Author Archive %s Markus Dohm

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The Skills Revolution – Hello Automation, Goodbye Workers?

What does the future hold for automation? One thing is certain: We’ll have to learn new skills. Skills to deal with change, for jobs we don’t even have an idea about today. The Manpower Group, the world’s largest employment services provider, asked 18,000 employers in 43 countries from 6 industrial sectors what these skills could be, what activities we would have to perform and what the working world could look like in the near future. This means that the current technology can automate up to 45 percent of the tasks for which people are paid every day. At the same time, we have long since adapted to this development in the job market – chatbots, automatic customer service on the phone, word processing programs and even personal assistants are nothing new. The difference now is that the life cycle of skills is shorter than ever and changes are taking place on an unprecedented scale. The impact may be hyperinflated today, but as the cost and complexity of implementing technology decreases, the speed will continue to accelerate.

And yet: New technologies can be expensive and require people with expertise. Employers are therefore reluctant to say “hello automation, goodbye workers” with full vigor. Most employers expect a net gain for employees through automation and adaptation to digitization. 83 percent intend to maintain or increase their headcount and train their employees over the next two years. Only 12 percent of employers plan to reduce the number of employees due to automation. What does this look like in your company? Do you rely more on new technologies or on loyal employees who are willing to take further training?

Employability = willingness to learn new things

We can assume that the value we place on different abilities will soon change. Digitization and the growth of skilled labor offer opportunities as long as organizations and individuals are prepared to embrace this change in values. New technologies will replace both cognitive and manual routine tasks, allowing people to assume more fulfilling roles and leave routine tasks to an algorithm. Creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are skills that harness human potential and enable humans to complement rather than be replaced by robots. People will increasingly realize that they need to move into new areas and diversify. Openness for skill acquisition, flexibility and the ability to learn will be decisive.

For people, employability – the ability to get and keep a desired job – no longer depends on what they can already do, but on their willingness to learn new things they don’t yet know about. The companies that can combine the right combination of people, skills and technology are the ones that will persevere and win. Take a look at your corporate structure: Who can do what and to what extent have you implemented new technical solutions? Is there potential for improvement in one or the other area?

Know-how transfer from person to person

The future of work requires different skills and employers need to focus more than ever on retraining and education to cope with the current talent shortage and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. Almost three quarters invest in internal training to keep their qualifications up to date. 44 percent hire additional skilled workers instead of replacing them, and more than a third persuade third parties or contractors to transfer expertise to their own employees. We should not underestimate the value of the human connection. The transformation of work in the age of machines does not have to be a struggle between man and robot.

Which talents do you promote in your company?

The Manpower Group has proclaimed the “Skills Revolution”. It requires a new mindset both for employers who are trying to develop a workforce with the right skills and for people who want to advance their careers. Educational initiatives to strengthen the talent pipeline are important, but not the only answer and may take many years to bear fruit. Companies must play a role to improve people’s lives and be an important part of the solution. Now is the time for managers and individuals to become aware of their responsibilities and be responsive. Find out about the opportunities to promote talent and develop new skills in your company. TÜV Rheinland Academy, for example, can help you with this. We support you with tried and tested solutions for people in the workplace and in their professional environment. Contact us and we will discuss together which forms and methods can best be used in your company.

More information is available at: https://www.tuv.com/

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Vocational Training with TÜV Rheinland

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Organizations around the globe have increasing demands for qualified employees to meet market expectations that are driven by technology. When management realizes the importance of vocational training or further education of their employees they face the challenge of how to realize it effectively in terms of time, effort and result. Whether you are a private company, a governmental authority or an educational institute, TÜV Rheinland supports you to further educate your employees in line with your local industry demands.

Practical and targeted technical vocational training means better skilled and qualified employees, which in turn leads to improved regional, economic and social development. In such an environment, potential employees find more job opportunities and companies can draw on qualified staff to boost production or provide enhanced services. Companies may even experience cost reductions as it becomes easier to hire locally rather than internationally.

Technical Vocational Education and Training of TÜV Rheinland ensures a simple but high efficient way of qualification for your employees – worldwide. In our concept of vocational training, your employees learn the theory and can on top immediately practice with the didactic training systems. Thus, after the training, your employees are perfectly prepared for their professional responsibilities.

We are strongly rooted in the German dual vocational system and offer customized vocational learning solutions and a broad scope of related consultancy services especially in technical fields, and available across all industries. Choosing us enables you to access a depth of expertise and technical knowledge difficult to find elsewhere. The breadth of our experience in nearly every industry allows us to create workforce development programs to meet your specific needs.

We enable you:

  • to develop skills and competencies of your current and future employees.
  • to close skill gap.
  • to develop your employees´ potential continuously.
  • to increase international mobility of your people.
  • to train your trainers.
Learn more in our video how it works:

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Cooperation between Man and Artificial Intelligence

How can people and artificial intelligence work together in the future?

Artificial intelligence and digitalization produce new headlines every day. The tenor of the report fluctuates between admiration and admonition. How can people and machines work together in the future? Or won’t they work together because machines do the work?

For large parts of the population, the image of artificial intelligence is dominated by boulevard publications and the film industry. If machines learn to defeat the human grandmasters in chess or Go, media satisfaction spreads. Artificial intelligence represents the pinnacle of human inventiveness. In the films The Matrix and Terminator, on the other hand, machines have long since taken control of enslaved humanity. The mood oscillates between fear and admiration. The Handelsblatt, for example, chose the lowest common denominator in a commentary in which AI was described as a curse and a blessing.[1]

AI has come to stay

Highly specialized systems based on machine learning, pattern recognition or robotics are conquering ever larger fields of application. AI systems are used in the insurance industry to uncover cases of fraud or to process claims, they optimize routes and merchandise planning in retail and personalize the way consumers are approached in marketing or create individual dynamic prices. Even in highly specialized areas, AI systems are set to take over people’s tasks. Self-learning systems prepare forecasts and evaluate key figures in controlling.

And the experiences of the first companies to rely on AI are impressively positive. Last year, insurer Zurich caused a sensation when the company reported that it had processed claims in the claims handling area using AI within seconds for which a person needed more than 50 minutes. There is no doubt that artificial intelligence will shape the world of work shortly.

AI creates more sales and new jobs

That sounds like a job-killing technology that brings the destruction of livelihoods. The study “Reworking the Revolution” by Accenture comes to a different conclusion. There is no doubt that AI systems will take over people’s tasks. For example, chatbots will communicate with customers directly over the phone without people noticing that they are talking to a computer. But at the end of the day, the authors of the study assume that companies that rely on AI could increase their sales by up to 38 percent by 2022 and even create more net jobs.

But the tasks of the employees will change. Surprised, Accenture found that few companies have recognized that changing the world of work requires different skills from their employees.

The new world of work requires new skills and competencies

AI systems are IT systems. Competences with complex technical systems and the computer will undoubtedly retain their already great importance. But IT knowledge alone will not be enough in the working world of the future to keep employees firmly in the saddle. The assumption of more complex tasks by the machines enables new forms of cooperation. In industry, employees will probably no longer be responsible for a particular machine or manufacturing step. If machines transfer workpieces to each other and the production of another piece can be started with just a few mouse clicks, the employees have a new role to play. You need to keep an eye on processes, perhaps even communicate directly with suppliers or customers. But they must also be equipped with the necessary skills to do so.

Digitization and the introduction of AI in companies can only succeed if employees are involved from the outset and do not become affected. However, inclusion makes it necessary for employees to recognize the benefits of the technologies. It is not possible without knowledge about one’s own company, current developments in the industry as a whole and an understanding of what the actual business model of the employer is.

Create an atmosphere that encourages learning and the fun of training

While in the past one or the other employers may have only considered the demand for “lifelong learning” as just a phrase and invested accordingly cautiously in further training, demand is becoming more urgent than ever. Because AI systems change at a rapid pace. This is why companies need to create an atmosphere that encourages learning and the fun of training.

As far as can already be seen today, AI systems promote interdisciplinary work and corresponding forms of organization. The employee of the future must, therefore, be able to adapt to changing situations and other people. Such social competencies will be just as necessary as incentives for more creativity. In many cases, AI systems will aggregate data, but the necessary conclusions and the verification of valid hypotheses will continue to be the responsibility of human intelligence.

This is why companies will benefit most from AI, which best combines the benefits of electronic systems with the capabilities of people. And this can only be achieved with solid further training and active management of competencies in a company.

Learn more:

[1] https://www.handelsblatt.com/meinung/kommentare/kommentar-kuenstliche-intelligenz-ist-gleichzeitig-fluch-und-segen/21006486.html?ticket=ST-372739-bwhjlDya4cJUNj71Btba-ap3

70-20-10 Learning model

70-20-10? What still applies to personnel developers after 30 years – and what does not.

70-20-10: Over three decades these have been the dream measures for personnel developers: 70 percent we learn in the job, 20 percent in social interaction with one another and 10 percent in the context of formal further training. 30 years have passed since Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger first published this insight in their book “The Career Architect Development Planner”, based on studies by the US Center for Creative Leadership, a global provider of executive education. Many found this so convincing that the 70-20-10 model is still in use in many companies throughout the world today.

But – how useful can such a model still be today? A lot has changed in the last three decades in the working world, and digitization in companies, in particular, is progressing highly dynamically.

What’s important here: previously, the model referred primarily to the development of managers. This does not mean that it is completely irrelevant for lower or middle management employees. Today’s studies, however, would take into account the entire company structure and the entire workforce. With the keyword of digitization in mind, this means that an update of learning models and personnel development is needed. Fortunately, that already exists.

The Update

In 2017, Training Industry Inc, an information portal for the continuing education industry in the USA, conducted a study with around 960 employees. Colleagues also wanted to know where employees learn the most today: at work, in the social sector or in in-service training? The result: With the current test persons from the USA they came up with the 55-25-20 formula.
To find out whether this result would also be internationally valid, the research team added further professionals from the USA, UK, India, Singapore and Australia in 2018. Subsequently, the researchers came to an average of 45-27-28, values that also deviate from 55-25-20, but clearly no longer point in the direction of 70-20-10. Thus, 55-25-20 is an average value.
According to their findings, there are significant factors that influence the result:

In particular, people learn on the job

  • when the company is very large.
  • employees have a high average age.
  • team building is very small.

In this instance, social interaction mainly provides for an improved learning experience

  • if the team building is very good.
  • employees have a low average age.

Formal training is then accepted above all,

  • if the companies are smaller.

What can we learn from this? Personnel developers must determine for themselves which formula is right for their own company – or obtain external support from experts.
The good news: the original assumption of the 70-20-10 model can still be seen as the basis for the new findings. What has changed is the proportion of learning sources and how they interact with each other. Much of the learning takes place in the workplace or through social interaction. This is nothing new and also no reason to concentrate exclusively on these two sources of learning, especially not at the expense of formal training. Thus, the study also comes to the conclusion that in-service training is the key to maximizing learning outcomes from the other two sources – especially in times when knowledge is growing faster but also devaluing faster than ever before.

And: Effective further training for the working world of tomorrow has long been more than just classroom learning. Digitization and the current state of the art enable many exciting interactive formats today, from e-learning to blended learning web-based training to serious games, audiocast and dialogue simulation. Such solutions encourage curiosity, because in this instance, the user can learn in a relaxed way without the consequences of mistakes. At the same time, he receives immediate feedback on his actions, which leads to self-impacting successes – and in the end is perhaps not so dissimilar to the feedback he receives in interacting with colleagues in the workplace.