NEW DELHI: Don’t try to compete with machines to save jobs, but people have to adapt themselves to new skill sets that are relevant to the changing times, and adapt to machines and new technologies for making life better, said Mr Uday Kotak, President-Designate of CII and Managing Director and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank at the National HR Conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“We all know that computer beats a chess champion. But recently I was reading an article that Google artificial intelligence (AI) programme has beaten the world champion in chess. So, let’s not waste our time trying to compete with technology in order to save jobs. I don’t think we will win that battle,” Mr Kotak said, while adding that however, the relevance of human skill sets will never cease to exist.
Exuding confidence that human brain can be stretched beyond what we can imagine, even much ahead of machines and other processes, Mr Kotak emphasised the importance of maintaining the emotional quotient of employees, which is the key driver of enjoyment and happiness.
Though different studies are going on the skill sets that may be needed in future, there are some critical trends, on a day to day basis, like “protection of privacy, which is a big one, followed by leisure, sport and entertainment, which will be job creators of the future. Though security is also an issue, privacy will take precedence in the coming years,” Mr Kotak added.
However, such jobs may not be sustainable for a long term as the lag for technology changes has shrunk from 10-15 years a century ago to just 3-4 years now. Only people are the constant, while everything around them is subject to change.
Mr TV Narendran, Chairman, CII National Committee on Leadership & HR and CEO & Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd, said that Business leaders are grappling with the critical challenges of redefining work in terms of analytics-based decision making, human machine collaboration and gamification, and re-skilling of employees at all levels to prepare the organization to brace for this change is the need of the hour. He also stressed on the vital role of the HR function in this journey.
“There is a need for defined institutional methods of Integration of the HR Processes with the organization’s overall aspirations be it in terms of growth, sustainability and others. In this context, a growing debate is emerging on the need for improving company board oversight on HR and people matters,” Mr. Narendran added.
Mr. Narendran is of the view that in the new world of work, the traditional concepts of employee engagement, learning and development and performance metrics are changing drastically and the importance of delivering a differentiated experience to keep employees happy, engaged and productive is coming to the fore.