In a future teeming with robots and artificial intelligence, humans seem to be on the verge of being crowded out. But in reality the opposite is true.
To be successful, organizations need to become more human than ever.
Organizations that focus only on automation will automate away their competitive edge. The most successful will focus instead on skills that set them apart and that can’t be duplicated by AI or machine learning. Those skills can be summed up in one word: humanness.
You can see it in the numbers. According to David J. Deming of the Harvard Kennedy School, demand for jobs that require social skills has risen nearly 12 percentage points since 1980, while less-social jobs, such as computer coding, have declined by a little over 3 percentage points.
AI is in its infancy, which means that it cannot yet come close to duplicating our most human skills. Stefan van Duin and Naser Bakhshi, consultants at professional services company Deloitte, break down artificial intelligence into two types: narrow and general. Narrow AI is good at specific tasks, such as playing chess or identifying facial expressions. General AI, which can learn and solve complex, multifaceted problems the way a human being does, exists today only in the minds of futurists.
The only thing narrow artificial intelligence can do is automate. It can’t empathize. It can’t collaborate. It can’t innovate. Those abilities, if they ever come, are still a long way off. In the meantime, AI’s biggest value is in augmentation. When human beings work with AI tools, the process results in a sort of augmented intelligence. This augmented intelligence outperforms the work of either human beings or AI software tools on their own.
AI-powered tools will be the partners that free employees and management to tackle higher-level challenges.
Those challenges will, by default, be more human and social in nature because many rote, repetitive tasks will be automated away. Companies will find that developing fundamental human skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, within the organization will take on a new importance. These skills can’t be automated and they won’t become process steps for algorithms anytime soon.
In a world where technology change is constant and unpredictable, those organizations that make the fullest use of uniquely human skills will win. These skills will be used in collaboration with both other humans and AI-fueled software and hardware tools. The degree of humanness an organization possesses will become a competitive advantage.
This means that today’s companies must think about hiring, training, and leading differently. Most of today’s corporate training programs focus on imparting specific knowledge that will likely become obsolete over time.
Instead of hiring for portfolios of specific subject knowledge, organizations should instead hire—and train—for more foundational skills, whose value can’t erode away as easily.
Recently, educational consulting firm Hanover Research looked at high-growth occupations identified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and determined the core skills required in each of them based on a database that it had developed. The most valuable skills were active listening, speaking, and critical thinking—giving lie to the dismissive term soft skills. They’re not soft; they’re human.
This doesn’t mean that STEM skills won’t be important in the future. But organizations will find that their most valuable employees are those with both math and social skills.
That’s because technical skills will become more perishable as AI shifts the pace of technology change from linear to exponential. Employees will require constant retraining over time. For example, roughly half of the subject knowledge acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree, such as computer science, is already outdated by the time students graduate, according to The Future of Jobs, a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF’s report further notes that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist.” By contrast, human skills such as interpersonal communication and project management will remain consistent over the years.
For example, organizations already report that they are having difficulty finding people equipped for the Big Data era’s hot job: data scientist. That’s because data scientists need a combination of hard and soft skills. Data scientists can’t just be good programmers and statisticians; they also need to be intuitive and inquisitive and have good communication skills. We don’t expect all these qualities from our engineering graduates, nor from most of our employees.
But we need to start.
From Self-Help to Self-Skills
Even if most schools and employers have yet to see it, employees are starting to understand that their future viability depends on improving their innately human qualities. One of the most popular courses on Coursera, an online learning platform, is called Learning How to Learn. Created by the University of California, San Diego, the course is essentially a master class in human skills: students learn everything from memory techniques to dealing with procrastination and communicating complicated ideas, according to an article in The New York Times.
Attempting to teach employees how to make behavioral changes has always seemed off-limits to organizations—the province of private therapists, not corporate trainers. But that outlook is changing.
Although there is a longstanding assumption that social skills are innate, nothing is further from the truth. As the popularity of Learning How to Learn attests, human skills—everything from learning skills to communication skills to empathy—can, and indeed must, be taught.
These human skills are integral for training workers for a workplace where artificial intelligence and automation are part of the daily routine. According to the WEF’s New Vision for Education report, the skills that employees will need in the future fall into three primary categories:
- Foundational literacies: These core skills needed for the coming age of robotics and AI include understanding the basics of math, science, computing, finance, civics, and culture. While mastery of every topic isn’t required, workers who have a basic comprehension of many different areas will be richly rewarded in the coming economy.
- Competencies: Developing competencies requires mastering very human skills, such as active listening, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration.
- Character qualities: Over the next decade, employees will need to master the skills that will help them grasp changing job duties and responsibilities. This means learning the skills that help employees acquire curiosity, initiative, persistence, grit, adaptability, leadership, and social and cultural awareness.
The good news is that learning human skills is not completely divorced from how work is structured today. Yonatan Zunger, a Google engineer with a background working with AI, argues that there is a considerable need for human skills in the workplace already—especially in the tech world. Many employees are simply unaware that when they are working on complicated software or hardware projects, they are using empathy, strategic problem solving, intuition, and interpersonal communication.
The unconscious deployment of human skills takes place even more frequently when employees climb the corporate ladder into management. “This is closely tied to the deeper difference between junior and senior roles: a junior person’s job is to find answers to questions; a senior person’s job is to find the right questions to ask,” says Zunger.
Human skills will be crucial to navigating the AI-infused workplace. There will be no shortage of need for the right questions to ask.
One of the biggest changes narrow AI tools will bring to the workplace is an evolution in how work is performed. AI-based tools will automate repetitive tasks across a wide swath of industries, which means that the day-to-day work for many white-collar workers will become far more focused on tasks requiring problem solving and critical thinking. These tasks will present challenges centered on interpersonal collaboration, clear communication, and autonomous decision-making—all human skills.
Being More Human Is Hard
However, the human skills that are essential for tomorrow’s AI-ified workplace, such as interpersonal communication, project planning, and conflict management, require a different approach from traditional learning. Often, these skills don’t just require people to learn new facts and techniques; they also call for basic changes in the ways individuals behave on—and off—the job.
Attempting to teach employees how to make behavioral changes has always seemed off-limits to organizations—the province of private therapists, not corporate trainers. But that outlook is changing. As science gains a better understanding of how the human brain works, many behaviors that affect employees on the job are understood to be universal and natural rather than individual (see “Human Skills 101”).
Human Skills 101
As neuroscience has improved our understanding of the brain, human skills have become increasingly quantifiable—and teachable.
Though the term soft skills has managed to hang on in the popular lexicon, our understanding of these human skills has increased to the point where they aren’t soft at all: they are a clearly definable set of skills that are crucial for organizations in the AI era.
Active listening: Paying close attention when receiving information and drawing out more information than received in normal discourse
Critical thinking: Gathering, analyzing, and evaluating issues and information to come to an unbiased conclusion
Problem solving: Finding solutions to problems and understanding the steps used to solve the problem
Decision-making: Weighing the evidence and options at hand to determine a specific course of action
Monitoring: Paying close attention to an issue, topic, or interaction in order to retain information for the future
Coordination: Working with individuals and other groups to achieve common goals
Social perceptiveness: Inferring what others are thinking by observing them
Time management: Budgeting and allocating time for projects and goals and structuring schedules to minimize conflicts and maximize productivity
Creativity: Generating ideas, concepts, or inferences that can be used to create new things
Curiosity: Desiring to learn and understand new or unfamiliar concepts
Imagination: Conceiving and thinking about new ideas, concepts, or images
Storytelling: Building narratives and concepts out of both new and existing ideas
Experimentation: Trying out new ideas, theories, and activities
Ethics: Practicing rules and standards that guide conduct and guarantee rights and fairness
Empathy: Identifying and understanding the emotional states of others
Collaboration: Working with others, coordinating efforts, and sharing resources to accomplish a common project
Resiliency: Withstanding setbacks, avoiding discouragement, and persisting toward a larger goal
Resistance to change, for example, is now known to result from an involuntary chemical reaction in the brain known as the fight-or-flight response, not from a weakness of character. Scientists and psychologists have developed objective ways of identifying these kinds of behaviors and have come up with universally applicable ways for employees to learn how to deal with them.
Organizations that emphasize such individual behavioral traits as active listening, social perceptiveness, and experimentation will have both an easier transition to a workplace that uses AI tools and more success operating in it.
Framing behavioral training in ways that emphasize its practical application at work and in advancing career goals helps employees feel more comfortable confronting behavioral roadblocks without feeling bad about themselves or stigmatized by others. It also helps organizations see the potential ROI of investing in what has traditionally been dismissed as touchy-feely stuff.
In fact, offering objective means for examining inner behaviors and tools for modifying them is more beneficial than just leaving the job to employees. For example, according to research by psychologist Tasha Eurich, introspection, which is how most of us try to understand our behaviors, can actually be counterproductive.
Human beings are complex creatures. There is generally way too much going on inside our minds to be able to pinpoint the conscious and unconscious behaviors that drive us to act the way we do. We wind up inventing explanations—usually negative—for our behaviors, which can lead to anxiety and depression, according to Eurich’s research.
Structured, objective training can help employees improve their human skills without the negative side effects. At SAP, for example, we offer employees a course on conflict resolution that uses objective research techniques for determining what happens when people get into conflicts. Employees learn about the different conflict styles that researchers have identified and take an assessment to determine their own style of dealing with conflict. Then employees work in teams to discuss their different styles and work together to resolve a specific conflict that one of the group members is currently experiencing.
How Knowing One’s Self Helps the Organization
Courses like this are helpful not just for reducing conflicts between individuals and among teams (and improving organizational productivity); they also contribute to greater self-awareness, which is the basis for enabling people to take fullest advantage of their human skills.
Self-awareness is a powerful tool for improving performance at both the individual and organizational levels. Self-aware people are more confident and creative, make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. They are also less likely to lie, cheat, and steal, according to Eurich.
It naturally follows that such people make better employees and are more likely to be promoted. They also make more effective leaders with happier employees, which makes the organization more profitable, according to research by Atuma Okpara and Agwu M. Edwin.
There are two types of self-awareness, writes Eurich. One is having a clear view inside of one’s self: one’s own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses. The second type is understanding how others view us in terms of these same categories.
Interestingly, while we often assume that those who possess one type of awareness also possess the other, there is no direct correlation between the two. In fact, just 10% to 15% of people have both, according to a survey by Eurich. That means that the vast majority of us must learn one or the other—or both.
Gaining self-awareness is a process that can take many years. But training that gives employees the opportunity to examine their own behaviors against objective standards and gain feedback from expert instructors and peers can help speed up the journey. Just like the conflict management course, there are many ways to do this in a practical context that benefits employees and the organization alike.
For example, SAP also offers courses on building self-confidence, increasing trust with peers, creating connections with others, solving complex problems, and increasing resiliency in the face of difficult situations—all of which increase self-awareness in constructive ways. These human-skills courses are as popular with our employees as the hard-skill courses in new technologies or new programming techniques.
Depending on an organization’s size, budget, and goals, learning programs like these can include small group training, large lectures, online courses, licensing of third-party online content, reimbursement for students to attain certification, and many other models.
Human Skills Are the Constant
Automation and artificial intelligence will change the workplace in unpredictable ways. One thing we can predict, however, is that human skills will be needed more than ever.
The connection between conflict resolution skills, critical thinking courses, and the rise of AI-aided technology might not be immediately obvious. But these new AI tools are leading us down the path to a much more human workplace.
Employees will interact with their computers through voice conversations and image recognition. Machine learning will find unexpected correlations in massive amounts of data but empathy and creativity will be required for data scientists to figure out the right questions to ask. Interpersonal communication will become even more important as teams coordinate between offices, remote workplaces, and AI aides.
While the future might be filled with artificial intelligence, deep learning, and untold amounts of data, uniquely human capabilities will be the ones that matter. Machines can’t write a symphony, design a building, teach a college course, or manage a department. The future belongs to humans working with machines, and for that, you need human skills. D!
About the Authors
Jenny Dearborn is Chief Learning Officer at SAP.
David Judge is Vice President, SAP Leonardo, at SAP.
Tom Raftery is Global Vice President and Internet of Things Evangelist at SAP.
Neal Ungerleider is a Los Angeles-based technology journalist and consultant.
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The revolution came after the modernization and globalization process in economy has a considerable impact on the financial institutions. The financial sector reforms and the reforms of banking sector are a part of the economic reforms. The banking sector holds the central position in the global economy. In this modern world of money and finance, the importance of banks in the economy of any country is vital. A strong banking industry is crucial for the up grooming and growth of any country. Banks are involved in all type of activities from the mobilization to distribution of the public finance also from the purchase of the car to the financial assistance to the individual and business projects. (Mehmood, 2004)
The role of banking sector in the success, prosperity and development of any country cannot be over looked. Banks and other financial institutions are a key resource and reserves of capital funds which are essential for the local investments and contribute to the economic growth to a large extent of every country. Banks play an important role in the enhancement of investments in the country and also support the expansion of the business of all levels including small and large enterprises. Banks through their services ensure the smooth operations and expansion of the economic activities which in turn generate wealth by increasing the production. Commercial banks are the most portentous financial intermediaries and depending upon the policies of the place where they located, they greatly help in minimizing the rate of unemployment in a way by inciting more people to become entrepreneur and should employee others. Today, the banks are working together with the government, to identify the growth demanding sectors of the economy like agriculture and make them potential enough by providing the finance.
Pakistan banking sector has witnessed an outstanding and unique development in recent years. A remarkable rise of $60bn in assets of industry has ranked this sector as Pakistan’s and region’s best performing sector. This sector has shown an excellent profitability and diversified public credit. Another achievement is well maintained system risk. In Pakistan growing per capita income, development of middle income group and increase in relative wealth are presenting new demand and opportunities to the retail banking industry. (Akhter, 2007). Pakistan’s well established banking system is comprised of wide variety of institutions. This includes a central bank, various commercial banks and specialized agencies. In 1947, the country had no notable banking network but by 1970, it succeeded in developing a prosperous banking industry. (Mehmood, 2004)
The banking sector in every country, Including Pakistan is subject to many internal and external forces. Technological changes are considered to have most far reaching impact on the banking sector. Technology, particularly the internet is the key operator of internal changes. Within this sector the external changes have attracted many new entrants and also maximize the customer influence. Internal changes have been greatly amplified by the internet. The internet is causing the major delivery changes and the combination of these forces internal and external will bring about a major mutate the banking sector.
Under the current scenario of business world and with the development of the information technology and globalization of the market place, Internet and the World Wide Web have become essential instruments to survive. Products and services have promptly shifted to digital form and are now being delivered by the internet. Electronic services basically administer two key hall marks; information efficiency and transaction efficiency.(Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1985). It is also a fact that electronic services aids in the development of trust and relation with the customers. So, all enterprises are focusing on this regard.(Chowdhury & Ullah, 2013).
It should be noted that the banking industry was one of the very first to implement the information technology back in 1960’s and has record influencing the development through technology. Technologically facilitated services actually means that the type of service delivery which have the aptitude of benefiting the customer, employee and the management alike.(Evangelista & Vezzani, 2010). Service quality is one of the major factors that determines the success and prosperity of the electronic banking. There are several competitive advantages linked with the reception of the technology in the service sector. Information technology is progressively becoming inestimable and dominant tool driving the development, aids in growth and promote competition and strengthens the competition.
There are many examples of information technology application associated with banking sector that assist in building new markets and fuel the economy for example, automated teller machine ATMs. Technology adoption has led to the community efficiency which results in reduction of cost, improvement of service quality and enhances the added value to the customer. Acknowledgment of service quality as a competitive weapon is a recent phenomenon in today’s banking.
There is a direct and positive impact of technology on the service quality of every sector especially the banking sector. Today, the banks, to remain in the competitive position are facilitating their customers with the technology based services according to their demand. The diffusion of IT has led to a drastic transformation of the product user relationship due to the improved services being provided by the banking sector.
The product service innovations which took place due to the dissemination of information technology in service sector have a great impact on demand and employment. It is important to realize that in service sector the issues of generation and dispersion of innovation are inextricably important. Both are highly correlated and is considered important in all service industries and financial sector like banks.(Redlinghuis & Rensleigh, 2010). So the current study is designed to investigate the impact of technological advancements on banking service quality.
(“Australian Coalition of Service Industry, Annual Review,” 1997a. )From last 15 Years, the use of technology is enhanced in the service quality field. The industry of service takes advantage through investing in new technologies.(B.Carroll, 1985) All fields of work in the business administration know that quality service has very important to retain customers and earn profit.(Gilbert, 1997)The trend of Information technology change and its growth has intense effect on the service quality.(Chipp, Hoenig, & Nel, 2006)Banks in the developed countries moving towards the technological innovation for example ATM, internet banking Etc., to compete in the competitive world.(Avasthi & Sharma, 2001)The information technology has completely changed the financial contracts in the service industry.
(Coskun & Frohlich, 1992)The key of the success in deliver a quality of service to the consumers and maintain it in the today’s competitive environment in banking sector.(Malhotra, Ulgado, Agarwal, & Baalbaki, 1993) In the past few years, the service quality has much growth. It is maintain from management and major focus in developing countries. (Yavas, Bilgin, & Shemwell, 1997) in recent themost competitive tool is toidentifying the service quality and it is a strong phenomenon in today’s banking. (Valarie A. Zeithaml, Berry, & Parasuraman, 1988)Through latest studies the quality service can put on 4th a positive on the customer satisfaction.
(Clark, 2007)An ATM is configured to make withdrawals,distribute cash, issue account balance and transfer money in between accounts. It iscomputerized electronic machine.(Daniel, 1999)An ATM is the mostrenowned and advanced banking servicebecause it is provide an option to do transactions,access your accountand can make online purchasing.(Atinuke & Ayo, 2010)ATM is a speedily accepted technological breakthrough, in the entire world, because of its accessibility, easy to use and time saving feature.(Singh & Tigga, 2012)ATM provides the recent balance in our account, source of cash with drawls, gives the statement ordering facility and is a mode of give payments to any of the third party.
(Clark, 2007)Telephone banking enables us to pay bill or do banking transactions without leave the house. (Ahmed, Zairi, & Alwabel, 2006) Telephone banking enables to performDaily transactions by giving security information and it also allow to carried out non-cash transactions. (Marr & Prendergast, 1990) Telephone banking service saves time spent during traveling. It is useful,convenient and speedily service. (Al-Ashban & Burney, 2001)Telephone banking reduces the cost and providing ease to customers. All services are expected to be in telephone banking which are available in bank’s branches.
(Rahimudinand Bhukhrai, 2010)Internet banking is use of electronic methods or means without cash or check we can transfer money from one account to other account. (Akinyele & Olorunleke, 2010)in recently internet banking is introduced as a channel of delivery. Internet is use to give information on a web page about the bank.(Dabholkar & Bagozzi, 2002)Internet banking entertains customers to access the data at any time and place. (Laukkanen, 2007) All the banks should established strategies to create awareness about online banking, for this marketing and promotions campaign can be useful.
(Boon & Kurtz, n.d) Smart cards are the plastic cards that stores encoded information on the fixed computer chips. It is the most important and very easy way of online payments. (Worthington & Edwards, 2000)Smart cards are used to withdraw funds from bank account. Through smart card funds or payments can be transferred easily from customer account to their merchant’s account.It is easier way rather than carrying a check book.(Birch, 1997) The use of Smart cards are secured in these days of technological advancement and these are well-established international standards in easy to use.
According to (Lewis, et al., 1994), there is a relationship between service delivery and the technological evolution in term that it helps in retaining and satisfying the customers. According to the(Ozdemir & Trott, 2009) It is the evidencethat technology has positive impression on the service quality that being delivered. And on the basis of the new technology banking sector can improve their service quality.(Porter & Miller, 1985) Describe that these is exit relationship between technological innovation and service quality. (Lang & Colgate, 2003) Conclude that through using technological revolutionthe service quality would be the benefits for the banker and its management that shows banking institutions can provide service quality to their customers by using the latest technologies. According to (Walker & Jhonson, 2006)Customer are more satisfied with the service quality and technological evolution in banking sector. According to(Joseph & Stone, 2003) When services is delivered via technology then it is correlated with the majority of customer satisfaction. (Jayawardhena & Foley, 2000)Describes that there is a positive impact of technology on service quality in banking sector. (Pikkarainen, Pikkarainen, Karjaluoto, & Pahnila, 2004b)Elaborate that useful information on the web site of the bank are the major factor for influencing the acceptance the service of online banking. According to (Singhal & Padhmanabhan, 2008)Technology of internet banking is increasingly becoming a need to have this service. According to (Sirilli & Evangelista, 1998) there is a relationship exist between service and new technologies. Now days the service firms are greatly depends on a large range of the technological innovative sources. According to (Evangelista & Sirilli, 1995) service quality and technology innovation is correlated. Service firms have different resources to explore the new technological evolutions. Technological information can be collect mainly from the suppliers, clients,delivery departments and customers etc.