Technology developments require staff re-training.

Technology worries are high on the list of the 104 U.S. CEOs interviewed in the recent PriceWaterhouseCooper CEO survey. These worries have particular impact on the credit union industry. Moreover, these concerns have increased dramatically over the last five years. Only 8% of CEOs cited cyber-threat worries in 2013, but by 2017 it rose to 50% and in 2018 a whopping 63%. Concerns about the speed of technological change rose from 11% in 2013 to 44% in 2018, and apprehension about availability of key skills rose from 11% to 32%. On a positive note, the economic uncertainty concern did decrease over these five years to 17% from 53%. Addressing concerns that advances in technology bring is increasingly important for managing your talent pool, especially as improvement in the economy further accelerates the rate of technological change.

PwC projects that artificial intelligence and automation can contribute an additional $16 trillion to global GDP by 2030. Yet this benefit will most likely come with a cost to those companies and those employees who cannot meet the challenges these dramatic transformations will bring. Although PwC projects that job losses from artificial intelligence and automation may be offset by new jobs in different areas in the long run, that does not help the employees negatively impacted by the change.

The challenges of the digital world create anxiety in the employee base that can disrupt organizational culture if not addressed. Employees fear they could lose their technological edge, and may be replaced by AI or automation, with good reason. PwC found a reduction in headcount because of technology was expected for 28% of CEOs surveyed, yet only about half of the U.S. CEOs (53%) felt they had a responsibility to re-train affected workers for new positions.  Contrast the U.S. philosophy to that of other major economies, where CEOs feel an obligation to re-train and re-skill those affected: Germany (85%), China (84%) and Japan (71%).

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