Why Should Your Employees Upskill in the Age of Artificial Intelligence?

    As artificial intelligence reshapes business operations, there will be a shift in job roles, necessitating training for employees to adapt. Explore the significance of your team acquiring new skills and knowledge, and consider the role that digital credentials can play in this evolution.
    calendar-plus-01 February 27, 2024
    user-circle Credly Team
    hourglass-01 5 min read
    Employees learning new AI Skills

    In the next few years, artificial intelligence could automate nearly half — 46% — of office and administrative tasks. That’s just one change that AI, which includes technological advancements such as machine learning and generative AI, is likely to make in the workplace.

    AI integration is already changing how a wide range of businesses operate. In healthcare, AI-powered software is aiding physicians in making diagnoses. In finance, AI-powered software monitors transactions, looking for potential fraud. And in manufacturing, AI and robotics are automating tasks across the factory floor. 

    For workers, the pace of change is accelerating.

    By some estimates, the half-life of job skills was just four years by 2021, meaning that in four years, half of an individual’s skills are no longer relevant in the marketplace. For specific technical skills, the pace is even faster — 2½ years, says IBM. Continuous learning is becoming a must-do for employees.

    By 2030, so-called soft skills will account for two-thirds of all jobs, up from one-half of all jobs in 2000, says consulting firm Deloitte.

    How should workers and employers respond to this changing job landscape?

    Upskilling Is More Important Than Ever

    As businesses invest heavily in AI, there’ll be a strong demand for technically skilled employees to implement and manage all the new technology. Like any piece of software or hardware, AI still needs humans to set it up, monitor its activity and make sure it’s being put to the best use.

    AI brings risks with it: Concerns about data privacy, the possibility of biased decision-making, the risk of generative AI models that “hallucinate” information, and more. To mitigate these risks, humans will need to be involved in a range of design, implementation, testing and management of AI technologies. 

    And as AI’s presence in business grows, the uniquely human activities that it cannot replace — from high-level business strategy to front-line customer service problem solving will become more important.

    For example, a Swedish bank launched an AI-powered assistant to handle routine customer inquiries a few years ago. About 30% of those still had to be handed off to a human to resolve, however, because they were too complex or too emotionally nuanced for software.

    Humans Plus AI Boost Performance

    Businesses that want to compete successfully will probably get their biggest wins when AI and humans work together.

    Researchers examined productivity and performance gains at 1,500 companies after the adoption of AI and automation technologies. Firms that used technology to displace workers only saw short-term gains. But organizations that paired humans and AI realized bigger gains.

    Workers who upskill by strengthening soft skills or upgrading their technical knowhow will have career advancement opportunities that can deliver greater job satisfaction and motivation. Companies with a strong upskilling strategy will also reap benefits:

    • Increased productivity as people adapt to new technology
      New skills enable employees to work faster and more efficiently, and companies get the full ROI from new technologies, including AI.
    • Greater innovation from individuals and teams
      More skills and newer skills mean new perspectives and ideas. That enables teams to solve problems more creatively and fosters innovation.
    • Heightened organizational competitiveness as industries change
      New technology changes customer expectations and creates new industry best practices. Upskilling ensures companies stay ahead of industry trends, making them more competitive.

    Start with Digital Credentials

    For HR leaders and learning and development professionals, the question is where to start. The answer is verified digital credentials. Here’s why.

    For companies to adapt to, and adopt, AI and related technologies, they need to know what skills their workforces already have. With that information in hand, L&D managers can use analytics to identify skill gaps and figure out which upskilling initiatives offer the highest ROI.

    However, traditional ways of gathering information about employee skills, such as reviewing resumes or relying on skills inferred by employees, are inadequate for this task. Digital credentials, badges that verify skills, create a database of information about workforce capabilities. That enables data-driven decision-making about upskilling and can confirm educational insights, such as the effectiveness of active learning.

    A digital credentials platform, such as Credly Acclaim, provides robust and reliable skills data via digital badges. That’s because digital credentials:

    • Verify skills with standardized language, allowing companies to pinpoint missing skills.
    • Integrates with learning management systems and online education platforms to streamline digital credential issuing.
    • Allows employers to recognize and reward workers who learn new skills, turning digital badges and skill recognition into a powerful motivational tool.
    • Allows managers to measure ROI for upskilling programs and other L&D initiatives.

    AI Adoption Requires Credentials Data

    As AI becomes more common, the most successful companies will seek out opportunities to increase productivity, performance and innovation by pairing AI and human workers together. Doing so, however, will require significant upskilling for workers.

    But to make data-driven decisions about upskilling and prove ROI, verified data about employee skills is needed. A digital credentials platform like Credly Acclaim is vital. Find out how verified digital credentials can help your organization become more productive, increase employee engagement and prepare for the age of AI.

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