Top Employers Day 2022


Re-skill, re-invent and revive.

Our teams just got on with their jobs, until the pandemic came along…

Retail employees were right at the front line and exposed. The shelves needed to be kept full and for the first time the critical role frontline workers play was seen for the essential and vital service it is. It was a solemn reminder of the extraordinary power of ordinary people.

The advance of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics will have a far-reaching impact on our workplace. Although digitisation will be increasingly disruptive, it has the potential to exponentially improve productivity and operational efficiency in businesses across sectors, to deliver better outcomes and value for all stakeholders. These are the findings of a new McKinsey paper, The future of work in South Africa: Digitisation, productivity, and job creation, which shows that the accelerated adoption of digital technologies could triple South Africa’s productivity growth, more than double growth in per capita income, and add more than a percentage point to South Africa’s real GDP growth rate over the next decade.

The Mc Kinsey paper suggests that while digitisation will disrupt the world of work, overall it will create more jobs than it destroys. But the new technology-enabled jobs will require higher skill levels than most of the jobs displaced. Re-skilling in the workplace on an ongoing basis is going to become mission critical. In addition to this, our education system itself is also going to need to be able to generate technology-related and life skills, at scale. We need this to ensure that growth is inclusive, improves lives and that our unacceptably high unemployment levels are reduced.

Preparing for the future.

Preparing for a digital future is no easy task, but it is one we are driving hard across roles and divisions. It means developing digital capabilities and aligning activities, structures, people and our culture. This evolution has to be driven within the resources we have available; with the talent pool we have and against the pull of other priorities. While it is a process, it needs to be intentional, the impetus sustained, and its importance acknowledged.

We see the roles of retail store employees expanding in several areas, including becoming brand ambassadors and sharing their depth of product and service knowledge while using technology to enhance shopper interactions and their overall experience. To grow in the future, retailers must rethink the future workforce. We need to plan to give employees the tools, training and support they need to embrace new technologies, to deliver seamless customer experiences and drive growth.

Accenture has identified six skill categories that people most need to adapt to the digital economy and the future of work in South Africa. They include foundational skills like basic digital literacy, numeracy and what they call ‘employability skills’ – time management, listening and negotiation.

In addition to technical skills (developing and maintaining systems, data analytics, infrastructure design and information security) they include social skills, problem solving and a growth mindset. Most importantly, individuals need the appetite to drive their own learning and skills acquisition, to ensure that they remain relevant and able to add value as the environment evolves.

Evolving People Practices

Today, together with 1857 organisations across 123 countries, we celebrate our renewed Top Employer Certification for 2022. We do not take this certification lightly., The annual benchmarking process ranks us against some of the biggest organisations in the world, challenging us each year to improve and develop our people practices and deliver an attractive and compelling value proposition to our people. It assures clients and helps us to attract the talent necessary to continue to grow and thrive in a market characterised by a critical skills shortage, despite the high unemployment rate.

On-going digital transformation means that workplace skills needed are changing faster than they have in the past. This makes continuous learning a necessity, at any age and stage in a career. The principles of organisational learning must be built into tour very work processes, to ensure continuous progression along the learning curve in an unpredictable and highly dynamic context, allowing for the continuing delivery of exceptional service and value.

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50% of workers will need reskilling by 2025. As many as 40% of workers’ core skills are expected to change in the next five years. – World Economic Form Future of Work Report 2021

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