In the United States, nearly 10,000 people hit retirement age each day. Across the pond in the United Kingdom, about a third of the workforce is already over 50 years of age. Enterprises are holding a gun that's smoking from both ends - enough young workers, with the right skills, aren't walking in, even as older workers are walking out. Taking the cumulative knowledge, experience and relationships acquired over decades, along with them. It's a crisis whose proportions we are yet to grasp. But one study of the cost of employee turnover estimates that for high-level, experienced positions the replacement cost is about four times the annual salary of the exiting employee. Assuming, of course, that the company can actually find a replacement.
In reality, enterprises need to prepare to counter the challenge of a significant workforce gap. One way of doing that is through Knowledge Management.
The global female workforce grew by a quarter of a billion between 2006 and 2015. And yet this has done little to alleviate the problem of gender inequality in the workplace. According to the Future of Jobs research report from the World Economic Forum, only 15% of CEOs are women. In some sectors, such as energy, that number is an appalling zero.
There is no rosy outlook for gender parity in the workplace anytime in the near future. In fact, we may even be exacerbating the situation. We recently undertook a global study - Amplifying Human Potential - to gain insights into how the next generation was positioned, in terms of education and skills, to navigate the dynamics of technology forces that are at a tipping point today. The study revealed a significant disparity in skills that if left unaddressed, could create the next generational divide of 'haves' and 'have-nots'. Rather more worryingly, we also found a global gender-based skills divide with men being more likely to possess the technological and digital skills to succeed in the workplace of the future.
We are on the cusp of a technological tipping point that has the potential to transform the world. Already we see great innovations in robotics, AI and smart systems disrupting multiple industries.These same technological forces are also having a transformative impact on talent. But, unless people are equipped with the education and skills to navigate these forces and the new dynamics of employment it is creating, we will be unable to realize the potential of this big opportunity. In fact, we recently undertook a global study - Amplifying Human Potential - to understand the challenges, concerns and opportunities facing young people as they pursue their education, training and career aspirations in these digitally dominated, fast-evolving times.
I've always enjoyed walking. In fact, by simply walking mindfully I find I often learn surprisingly significant things about the place and people that surround me. That's why, I make it a point to try and make the time to walk to the offices in our sylvan campus - when I am required to join in meetings there.
Breathing in the scent of freshly cut grass and enjoying the pleasantly bright sun dappling through the trees, I like nothing better than to draw upon the human energy around me. And it abounds. I often consciously tune into the surroundings to catch snatches of energizing conversations - a newbie Infoscion gushing over the phone to a parent, I imagine, about her all-new experience, another animatedly discussing an exciting technical challenge with a friend, a colleague from one unit trading notes with another, so many thoughts....so many languages - Bengali, Oriya, Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil , and on some days, strains of music in preparation for an in-house event or celebration perhaps, or far away the ping of shuttle hitting gut on the newly minted outdoor courts. This same realization hits me often - it is the emotions of people that make the world. Their aspirations, dreams, relationships, successes, challenges - that is the real world!