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According to A recent survey Led by KPMG, the impact of generative AI on business operations is growing rapidly, with profound implications for the workforce. The survey results reveal that a substantial 72% of respondents believe GenAI has the potential to significantly improve productivity within their organizations. Furthermore, 66% of respondents foresee a transformation in the future work landscape, while 62% recognize the ability of AI to stimulate innovation and facilitate the development of new products and services.
The company believes these findings underscore the growing importance of GenAI in driving organizational success and fostering creativity and progress.
“Strategic businesses will benefit most from the implementation of AI,” Felicia Lyon, head of human capital consulting at KPMG, told VentureBeat. “Individuals will benefit from having more time to focus on these tasks as more tactical tasks are automated and a greater ability to perform them due to ease of access to information and support (aka analytics) capabilities.”
Beware of Generative AI
While acknowledging the positives, survey participants also remained cautious about the potential negative implications of adopting generative AI.
Specifically, 47% of respondents express concern about job security, while 41% worry about limited opportunities for career advancement. Additionally, nearly two-fifths (39%) of executives expect an increase in antisocial behavior in the workplace due to reduced social interactions.
Lyon said these findings highlight the need for careful consideration and proactive steps to address the potential challenges of integrating GenAI into organizational settings.
“Companies are addressing these concerns by deconstructing jobs and adopting a skills-based view of work,” Lyon said. “Companies can see where they have adjacent skills and can move employees into new roles, and they can see where they need to upskill their employees so they can fill other positions and roles within the company.”
The impact of generative AI on talent and jobs in the workplace
The study reveals that implementing GenAI requires acquiring new talent and upskilling existing employees, as noted by 66 percent of respondents.
In fact, 71% of these executives believe the IT/technology function will need to hire and train employees to ensure seamless integration. Therefore, during the implementation phase, executives prioritize skills in AI, machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), text-to-speech and speech-to-text.
However, even if respondents acknowledge the obligation to hire and train employees for implementation, only 12% believe their workforce is competent enough to adopt.
Additionally, a quarter of US executives lack a clear strategy for people to integrate their workforce with AI capabilities, while nearly a third expect employee resistance during the adoption and onboarding phases.
Cultivate responsible AI
Lyon highlighted the importance of cultivating a culture of responsible use of AI in hiring and upskilling employees. You said organizations can maintain market trust and improve employee internal branding by helping employees understand the best ways to leverage AI for business goals.
“It is important to distinguish between the skills IT needs to securely develop and sustain technology and the skills the broader workforce needs to adopt AI and identify opportunities to leverage AI,” Lyon explained.
He added: “As organizations navigate this shift, it is important to ensure that their skills ecosystem allows leaders to quickly analyze current and future workforce skills (based on hiring plans, attrition, learning). Additionally, a consistent approach to measuring skills will be key to making informed decisions.”
Creating jobs with GenAI
The survey also explores the potential for job creation through generative AI. A significant 76% of US executives expect a positive impact on IT and software-related roles with widespread adoption. The top three job categories that should benefit include IT and software-related jobs, creative jobs, and customer service jobs.
However, according to 64% of respondents, administrative roles involving tasks such as data entry and record keeping will experience the most significant negative impact across all industries and functions.
While 20% of respondents express optimism about the positive impact of generative AI on manufacturing jobs, 24% (including over 33% of respondents from the consumer, retail and industrial manufacturing sectors) believe that the adoption of AI will negatively affect those jobs.
“Today, AI can write code and simulate tests at scale; AI-powered chatbots and synthetic voice solutions can take over large portions of customer service and image/video creation,” Lyon said. “A large portion of the activities within these jobs will be done by AI, increasing speed, quality and efficiency at scale”.
Human competence is vital
At the same time, said Lyon, “the need for human input and expertise will remain vital to ensure the successful integration and operation of AI systems – that is, developing recommendations that add value to the operating model, managing complex and creative initial generation of ideas.”
Organizations should address major disruptions pragmatically, he said, by proactively retraining or retraining employees whose jobs may become outdated, enabling them to adapt to new needs, and facilitating intercompany mobility.
“Employees who hold administrative jobs tend to have a broad knowledge of the organization and its operations,” said Lyon. “That knowledge, combined with upgrading or retraining, will allow individuals to be more easily repurposed within the organization. To support employees through this change, organizations should rethink their career paths to accommodate these transitions and fine-tune their learning ecosystem to accommodate them. In addition, work replacement assistance programs can be installed in the event of future ineligibility.
A future of new opportunities with generative AI
According to Lyon, AI will fundamentally reshape business models, offering new avenues for growth, efficiency and innovation, which require proactive engagement from the workforce. As a result, he believes the adoption of AI will quickly move from a competitive advantage to an essential requirement.
“For optimal AI adoption, AI and data literacy is critical,” he said. “So, employees need to be trained and rewarded for working with new technology and subsequently integrating it to the point where experimentation becomes a structural tool to continuously unlock potential. Additional roles will emerge that will help ensure the quality, data privacy, cybersecurity and ethics associated with AI solutions.”
Lyon notes that the implementation of generative AI is still in its early stages. He suggests that organizations evaluate talent strategies by developing a compelling value proposition for tech talent to improve AI practices. Additionally, organizations should explore ways to recognize and reward the responsible use of AI.
“Who knows better how to make the job easier than the person doing the job?” said Lyons. “Above all, it will be important for leaders to set the tone, sharing the vision of how they want to leverage AI forever in their organization, in service of their customers. By being ahead, the leader can inspire confidence in the workforce and help employees see a vision for the future.
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