It’s clear that Industry 4.0 technologies like AI are already transforming the workplace. As we begin to address its impact on the workforce and the growing skills gap, a critical question comes to mind: Who bears the responsibility of reskilling? Does the onus lie solely with business? In our latest Industry 4.0 research, surveyed executives ranked government and individuals as having the most responsibility for preparing workers. Yet eight out of 10 respondents in our 2018 Millennial Survey suggested that the onus rested with business. In order to effectively prepare the workforce for the future, individuals, educators, business, and government should collaborate and rise to the challenge. Business must also embrace the growing trend of "employer as educator.
In June, my colleague Sharon Thorne will become the first woman to lead the Deloitte Global Board of Directors. This is a major milestone in Deloitte’s history—but I’m more excited about what it means for our future. As the article states, if the tone at the top isn’t being set by the board, more likely than not it’s not being set further down—a potentially fatal flaw for businesses. Our millennial research shows a strong correlation between employee loyalty and perceptions of workforce diversity. In other words, diversity—at all levels—is key to loyalty. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good for business.
As we navigate Industry 4.0, it is clear that much has changed, particularly the expectations of business when it comes to social impact. In our recent survey of C-suite leaders, they ranked societal impact as the most important factor when evaluating their organization’s annual performance, outranking even financial performance. Yet some also struggled with the reconciliation of societal impact and profit. Despite uncertainties, this article is spot on: Social impact is the future of business. Exploring our ever-changing business environment through the lens of positive impact will create the opportunity for new revenue streams, differentiation in the marketplace and ultimately allow organizations to do well by doing good.