Get Ready and Resilient for the Future Workplace

Here’s how.

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The Modern Day Workforce: It’s the new post pandemic, hybrid work era of Artificial
Intelligence, fast becoming ubiquitous, completing tasks once reserved for humans including
screening resumes and doing jobs like writing marketing copy and designing websites.
Social, digital and technological trends are driving the future, and today’s workplace is getting a
makeover. And we are not ready for it, according to a recent poll of PINK Power Alliance
(PPA) attendees.

Sixty-nine percent say they are uncertain about this radical new future, 25% are excited and 6%
are concerned. Mia Thompson, Human Resources Director for NOBU Hotel Atlanta says she is “concerned
because it brings up so many policy issues in the workplace, [such as] intellectual property.”
She’s on the front lines, “trying to navigate AI” as she hires employees for the trendy new hotel and restaurant in Atlanta. Mia says she’s begun using AI to help with things like job descriptions. “We just used it for the first time for a marketing role.” In contrast Chloé Taylor Brown, a lifestyles and executive coach who recently launched Flourish Magazine, says “I’m excited. It has cut down my time working in every aspect of my business.”

Twelve percent said, “I have beefed up my skills and I’m ready.” Twenty four percent are taking
courses to get ready. But most, (58%) of those we queried, haven’t done anything about. This is
a problem. “We have to change with it or we’re going to be obsolete,” said Mia.

Look for new trends including increased direct reports and responsibilities for managers.
Instead of performance evaluators, they’ll be expected to be coaches with skills to operate with
empathy. Even non-IT jobs such as marketing/PR, accounting, business development and R&;D,
will require upskilling and digital dexterity to solve complex problems.

Retailers are using robots! Look for expanded employee data collection enabling employers to
monitor workers from home; their productivity and wellness. Employers are monitoring
employee wellness and productivity 16% more often, according to Gartner.

The role of the office is changing too. Rather than cubicles, expect hubs for innovation and social

The skills required to succeed in this new workplace, may surprise you. It’s not just digital
acumen. “We’re focusing on soft skills and communication,” said Mia. It is skills such as listening, empathy,
compassion, collaboration and critical thinking said experts brought in for the PPA zoom
gathering on the topic. (CHECK OUT THE VIDEO!)

Consultant and executive coach Annette Tirabasso, says skills expected to be in big demand
include “clear communication, project management and negotiation skills, ability to delegate
up front, patience, being organized and good follow up.”

To prepare, “We need to take courses on our own,” said Marva Bailey, Vice President of Globality, an
AI company. Her advice? “Get out of your swim lane. Don’t identify yourself as your job. Take
those authentic skills and think broader.” To prepare, she suggests reading Rewired by McKinsey.
Says Chloé, “Help [employees] adjust with mentorship.”

Marva recommends identifying the three skills most important to your job, and focusing on
those. Get acquainted with things like GPT Chat said Annette. Mia added, “Embrace [new technology],
play around with it. Become more comfortable.” And a note to job seekers, Mia said, “I’d like to see [them] be more strategic. Where are you trying to go [in the next three years]?”

This change we’re experiencing is stressful. For this reason, the experts agreed, as Mia said, “We
have to normalize practicing extreme self-care.”

And don’t be too worried about losing your job Annette said, “AI can write a plan. But AI cannot
plan.” Morgan Zucco, a PPA member from Southern Company added, “AI won’t close the deal..
won’t get it across finishing line like a human would.”

Annette said it comes down to simply “Focus[ing] on being really good at what you do, how you
do it and your relationships…As long as you keep up with the technology, good people are just
going to get better.” Adds Marva, “This is a great way to invest in yourself and your company.”

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anaïs Nin

By Cynthia Good

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