digital conversion

The digital revolution will either be the skills revolution or it will not be the skills revolution.

The digital revolution will either be the skills revolution or not, according to a new study by Accenture Strategy. The majority of employees believe that new technologies will have a positive impact on their work, even if they are lucid about automating some of their activities. They believe these technologies will help them be more efficient, learn new skills and improve the quality of their work.
Un new report of Accenture Strategy warns that, in view of the rapidly changing digital environment, leaders must engage and actively train their employees to fully embrace the tools and ways of operating in the digital age, acquire new skills and know-how to adapt to change and remain relevant in the world of work to come. Anna-Christina Chaves of the Concorde Foundation explains in Le Monde that France can benefit from automation provided that it takes significant measures on the employment front.
Fewer than 10 % jobs are threatened by robotics, artificial intelligence and Internet-related technologies. But nearly one in two is likely to be transformed, warns the Employment Guidance Council, as well as the WCC, a think-tank under the authority of the Prime Minister. "10 % "exposed" because they "significantly combine characteristics that make them vulnerable". Like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) previously, which arrived at the figure of 9 %, the WCC therefore rejects the black scenario that would see hordes of robots or software scanning humans in the workplace. "Only a small proportion of jobs have a high automation index," he says, even though these "less than 10 %" still represent 1.49 million jobs, where an extrapolation of the OECD percentage to the working population results in 2.6 million.
To arrive at this figure, the WCC has used data from the latest Dares (Ministry of Labour) survey on working conditions, but has sought to go further than any previous study. In addition to an estimate of "exposed" jobs and a breakdown by occupation, its study measured the proportion of jobs affected by occupation.
As a result, nearly one out of every two jobs is likely to see its content evolve as a result of robotization and digitization. (Source : Les é
France Stratégie 2017 study
For France StrategyThe mastery of digital tools, also known as "digital literacy", is the necessary condition for the autonomy and integration of individuals in the digital age. The question of training is a lifelong issue, as digital skills are becoming essential on the labour market (Akène Groupe). This must result in a profound change in training, so that workers are ready to exercise new professions resulting from technological change, but also in a profound overhaul of our social protection, so that workers are covered regardless of their form of activity (Pierre-Yves Geoffard, CNRS - EHESS).

According to this report ("Harnessing Revolution: Creating the Future Workforce."), managers therefore have a real responsibility towards their employees, both for reasons of their company's competitiveness and for reasons of social responsibility. The aim is both to create the conditions for accelerating their digital transformation, by limiting worries and resistance, and to prepare the talents of tomorrow by ensuring the long-term employability of employees.
Lack of digital skills is a new form of illiteracy."
Neelie Kroes, former Vice-President of the European Commission

Doubling the pace of training would significantly reduce the proportion of jobs threatened by automation.

The stakes for companies, employees and society as a whole are considerable. Valuing in future business models so-called "human" skills such as critical thinking, creativity and emotional intelligence (including empathy and the ability to deal with the unexpected) can significantly reduce the loss of jobs related to automation and create new sources of value creation.
In this study, the modelling work carried out by Accenture Strategy shows that by doubling the rate at which employees acquire the necessary skills, the share of jobs threatened by automation could be reduced by a third or even a half, depending on the countries analysed: in the United States, this share would fall from 10 % to 4 %; in the United Kingdom and Germany, the same increase in training would lead to reductions from 9 % to 6 % and from 15 % to 10 %, respectively.
"With the development of "self-service", the importance of human contact as a marker of customer relations and as a creator of "brand capital" is becoming increasingly apparent. Skills that could be described as truly human, such as the ability to have empathy as well as authority, to be able to deal with emotional situations or to have the creativity to deal with the unexpected, become even more relevant," he says. says Fabrice Asvazadourian, Executive Director. of Accenture Strategy for France and Benelux. "Companies will need to find the right balance between leveraging technology to improve customer service and investing in people to ensure that employees fully embrace the new codes of customer relations and collaboration with colleagues and external partners. Our survey in 10 countries shows that employees everywhere are lucid and optimistic. Lucid about the personal training effort they need to make to take ownership of digital technologies and optimistic about the opportunities for repositioning on the higher value-added tasks they offer. »

Employees are positive about the impact of new technologies on their work and are willing to train to adapt.

The report is also based on a survey of 10,527 professionals in ten countries. And whether in France, the United States, Brazil, India or the six other countries surveyed, employees overwhelmingly have a positive attitude towards the impact of digital technologies on their work. For 87 % of the employees surveyed worldwide (78% in France), the impact of digital technology on their work should be positive. More than two-thirds believe that technologies such as robots, analytics and artificial intelligence will help them to be more efficient (74% in the world and 67% in France), to acquire new skills (73 % in the world and 67% in France) and to improve the quality of their work (66 % in the world and 56% in France).
The study also reveals that 87 % of employees worldwide (85% in France) expect some of their activity to be automated over the next five years. However, 80% of them (72% in France) see this automation more as an opportunity to refocus on higher value-added activities.
In addition, the values that today's employees hold dear will force leaders to rethink how they motivate, reward and support their employees. According to modeling by Accenture Strategy and Gallup, non-financial factors such as well-being, engagement, quality of life and recognition have become as important or more important than salary and other financial benefits.
"It is the responsibility of managers to ensure the employability of their employees and also to create today the talent pool they will need tomorrow". according to Fabrice Asvazadourian. "Leaders who truly put their people at the heart of their digital transformation and understand the urgency of the challenge are those who will succeed in this world of reinvention, which requires unprecedented adaptability and speed."

READ ALSO IN UP' : Taking advantage of the digital revolution

Some ideas for reflection 

- Use digital to train digitally. We need to capitalize on the current mindset, which is more based on "lifelong learning" (85 % employees worldwide and 73% in France being ready to invest their free time in the next six months to acquire new skills) and use digital to train on a large scale and quickly by giving each employee the opportunity to customize his or her program. This is of course the rise of e-learning and MOOCs, but it can also include wearable technologies for real-time training in the workplace. It also involves intelligent software that allows training to be personalised by offering recommendations and helping a person with their learning needs throughout their working life.
- Rethinking work to tap human potential. Co-creating job opportunities based on specific roles and projects to respond to employees' desire for variety and flexibility. Develop platforms through which resources and services can be offered to both employees and freelancers to create a community that retains top talent.
- Strengthen the talent pool, upstream. Responding to the growing pressure on skilled labor in the field of new technologies by offering long-term collective solutions. These may include public-private partnerships and collaboration with the education sector to anticipate the exponential growth in training needs for the most in-demand skills, while making fuller use of new "on-demand" delivery modes offering training paths tailored to individual needs.
Accenture has combined quantitative and qualitative research techniques to analyze how active and responsible leadership can create tomorrow's talent. The research program is based on a survey, econometric modeling and index, complemented by in-depth interviews with experts from leading schools, startups, corporations and government.
The online survey was conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Australia, India and Japan, among 10,527 professionals (including 1,023 in France) representing different fields of expertise and different generations. It took place between 26 November and 9 December 2016.

Conference on the digital revolution (third edition of "Monde d'emploi") on Monday 6 February, from 18 h to 21 h, at Val Saint-Martin, in Pornic (44). Admission is free.

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