Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

One-third of UK workers want robots to replace bosses

According to a new report, which surveyed more than 1,000 professionals in the United Kingdom, one-third (34 percent) of employees believe a robot would be better at decision-making than their current boss. However, that does not necessarily mean that leaders are likely to be replaced by robots anytime soon. “Robots are unlikely to take on the job of decision maker—the reality is that they are simply not yet suited to such complex tasks and will instead work side-by-side with humans,” Gordon Wilson, CEO of Advanced, told Verdict. The study also showed that automation is becoming a reality for many British workers: 72 percent have already adopted automation technologies, 65 percent say they would be happy to work alongside robotic technology, and 35 percent want to see artificial intelligence become a regular part of their daily working lives. “Leaders need to step up, to provide the clear direction that people need and take charge of the intense technology change happening as a result of the digital era,” Wilson said.

Three ways to attract more millennial talent

“The job market is increasingly millennial, and job seekers have never had more leverage than they do right now. How’s any company that’s not on Snapchat supposed to compete [for millennial talent]?” asks Jessica Rovello rhetorically. In this Inc. op-ed piece she argues that it’s easy to do, with three simple steps: 1. Create a digital persona for your brand that showcases who your company is and what it stands for. Millennials want to know that their personal values are aligned with their companies’ and feel good about their work. 2. Personalize the onboarding process to give them a sense of familiarity that sets your company apart from others. 3. Give them participation trophies. Employees want direction and regular feedback so they can progress in the right direction. “Appealing to younger employees may seem like a challenge. But follow these guidelines and you can end the job-hopping epidemic once and for all,” Rovello concludes.

Soft skills will be paramount for the future of work

Leadership agility and the ability to collaborate are among the most important skills as the nature of work evolves, according to the Future of Work Global Research Study 2018 from Harmonics and OI Global Partners. “While robotics, AI and machine learning will all dramatically impact jobs and the future of work, it is the soft skills that will continue to reign supreme,” writes Jenny Darmody in Silicon Republic. The study surveyed more than 1,000 leaders in 28 countries, with half of the respondents from organizations with more than 500 employees. In addition to leadership agility and collaboration, it revealed that creativity, communication skills, eagerness to learn, and negotiating with others, are among the top skills. Roles in finance and accounting, administrative and support staff, as well as middle-management roles are considered most at risk, according to the survey. “The decline of routine, repetitive work continues apace as a result of automation and AI. This is hitting both high- and low-skill occupations,” Harmonics’ John Fitzgerald said. “An eagerness to learn, and indeed relearn, has never been more necessary for those whose roles are at risk.” 

How to encourage continuous learning for the workforce

Speaking of learning being key to the future of work, this Forbes Nonprofit Council article shares tips on how to foster an environment of learning for your team. 1. Bring training in-house to make it more convenient for your staff. 2. Prioritize open, honest communication to discuss strengths and weaknesses. 3. Train employees in new areas and disciplines that may not directly relate to their job duties. 4. Invest in your employees by acknowledging hard-working members for optimum engagement. 5. Offer tuition reimbursement, even for less formal webinars. 6. Encourage problem-solving skills to help your employees identify areas where they need additional help and training. 7. Bring in guest speakers and experts. 8. Share professional development resources. 9. Use every resource at your disposal to keep your team abreast of the latest information critical to their work. “The pace of change is fast! But when people are curious and looking for new solutions, they will keep learning,” says Magdalena Nowicka Mook of International Coach Federation.

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