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February 28, 2024
Workforce Optimization in 2024 – EnterpriseTalk

  • In 2024, enterprises will focus on retaining competitive advantage by meeting talent demands.
  • Reskilling and upskilling of employees will be paramount to align with the rising demand for technology skills in 2024.
  • Workplaces will be more flexible, automated, and virtual with technologies like AI and ML.

In 2024, many organizations will change workforce norms by mandating a return to the office. Though this will impact the employee experience (EX), it also presents great workforce optimization opportunities.

This article captures the insights, predictions, and new workplace perspectives for 2024.

These insights will help business leaders develop a path to redefine their working mechanisms to align with the rising demands of the future of work.

AI Will Organize the Work

In 2023, AI became mainstream. In 2024, businesses will accelerate AI plans and strategies to optimize the workforce.

According to new research, Machines Will Do More Tasks Than Humans by 2025 by the World Economic Forum, by 2025, more than half of all current workplace functions will be performed by machines, compared to 71% being performed by humans today.

AI adoption in the workplace will revolutionize employee engagement and several operations. These include sales and marketing, software and applications developers, customer services, and finance.

The most visible impact will be on productivity and decision-making.

Integrating AI into the existing workforce structure will improve employee engagement. AI will use in-depth analysis and biometrics data to understand employee satisfaction levels better. This will allow leaders to elevate the employee experience.

For example, AI and natural language processing-powered solutions will be used to rate the sentiment of a conversation on platforms like Microsoft Teams and Outlook.

These platforms can rate the conversation positively, negatively, or neutrally and analyze it to understand the employee’s workplace sentiment better.

Second, AI has already strengthened organizations’ ability to make informed decisions, which will continue to advance with automation. Organizations must complement their automation plans with tools and strategies to remain dynamic and competitive in an age where machines are all set to rule.

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The new breed of evolving AI—Generative AI will cause significant workforce transformations to continue changing how organizations worked in 2023.

Businesses will use AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants more to optimize their workplace by inducing internal communications and collaborations. These AI assistants may well change how businesses interact with their internal and external stakeholders.

As Antti Nivala, CEO of Information Management Specialist, M-Files, explains, “The Year of AI Assistants—As the new tool in our toolbox, it can take time to figure out how to best incorporate AI assistants to unlock their full potential. Despite AI assistants having a wide variety of uses, in 2024, we can expect to see vendors tailoring AI assistants for specific, high-value tasks within software to help knowledge workers embrace fast access to information, assist with creative tasks, and support ease of use. AI assistants will become more industry-specific as well as more personalized. Users can expect the assistant to understand their industry jargon and tailor responses based on their job role and task at hand.”

These tools can improve the employee experience by offering more capabilities to answer complex queries, understand emotions, and deliver personalized responses.

Also Read: These Enterprise Generative AI Use Cases are Emerging

Future Skilling

As AI transforms more areas of business operations and automates work, it will be critical to ensure that companies use the correct tool-  effectively.

For this, leaders must reskill and upskill employees, supporting their workforce transformations actively.

World Economic Forum’s report, The Reskilling Revolution, finds that 50% of all employees will need reskilling due to adopting new technology by 2025.

As Cathy Mauzaize, President of EMEA, ServiceNow, explains,

“Where many started 2023 with a string of workforce reductions and layoffs, the fading threat of a recession means that the demand for digitally skilled talent has rapidly risen again. Reskilling employees will become a critical strategy as companies face an increasingly competitive race – and demand – for talent. Offering robust training programs and learning opportunities will also be key to attracting and retaining top talent. In the immediate future, the onus will be on employers to offer easy-to-use digital touchpoints where employees can upskill themselves to meet the challenges of the future, aided by opportunities for continuous skills development, growth, and internal mobility.”

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The revolution of Industry 4.0 will be more about virtual reality hybrid systems. The system will be based on transformations powered by technologies that are now on a fast track to innovation. These include the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), AI, machine learning, hyper-converged infrastructure, and deep learning, – to create an intelligent production system.

This doesn’t mean the loss of jobs for knowledge workers. On the contrary, they will discover how efficiently AI will reduce their time and effort to deliver better.  They will get opportunities to work in new areas, even while carrying out daily tasks.

Many organizations are already investing heavily in upskilling their workforce to cope with these changes.

She further adds, “With skilled tech workers in short supply, businesses will need to amplify investments in upskilling and reskilling to build capabilities internally, especially around AI. Companies that invest in their people’s growth will gain a long-term competitive advantage.”

 In another thought, this is also a burgeoning market, in the future. As Cathy opines,” Closing the global skills gap could add USD 11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028, according to the World Economic Forum, so reskilling should become a strategic business priority, not just an HR initiative. With the right vision and tools, companies can build workforces with adaptable skillsets ready for whatever the future may hold.”

Leading companies such as Wipro and Ericsson have policies, tools, and IT platforms that promote reskilling sources.

Similarly, McDonald’s provides their employees access to an app, namely Archways, that maps skills learned during their job and skills to learn within their job.

Digitization and Datafication of Work

In 2024, the work delivered will be converted into digital format, ensuring information is more easily available.

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It will help leaders trace previously ‘invisible’ processes to monitor, analyze, and optimize business operations and functions.

Lately, the cost of high-level bandwidth has gone down. Coupled with the high use of automation and AI, the speed and scalability of the cloud, processes have become much smarter. The rising use of connected devices has made it easier for companies to capture data consistently and universally across the business. This has also added to operations efficiency and productivity.

These technologies will play a core role in building a data-driven workforce. However, companies that want to be digitalized will need to know how to use data to assist day-to-day tasks.

Above this, they must have proper knowledge of the tools and platforms to enforce a data-driven workforce. They must learn to spot opportunities to use them according to their business needs.

Most importantly, with the growing importance of data, ensuring its governance and security is vital. Data breaches and compliance issues can have severe consequences.

Scoop Market’s study Datafication Statistics identifies that the datafication market is anticipated to grow significantly, with USD 466 billion in 2026, USD 516 billion in 2027, and USD 555 billion in 2028

Industry-wise, the IT sector will cover a share of 15% of the datafication market in support of technologies like AI and machine Learning Integration.

Key Takeaways

Business leaders will embrace equity in the workplace as a strategic imperative for businesses. They will look for talent pools to unlock better outcomes for employees and organizations.

It will also lead to a more innovative and productive workforce. This will help businesses navigate and respond to innovative technology trends.

Moreover, with the rising gig economy, the workforce will be augmented by Web3 and Generative AI technologies.

These business shifts fuel a new work model, which is a 24/7, virtual, flexible, and boundary-less collaboration system across companies globally.

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