for evaluating how their company currently does business and then finding ways to automate more and more of it. However, all of this automation can have a profound impact on the company – many of its employees will no longer have a job because what they used to do has now been automated. CIOs now find themselves in the difficult position of having to decide what to do with all of the workers that the company no longer needs.

CIOs are faced with a key decision when automation takes the job of a worker: should they be let go or should the company go to the effort of retraining them? Since the workers have already been hired by the company, in this era of low unemployment it seems foolish to let them go. In order to pay for their retraining, many companies are using the savings produced by automation to pay for retraining classes. Retraining of workers is not something that happens overnight. Retraining has to become a reoccurring process within the company. Retraining of workers does not mean having them sit in a classroom. Modern teaching techniques that use the internet and mobile devices have to be used. Not all of the company’s senior executives may view retraining as being needed and so it may be up to the CIO to convince them that it is a worthwhile task. When automation comes to a company, all of the displaced employees may not take to the retraining and some may end up leaving the firm. CIOs need to understand that they will need to make sure that replacement workers are hired to replace these workers.

The future is coming quickly. In the future, many of the things that our companies currently do by hand will be automated. When this automation comes, it will have a big impact on the workers at your company. As the CIO you have a responsibility to create plans to deal with the workers who will be displaced by the arrival of automation. We need to understand that today’s decisions will have an impact on how the company operates in the future. Consider how you want to change the company so that humans and automation can work side-by-side as technology changes the way that work gets done.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Should a CIO offer to help workers get jobs at other companies when their jobs are replaced by automation?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

CIOs are responsible for making sure that the company’s IT operations run smoothly. More and more as we move into the future, this is requiring an understanding of the importance of information technology in order to automate how the company performs its day-to-day operations. The good news is that there is new technology that is available to allow this to be done: machine learning. The bad news is that this machine learning stuff requires smart people to implement it. CIOs are starting to discover that there simply does not seem to be enough machine learning capable workers available to fill the open positions that they have.