To defend against disruption, build a thriving workforce

Nonstop disruption. We have all lived through it the past several years: a global pandemic, geopolitical and economic instability, and the rise of new technologies such as generative AI (gen AI). This increasing pace of change, coupled with the anxiety of prolonged uncertainty, has created a situation in which companies can’t afford to keep doing business as usual. Indeed, workers have sent a clear message that they are disengaged to varying degrees and often burned out. They continue to question where, how, and why they work.Automation and analytics broadly—and gen AI specifically—may be extremely helpful tools for addressing productivity challenges, not to mention the energy transition and climate change. However, if it’s not managed properly, the very adoption of gen AI as a new way of working could burn people out even more, accelerating the downward spiral.

Recent McKinsey research reveals that both technical and nontechnical heavy users of gen AI are increasingly likely to leave their jobs because of burnout. Those who aren’t burned out, however, told us they have remained in their jobs because they have real flexibility that suits their personal needs and work preferences, they do meaningful work that gives them energy, and they have support at work for their health and well-being (including mental and emotional health). Organizations would be wise to take note of these worker preferences since the need for gen AI talent is expected to grow rapidly.

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