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Keeping Up with Change – If not NOW, WHEN?

April 29, 2024

Workplace evolution has been getting faster for decades, perhaps centuries. Due to rapid advancement of AI, work automation and general demands for productivity, it has and will continue to increase. Businesses must upskill and reskill their teams in order to survive and remain relevant.


Although we know this, many small and medium business owners have delayed, or even reduced investment in learning and development initiatives to combat rising business costs.  Because it can be seen as “time out of the business”, we are worried about productivity today rather than an investment in greater productivity in the future.

While some leaders may feel there is still time to delay, the reality is that time is fast running out. Professor Richard Baldwin’s has rightly warned us “AI won’t take your job, its somebody using AI that will”.  Many employees are now very aware of this fact, and they are increasingly seeking employers who are willing to invest in them and their development.


Workforce trends business owners should be aware of:

  • By 2027 it is expected that the number of automated work tasks will increase from an average for 35% to 42%. This includes automation of tasks such as reasoning, communicating and coordinating, not just repetitive tasks. (LinkedIn Learning, 2023)
  • 50% of the highly successful organisations are already AI integrating into their products and services and 43% to inform strategy (IBM, 2023)
  • The half-life of general workplace skills has reduced to just 5 years, and for IT roles around 2.5 year years. That means 50% of employees skills will be outdated in 5 years for many businesses. (3. HBR, 2023)
  • A 2020 survey by Deloitte found that only 41% of employees feels they had the skills to thrive in the next 5 yrs.  (6. Deloitte, 2020)
  • 4 in 5 employees say want to learn more about how to use AI in their profession to keep up (2. Mckinsey, 2020)
  • As automation replaces some tasks, it is estimated that on average 30% of an employee’s work will be new. Time for reskilling will be required. (2 McKinsey, 2020)
  • Employees and leaders will also need to have the right skills to effectively manage and adapt to this environment of ongoing change, distraction, and disruption. Skills noted of high importance throughout the research include self-awareness, emotional intelligence, critical thinking and complex problem solving, creative thinking, change facilitation, resilience, collaboration, coaching, persuasion, conflict resolution, resilience, deeper listening, empathy, social influence and lifelong learning and mindset. (5, 1)
  • 43% of employed Australians are actively looking now to change jobs (Gallup, 2023)
  • Providing learning opportunities is now the No 1 retention strategy for employees & 75% of Australians saying they are more inclined to remain with a company that offers L&D support (LinkedIn Learning, 2024, AITD, 2024).


The reports we’ve taken these statistics from can be found at the bottom of this article.

The key takeaway is to start investing time now rather than later. Building a learning and development strategy and executing it is going to be essential for your and your business’ success. Catching up and a reactive approach to upskilling may be a little too late and impact business survival.


Sharing this with your team to show you are committed to investing in them will help you retain them. When considering learning budgets, do the maths. Financially, replacing a salaried employee can cost from 6 to 9 months of the employee’s salary. That’s at least $40K in just one year for an employee on $80K. (SHRM)

While investing time now might sound complicated, it doesn’t need to be. The key is to start with something simple and improve. To help you on your way, click HERE to get our free tips on what to consider and what others are doing to retain talent when it comes to employee learning and development.


Feeling like it is all too complex? Our team of specialists can also help you complete a training needs analysis and provide recommended. Book a free discussion today!

  1. Workplace Learning Report | Australia & New Zealand (  
  2. Reskilling in the age of COVID: There’s no better time than the present ( 
  3. Reskilling in the Age of AI ( 
  4.  The Future of Jobs Report 2023 | World Economic Forum ( 
  5. 7 Essential Leadership Soft Skills for Success In 2024 ( 
  6. The importance of investing in employees | Deloitte Insights 

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