Learning & Development

The Economic Risks of Outdated Education and Technology in the Workplace

The Associated Press recently highlighted research released by Accenture, and the findings are staggering and concerning for organizations of all shapes and sizes. And L&D professionals and members of the C-suite everywhere will need to take notice immediately to help mitigate the issues that will start to arise.


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According to Accenture’s research, outdated education and workplace training will force organizations of all shapes and sizes to forfeit up to $11.5 trillion, due to investments made in intelligent technologies.
Overall, it seems that employers have forgotten to upskill their employees to manage and oversee certain types of technology or assess how such technologies will impact their employees’ roles and responsibilities. And they have forgotten to account for those roles that will become more automated or augmented and what that means for their individual groups of employees.
Training programs in the workforce, by and large and across industries and sectors, don’t currently match the types of training and skills employees actually need to acquire or develop to maintain certain economic growth and sustainability. In fact, they could prove more detrimental than what was previously thought.
As parsed by the Associated Press, according to Armen Ovanessoff, the principal director of Accenture Research:

“Current learning approaches aren’t fit for today, let alone tomorrow. Evidence from neuroscience and behavioral sciences show us there are better ways to learn.… Many of the most important skills for the future workplace are best acquired through practice and hands-on experience. We need an overhaul of skilling approaches that puts experiential learning techniques front and center.”

In addition, Eva-Sage Gavin, the senior managing director at Accenture and Global head of the Talent and Organization practice there, stated:

“Whether new technologies augment or automate work, upskilling is an urgent priority.… But before business leaders commit to improved workplace training, they must assess how technology will reconfigure work in their sector and the new range of skills it will demand of their people.”

Ultimately, what this recent research reveals is that L&D professionals, including members of the C-suite, will need to take a much deeper look into the technologies their organizations rely on and how they’re being used (or not used) by employees on a day-to-day basis—or they risk losing thousands of dollars and, in many cases, millions.
Then, they will have to make sure their L&D initiatives and training programs match what such technologies require of different employees. And they will also need to invest much more heavily in highly targeted upskilling programs and training initiatives, especially more hands-on learning opportunities that place experiential learning at the forefront.