TJ Newsflash: 21 July

TJ’s latest summary of news focusses on recent research in the field of talent, learning and development

Employers aren’t using AI to its full potential

Employees in the UK could save approximately 390 hours of working time per year with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – according to new data commissioned by people analytics company Visier. The data revealed that on average, of those employees already embracing AI in the workplace, Brits are saving 1.55 hours per day. The data comes as the UK government build the regulations needed to keep up with AI and reveals that in spite of these time savings, employers aren’t yet fully embracing AI’s potential to support productivity in the workplace, with more than half of employees (56%) stating that their employer is not encouraging the use of AI in the workplace.

More than half of employees (53%) are concerned about AI replacing the skills they currently have, and more than two in three (67%) agree that developing AI skills is going to be important for their future career growth. As employees plan for the future, there is an expectation that employers to take the lead on AI upskilling (52%). 

When employees were asked about skills development, there was a big discrepancy between the skills employees rank in developing most highly, and their attitudes shown towards the importance of AI skills. Traditional skills such as soft skills (40%) and leadership skills (43%) were ranked as the most important skills to support career growth. Yet, hard skills such as emerging technology (10%) were not ranked as highly as the development of traditional skills. 

This would suggest that whilst those employees already using AI understand it’ll be important to keep pace with the technology at work, there are still those who remain sceptical. More than one in three (36%) said that AI will add to stress at work, whilst 37% are concerned their accuracy will dip and 38% are worried about their data privacy. 

It’s clear that part of the workforce are welcoming AI, with 40% in agreement that it will improve their work life balance, and 31% stating that they think it will help to close the skills gap in the UK workforce. 

Read more about the research here

UK companies doing well on flexible working

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill will reach its final stage this month, and if passed it should make it easier for employees to work flexibly.  The UK Workforce Index – a study of working conditions and attitudes of 1,000 UK self-employed and freelance workers and 500 business decision makers – found that the majority of UK companies already have a significant proportion of their workforce working flexibly.

The research from Fiverr’s found the average UK company’s workforce is now made up of 58% full time workers and 42% freelancers and part-time staff (21% each). They also found that following a spate of layoffs, majority (8 in 10) of UK SMBs plan to hire again in the next six months yet 60% say that it is a challenge to fill roles with 96% of businesses saying they have engaged, or will engage freelance support in 2023.

The report further revealed that the cost of living and AI is affecting freelancers and their roles, with 33% of freelancers saying there’s less demand for their skills. However, 70% of freelancers believe not enough is being done to educate around how AI will impact freelancer services but over a third (36%) believe it will create new opportunities.

Read the full report here

Skills are a top trend in the learning tech space

Human capital analysts and thought leaders, RedThread Research recently released their 2023 Learning Technology Provider Landscape, that analysed the state of the learning technology market and what the future holds for this tech space. The data, as well as the providers themselves, identified skills as a top trend in the learning tech space. In addition to a growing emphasis on skills, the report also reveals that learning is expanding to include performance, coaching, engagement, intelligence and business. 

Varying levels of optimism span the learning tech provider market: smaller providers were the most optimistic about revenue growth while larger ones were more cautiously optimistic. The report also notes that generative AI is having at least a two-fold impact on learning technology: Providers are cautiously using generative AI to enhance existing functionalities, and the adoption of generative AI could positively affect the industry’s long-term growth potential regarding investments. 

‘Learning tech is, in many cases, leading the charge when it comes to the evolving and expanding nature of workplace learning itself,’ said Dani Johnson, RedThread co-founder and co-author of the report. “This shift, in tandem with providers’ optimism about revenue growth and the potential for future investment as generative AI creates new opportunities, indicates a fairly bright future for the learning tech space, despite a recent slowdown in tech overall.”

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UK employees see equality in learning and development opportunities

UK employees think their organisations lead the way in providing equal access to personal development compared to many other European countries. The Bridge the Skills Gap research of 24,235 employee respondents from the UK, Europe, Latin America and Australia found 51% of UK respondents believing there was equality in access to L&D opportunities. However, 36% of UK employees think personal development investment is influenced by status and job level factors

Personal development still remains biased and may be influenced by certain factors. For example, 36% of UK employees believe personal development is unequal based on their status and level in the company, whilst 28% think it’s influenced by team and department. The numbers drop even lower when judging access to L&D based on length of employment (17%), age (15%), gender (9%) and race (7%).

The GoodHabitz ‘Bridge the Skills’ report is available to download here.

­Winners of the 2023 Best Workplaces for Women™ are revealed

The UK has unveiled its 2023 list of Best Workplaces for Women™. UK-based organisations from a range of industries have earned official recognition for driving an inclusive and equitable workplace culture for women. Top achievers Home Group Ltd, Elements Talent Consultancy, Sellick Partnership and  ID Comms each took first place in the Super Large, Large, Medium and Small size categories respectively.

The responses of nearly 80,000 UK-based female employees were analysed and it was found that the organisations where women reported a highly positive workplace experience are going above and beyond to ensure fair treatment in terms of pay and benefits, workload stress, and development and promotion opportunities. The 2023 UK’s Best Workplaces for Women list represents companies whose employees have said they work for a place that is equitable and fair for all.

To view the full list of 2023 Best Workplaces™ for Women click here.

Debbie Carter

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