One of the headlines that frequently gets recycled is that robots are going to take everyone’s job. While technological advancement can seem exciting to some, it can inject a sense of fear in others who become terrified at the thought of losing their job to a machine.

Unfortunately, this is a topic of discussion where rational debate often goes out the door. The NRA has long maintained the position that technological innovation, if managed properly, does not result in mass unemployment but rather creates better jobs elsewhere.

Last week Deloitte released a report entitled ‘The path to prosperity: Why the future of work is human’ which analysed the impact that automation will have on jobs. In welcome news, the report concluded that people should not fear new technology in the workplace and that innovation is improving what workers do rather than replacing them.

Indeed, if properly embraced, the report argues that new technology could result in a $36 billion annual boost to Australia’s national income over a decade. As the NRA has long argued, automation does not kill jobs, it merely sees the manual tasks performed in a given profession change. More often than not, it makes workplaces more productive and sees workers performing less laborious tasks.

However, Deloitte did also highlight the importance of investing in on-the-job training and skills development to cushion against any short-term disruption that can occur to businesses and the workers they employ. In other words, proper planning and staying ahead of the curve enables a smooth transition as innovation changes the way people do their jobs.

The bottom-line is that for hundreds of years’ technology has advanced, in the process destroying certain jobs but always creating new ones elsewhere. The retail sector will not be immune to the disruption that innovation causes, but the message is that embracing new technology can create new and better jobs while making workers more productive. If you’re interested in reading the full report, a link can be found here.

Finally, I’d like to post a reminder that entries for the 2019 National Retail Awards close this Friday 21 June at midnight. This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the impressive work of your team members and the business operation that you run.

There are 13 awards over 3 categories along with $40,000 worth of prizes, so if you haven’t already, make sure that you enter your nomination here.

All the best for the week ahead!