We are at an important phase in the labor market where leaders are thinking about not just optimization of the “toil’ (tactical and highly manual) workload but the complete elimination of the same through technologies like Chat GPT. This time around, it is not a practice-driven initiative but more an enterprise initiative where HR leaders will be critical for success. Such an initiative will require a redesign of the job roles in several instances. For example, a financial advisor in the near future may deal with only complex queries as the basic queries will be largely handled by ChatGPT-like technologies. Similar to technologies like interactive voice response, where call center agents were pushed to handle complex calls in a call center, we will now witness the transformation of several roles through Chat GPT. There may be a need to connect to critical workflows more proactively with customers (like proactively planning for changes in financial needs)
This week, we had a terrific meeting with an impressive manufacturing company that’s rapidly scaling. The founders are highly capable and have put in place several new roles while they’re establishing their Human Resources department. We discussed how HR could bring integral value to the organization by focusing on several key projects – the opportunity areas on how HR can impact in the new age are very promising!
1.0 How to succeed quickly in the new role? – Role transitions are happening at a higher velocity. It is important to map out the emerging skill with an area and the premier skills. For example, in an area like Data Engineering, certain skills like OpenSearch and becoming higher premium skills. How the internal network and support exist for those skills is also important. (so a skills-driven network and thought leaders associated with the same). Sometimes, the thought leaders can also be outside the organization. HR leaders can play a primary role in this. Here is a map of technical skills where leaders felt they needed more specificity. In the case study highlighted, we mapped several manufacturing roles that require basic data skills such as Business Data Analytics and identified that as a premier skill for manufacturing employees
2.0 Mapping More Tangible Transitions: Skill transitions have to be specific and impactful. This is where the future fit aspect of the workforce comes into play. Defining this and communicating granularly is another big role of an HR leader.
In the example given, we mapped Gen-Z truck drivers’ aspirations into various supply chain roles. Defining this and educating the employees in these granular transitions is very helpful in employee growth and retention
3.0 An Inclusive labor strategy: Last week, Saudi Arabia announced that its first woman astronaut Rayyanna Barnawi would join fellow team members on a ten-day space mission. At the same time we are celebrating such inclusive milestones, we also faced the resignation of women leader YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki. We are seeing a trend where more women leaders in the nigh tech institutions are moving away from leadership roles (last year, Sheryl Sandberg left her role as COO of Meta). This trend is a bit concerning development we are monitoring as it took a long time to progress in this avenue. This aspect also means this is an opportunity for rapidly scaling enterprises. Maybe the next Engineering leader could be a women leader from a tech company. Inclusivity across all aspects of gender, ethnicity, and skills diversity will remain a key HR focus. In the case study given, we mapped several coffee baristas becoming Robotic technicians. A certain amount of data processing skills exist among Coffee Baristas. I never knew this until I understood how many recipes a barista processes through the IoT platforms at Starbucks. Such adjacencies, when understood well, can be a huge opportunity to scale at lower costs.
4.0 Doing more with early career roles: Many enterprises have only scratched the surface of how early career roles are leveraged. There is significant innovation possible, but as part of being future fit, we should develop muscle memory of how best to use early career across the enterprise