Eighty Seven Percent of Employers Plan to Maintain or Increase Headcount Through Automation



4 minute read



Digitally-enabled businesses are generally better equipped to harness the value of innovation within their own organizations and across their markets:

  • Industry leaders achieve greater productivity increase from investment in new technology than followers (70% v 30%).
  • Companies allocating 25 percent or more of their R&D budgets to software offerings report faster revenue growth than key competitors allocating a smaller portion.
  • Organizations with a formal innovation system and structure in place see significant yields: 51 percent are first to market with most innovations, products and new services.

Mobilizing a digitally-enabled workforce is no longer an aspiration. Any business that wants to continue to grow and increase the productivity of its workforce will need to implement solutions that include technology advancements—in a connected manner. If they do, they’ll see labor productivity increase three times higher than those with stand-alone deployments.


There’s a Return on an Investment in People to Consider Too


Automation technology—such as cognitive technologies, Internet of Things, robotics and mobile/social media—has not caused worker displacement, which has been a concern.

According to our latest research, the opposite looks true. Eighty-seven percent of employers, more than ever before, plan to maintain or increase headcount as a result of automation for the third consecutive year. Rather than reducing headcount, organizations are investing in digital, shifting tasks to robots, and creating jobs.

At the same time, companies are increasing their upskilling so that their human workforce can perform new and complementary roles to those done by machines. The ROI on upskilling is clear: in North America the cost of turnover and replacement can exceed 30% of wages, while the cost of training remains less than 10% of wages.


The Digital Revolution is Here


In the Industrial Revolution it took industry about 30 years to fully realize the value of transformation. When computers entered the workforce, it took about 10 years. Those cycles are becoming shorter and shorter. With big data, connected enterprises and digital threads the environment will become even more complex. But richer data and insights will drive innovation, efficiencies and ultimately ROI for companies that have successfully transformed.

Interested in comparing your organization’s digital transformation against benchmark research? Our Digital Evolution Pathway assessment has been designed to provide a real-time view in four key areas.

In short, maximizing return on investment (ROI) during today’s digital revolution means evolving business strategy, culture, embedded processes and technologies:

  • Strategy – Digitally-enabled businesses are generally better equipped to harness the value of change within their own organizations. As with any other resource, a solid strategy is necessary for successful implementation.

  • Culture – Developing a culture of innovation is critical in today’s business environment. In times of transformation it is a primary enabler of success. It starts with identifying and upskilling (or reskilling) leaders who can unleash essential digital-era traits in others.

  • Processes – The systems and processes of years’ past must be rethought for businesses to remain competitive today.

  • Technologies – Digital innovations are creating opportunities faster than ever. Moving from creative thinking to implementation, however, requires vision, planning and execution.

Managing a digital transformation isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. There are many starting points and levels of maturity across each of the four areas mentioned above.

Whether your organization is just beginning its journey or has been on one for some time, the Digital Evolution Pathway asessment will identify areas for further improvement—including concrete actions and tasks designed as growth paths around your specific organization’s journey. It will also help you develop a plan to drive short- and long-term return on your digital investments.

ManpowerGroup partners with organizations of all sizes to develop and implement digital workforce transformation, working with leaders and organizations to ensure they have the right people and skills to facilitate transformational change.

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ManpowerGroup is a world leader in innovative workforce solutions. Every day, we connect more than 600,000 people to meaningful work across a wide range of skills and industries helping to power the success of clients around the world. Learn More >

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