What impact does the advancing digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution connected inseparably with it have on businesses and their employees?
In any case, they lead to new and ever-changing requirements: In the face of continuous change, employees need to develop new skills in order to be able to act appropriately in a given situation. Anyone who wants to succeed on the (labor) market today should be able to react to new situations consistently and quickly. This requires good knowledge management – both for the employee and the entrepreneur. With regard to training and continued professional development (CPD), this involves nothing less than a complete change in the learning landscape: from a linear, teaching approach to self-organized and action-oriented knowledge management.
Automation also changes job profiles: some will disappear, new ones will be created. Against the background of the prevailing shortage of skilled workers, covering this process of change in a cost-conscious and know-how-related way using one’s own resources poses a real challenge. As experienced external service providers, we are asked to offer employees structures and processes that enable target-oriented and synergetic (continued) development. Matching the current challenges and requirements – and preferably based on a system.
CPD 4.0 – oriented on current media usage patterns
We think it makes sense to orient CPD on current media usage patterns. But what factors need to be considered? First of all, we should look at the established formats. Search engines, for example, utilize a positive aspect of user motivation: Since they provide help in situations of uncertainty, they always encounter an intrinsically motivated user. The second most successful search engine in the world is currently YouTube. It conveys information via moving images both as needed and in a sustainable way. As needed, because the essential information is presented in a way that is easy to understand and visually supported. Sustainably, because the information is really needed, immediately applied and thus internalized.
In addition to search engines, social networks remain an important access point for Internet users. The success of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Co. is based on the active transfer and absorption of information (corresponding to one’s own interest). Like with YouTube, this also is a situation involving intrinsic user motivation. But in this case, aspects of personal fulfillment certainly play a key role here. As is the ability to communicate with others or like-minded people anywhere and anytime.
Digitalization is welcome – if it makes everyday life easier
These examples show: Digitalization is seen as a good thing whenever it makes everyday life easier. The same applies to autonomous driving: Many people, including me, like to drive a car themselves. But only as long as they can actually drive. Most of the joy of driving disappears in the daily confrontation with traffic jams or congested traffic (Cologne comes to mind here). This is when I would like to benefit from autonomous driving to be able to take care of other things as I like – instead of starting, slowing down, starting again for 5 meters, slowing down etc.
Utilizing the tools of digitalization and the drivers of everyday (private) usage patterns can enable target-oriented synergies in terms of work 4.0. Because one thing is true: If employees are intrinsically motivated to make use of information, it will become anchored more firmly. Especially if that information is positive. This is achieved when, on the one hand, a central knowledge management system is the supporting component in challenging situations and, on the other hand, the individual has the opportunity to achieve personal fulfillment. The latter is often combined with a development opportunity for the company as well. If the benefits of digitalization also make life easier for users, it works out for everybody.
An example for a better understanding
Let’s look at the automotive sector. The car dealer, for example, will often feel at a disadvantage in his job. Although he is generally quite adept, he is usually “less well informed” than his customer. In many cases, the customer has already informed himself in advance about the possibilities of customization and is now expecting further detailed information (from the expert). It is therefore important to bring the expert up to the required level of knowledge in the shortest possible time by means of targeted information transfer. This needs to be done via intuitive knowledge management in a structured system, based on current media usage patterns.
And if you continue to think through potential developments in the automotive sector, it becomes clear that there will be even more challenges for car dealerships. The more autonomous driving becomes, the more prominent other digital features in terms of driving comfort will become, which are relevant for the buyer in the discussion with the dealer. And the changing technologies in engines – just think of diesel gate -, equipment, etc. will also change the job profile of car dealers. It will move much more towards digital technologies and a focus on services.
Requirements and competencies therefore change across the board, and new skills are necessary. Lifelong learning becomes a reality. And what is experienced by car dealers can, of course, also be witnessed in the upstream industries of product design and development.
What can a solution look like now?
It would therefore be desirable to have an intelligent system that qualifies employees for future career development. A system that enables the employee to manage knowledge in order to competently solve situational challenges and facilitate the process of lifelong learning – and one that also recognizes where vacancies arise as a result of demographic change, for example. On the basis of employee data and profiles, the system can also identify which candidates are suitable for new or open job profiles or can be easily introduced to corresponding positions. Artificial intelligence that supports the company in times of a shortage of skilled workers where it is most competent: in connection with its own employees.
Appropriate recommendation management of the system encourages employees to develop their own skills in a self-organized and responsible manner. An appropriate learning path promotes motivation, and future-oriented specialist management eliminates fears and saves costs. An AI education or learning management system therefore has a key role to play in the world of work 4.0. Based on media usage patterns and leveraging the successful drivers of digital information offerings, it is an interface that makes work easier, provides information and facilitates management for personnel development and organizational development.
At the end of the day, Working 4.0 therefore also means a refinement and advancement of the educational system in the course of digitalization. And wherever automation has its benefits, digitalization will also become a topic. As a result, the system may actually lead us to our future job in a traffic jam – with our current employer. While the car deals with the traffic jam. Who says you can’t have visions? Challenge accepted?