What do we mean when we say People-Centric Solutions?

The future of humans in the workplace is morphing. Technology is changing the way we work, hire, engage and create value for our customers. With all the hype around the 4th Industrial Revolution there is a natural fear developing that technology solutions like RPA (Bots) will be taking people’s jobs. This fear is often at the root cause of the resistance towards automation, and infects the workforce with a lack of readiness to adopt the changes technology will bring.

“…technology alone is not enough. We believe that its technology married with the humanities that yields the result that makes our hearts sing.”

-Steve Jobs

So, when we say People-Centric Solutions, we mean that Torch Solutioneers™ adopt an approach with Customers to channel their resources towards reskilling people for the new world of work. One of our fundamental beliefs is that priority must be given to look after the people in human-tech ecosystems. Look after the people, give them technology that makes it easier for them to perform their daily tasks, and watch productivity and profits grow.

Why is this SO important?

 South Africa needs more jobs, and more meaningful jobs for people!

In the new world of work, we will all have to engage with continuous learning in order to upskill just to maintain our financial standing. The World Economic Forum (Towards a Reskilling Revolution Industry-Led Action for the Future of Work 2019) found that broadly, companies across all industries should consider the following three steps to prepare for both the short-term and long-term future of work:

  1. Reskilling at-risk workers
  2. Upskilling their broader workforce
  3. Building structures for a leaner, learning, more engaged organization

“A person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human.”

– Desmond Tutu, 2004

What does it mean for my business?

In South Africa especially, Organizations and Businesses have a responsibility to stem the tide of unemployment and address the skills shortage in the country.  This is an opportunity to reskill rather than retrench. An opportunity to create an entrepreneur rather than an unemployment statistic.

Developing the competencies of the future world of work is the golden opportunity to redefine value, meaning, purpose, job roles, create new future-minded job descriptions and radically rethink how we reskill and retrain.

 How does it fit together?

Torch Solutioneers™ works with organisations to find those strategies and leverage existing funding opportunities which would turn the reskilling and upskilling of workers into a positive business case before turning to retrenchments.

“In the past jobs were about muscles, now they are about brains, but in the future, they’ll be about the heart.” Minouche Shafik, Dir. London School Economics, 2019

Lucky for the humans the bots don’t have hearts. In the not too distant future, qualities such as curiosity, empathy and sincerity will be sought after because these are key to nurturing an innovative mind-set and an open sharing culture.

 It sounds expensive

WEF 2019 research finds that the private sector could reskill 25% of all workers in disrupted jobs with a positive cost benefit balance. Plainly stated, it would be in the best financial interest of an organisation to take on their reskilling.

The question is, how much is it going to cost the economy if Businesses and Organizations don’t take a people-centric approach and decide to upskill and reskill? How sustainable is it to replace disrupted workers with new workers? Is there any evidence to suggest that new workers will require any less upskilling than disrupted workers?

Simply put, the research shows that it is financially viable for companies to reskill existing workers into disrupted jobs.