Why are UK firms putting tech before people

Why are UK firms putting tech before people

UK firms are prioritising investment in technology over people development, according to new research commissioned by talent management business, INTOO UK & Ireland.

In their recent survey of 1,000 UK managers and employees, INTOO found that 75% of organisations are prioritising investment in technology, whereas only 45% are helping to develop the skills their employees will need to succeed in the future world of work.

A further 84% of UK workers are confident their role will continue to be carried out by people in the future, despite the introduction of new technology; whilst 58% of managers believe their teams need to develop new skills for the future. And yet, less than half of UK employers are actively investing in people development.

“Far from the recent Armageddon headlines, this research suggests that, despite the advent of Artificial intelligence, big data, automation and robotics, people will continue to have an intrinsic role to play in business success,” explained Tim Morton, Director at INTOO. “Alarmingly though, even with acknowledgement from managers and employees that they do not believe they have the skills that will be required by their organisations in the future, many UK organisations are currently prioritising investment in technology over people development.”

The report went on to suggest that a lack of investment, lack of time and lack of additional remuneration are viewed as the biggest barriers to skills development. One in four managers believe employees are not motivated to learn new skills, with adaptability being seen as the most important skill for future success.

“History is filled with examples of technological advances,” added Morton, “the industrial revolution, operational efficiencies driven by robotics in manufacturing and globalisation facilitated by the internet. Yet the need for talent with the right skills has always remained.

“What is unprecedented is the likely pace of change. Given the speed at which technology is changing how businesses operate and the degree of uncertainty this ultimately brings, organisations that haven’t already done so must start preparing their people for change, so that they are better equipped to embrace it, rather than resist it. Softer skills such as adaptability, resilience and learnability have always been important, but they will really come to the fore in the next few years.”

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