As you probably noticed in the (social) media: Albert Heijn is going to open a store in which you don’t have to pass by a cash register to pay for your groceries. Only a pass holding in front of the shelfs is sufficient to make sure the due amount is being paid within ten minutes. No more long queues. But also no cashiers anymore in such a settling.
The first minds concerned mainly the employability of the cashiers: will they end up out on the streets? After the concerns were settled down, Albert Heijn came with a nuance. No job will be lost. The employees who would be working at the cashier desks normally speaking will now start working inside the stores by advising customers and assisting where needed. According to Jan-Willem Dockheer, the director of Albert Heijn to go, it is not an economy measure and he does not exclude that more employees are needed because of this change. “Because the shelfs should be refilled sooner”. I read from that statement that AH expects these adjustments will positively affect the revenue and the turnover.
To know whether the last part (and therewith the first part as well) truly will be the case, we will have to wait. But it may be clear that also in the supermarket branch a whole new automatization is awaiting us. Who knows this is the next step to a future without cashiers at all.
At social media this prediction was discussed extensively and in this kind of discussions emotions are (unfortunately) very empathically present because people fear for their or other people’s jobs. I dare to say that the change will not happen that fast. Nevertheless, it confirms again the need to stay agile. All types of job are under pressure when we talk about automation. Who does still know the Typist, Wheel maker, Telegraphist, Grinder and the Milkman? Inform within your family what kind of work your grandparents did. There is a big change that these jobs don’t exist anymore. But at the same time new possibilities originated.
Even though a lot of jobs disappeared in the last century, the unemployment percentage is pretty stable. Apart from the crisis years such as the 30’s and 80’s, the unemployment percentage will not come above the 9% and not under the 3%. Extreme high unemployment rates don’t be caused by automation of jobs, but by high crises. As long as employees keep on learning and developing to stay agile, automation can be handled with. Agile; to be capable of moving along with the labour market and to have alternatives when a job disappears.
Anyone can be agile. Willingness to be agile is a choice. Do you cling yourself tightly to job security or do you chose work flexibility? What do you do to still be employable tomorrow?
Together we create agility towards the future. Isn’t this what you want for your company? Do you want to talk further about this subject? You can reach me by phone via 010-2104446, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org