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February 25, 2020

The digital disruption that today’s business world is going through will lead to the extinction of many companies if they do not transform themselves quickly. This digital disruption will also have a cascading effect down to the “jobs” these businesses offer. With the dawn of Business 4.0TM, which is aligned to the 4th industrial revolution, businesses needs to stay dynamic to survive in this fast changing world. Also the jobs these businesses offer need to evolve. These jobs in the ‘digitalized company of the future’ are now being referred to as ‘Superjobs’, which will not have any routine or monotonous activities involved. These jobs will be focused more on creating and adding value to the business. To summarize, evolution of jobs to superjobs has already begun.

Employee churning and impact on organization

In an Employee Engagement Series conducted by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace®,  it was found that 87 percent of the respondents considered retention as a high/critical priority, and 95 percent HR leaders agreed that employee retention has become more challenging as job burnout is becoming more pervasive. In another study, Mayo Clinic found out that lack of control over schedule, assignments, workload etc., unclear job expectations and work-life imbalance were cited as primary reasons of job burnout.

According to High Speed Training, 1. Lack of Growth & Progression, 2. Being Overlooked, 3. Lack of Feedback & Recognition, and 4. Little Opportunity in Decision Making are some of the reasons for attrition. Furthermore, there is cost involved in finding and replacing an employee.

As funding for start-ups becomes easy and economical, professionals are more willing than in the past to put in extra effort, take risks and consequently keep looking for opportunities outside the job they are in. It is also clear that AI, blockchain, cognitive technologies, robotics and automation have entered work arena, and the nature of future jobs is definitely going to change. Simple chat bots are answering employee queries making HR representative’s job dispensable. Similarly, digital marketing is making traditional jobs of salespersons and relationship managers less useful. All of this has made the work scenario quite stressful as well as uncertain for both employees and employers.

Digital disruption and growth of Superjobs

According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey, only 26 percent organizations believe that they are “ready or very ready” to address the impact of digital technologies. The same survey also highlights that organizations do see benefits and are investing heavily in these technologies, giving rise to ‘superjobs’.

Firms have already started experimenting with the concept and implications of superjobs. Business Heads, HR Heads and domain experts are at their drawing boards trying to figure out what kind of skill sets will be required for superjobs. During this redesign phase, we need to remind ourselves of why people are leaving jobs and start addressing those very reasons too, even as industry leaders are creating new job profiles, to ensure employees stay in their roles for a longer time and give their best performance.

Role of superjobs as a catalyst in employee retention

A lot of employees leave their organization because of the monotonous nature of the job, this can surely be addressed through superjobs. For example today customers use online reviews and comparison tools to make a decision relying less on inputs given by the salesperson. This gives a salesperson more time to focus on other activities like store management or customer satisfaction or both. This way a lot of employees who want to leave because of monotonous nature of job can be retained. Thus creation of superjobs could be an effective employee retention strategy for organizations.

Another aspect is employee empowerment through superjobs. The employee who is leaving for a reason like hectic work schedule or heavy workload can be easily retained. For example, analysts spend most of their time in data collection, analysis and reporting. Merely for data collection, they have to run from pillar to post. Now this can be easily automated along with other activities of analysis, reporting and publishing. This will help them handle work life imbalance and motivate to focus on complex problems thereby adding value to their organization’s overall strategy.

Since automation, AI and other such technologies will significantly eliminate a lot of manual activities carried out by employees, they can use the time to do more creative things, solve complex problems, focus on better interpretation, and work on communication and empathy. Superjobs, if designed properly, can also eliminate most of the factors contributing to job burnout and help organization retain employees.  Yes, this will require some investment in training and re-skilling employees but it is an unavoidable investment for the future.

All in all, we can work out a whole new talent management framework by adding “Superjobs” to the organization’s overall employee retention strategy.

Abhijat Srivastava is currently working as an HCM Domain Consultant in Innovation & Product Engineering (IPE) group with the Platform Solutions Unit at TCS. He is responsible for multiple Product Engineering and Build Initiatives which include new functional modules and innovations within the HCM domain. He has been with TCS for 11 years. He has worked with more than 100 customers across India handling Implementation, Product Design & Development, Consulting, Pre-sales, Domain Consulting, Delivery Lead and Business Development roles.


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