We all know that we are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, when it seems the whole world is going digital. We also know that public sector employers are unique. They are community driven and funded by taxpayers, different laws apply to them, and they often provide a variety of services that no one business would ever provide. What will be interesting to see is how the fourth industrial revolution will continue to impact employment in the public sector.
The tools used by a municipality, for example, can vary from fire trucks to water quality testing equipment. Motor vehicles, testing equipment, phone systems, computer programs, security mechanisms, and every other tool used is possibly in a state of transition. These transitions are occurring at different rates. How quickly a public sector employer embraces new technology depends on a number of factors, and often cost is a particularly strong driver.
Once these technologies come into play, workers must be able to adapt to them and sometimes in a short time frame. How this might affect employment practices is evolving, and human resource and other leaders have much to consider:
- How do we create digital roadmap in the works to help anticipate the upcoming changes to technology, systems, and processes across all the different areas of specialty in our organization?
- What areas are new tools the most likely to be implemented?
- Will the implementation be different because of the nature of our public sector organization?
- Are there other organizations we will either need to or be willing to coordinate with?
- Are we fully aware of the knowledge base we have with current employees?
- What is the gap between the knowledge needed to perform the task now and what employees will need to know?
- Where can we find affordable resources to help train employees on the new skills needed?
Careful thought and preparation can help prepare your organization and employees so that they can fulfill their mission and be of real benefit to the community served. If this is something you would like to discuss with, please contact us. We continue to review information about up and coming technologies to help in the employment arena.