Earlier this week The B Team Australia presented their first draft of a set of 'Future of Work' principles, designed to contribute to the global conversation being led by the 100% Human at Work initiative.

The B Team Australia is a newly-formed, leadership group comprising of influential corporate CEOs and Chairs from Australia. This first iteration of principles is designed to spark debate and conversation on how companies can proactively address change, now, encouraging CEOs to join them in preparing for tomorrow, today.

Focusing not just on protecting roles, but on protecting people and equipping them with the skills they need to transition to new jobs  –  all while supporting health, well-being and personal challenges. The impact of technology-driven disruption is already being felt, as are the changes in our work patterns. Much research has been undertaken on AI and the automation of jobs and the message going forward is clear: the time to proactively shape the future of work … is now.

The B Team, Australasia

“Change is here now. We have an opportunity to shape a future of work that creates opportunity for all and is 100% Human. We are thrilled that companies are coming together in The B Team Australia and embedding human principles at the centre of their businesses,” Sir Richard Branson, co-founder, The B Team.

The initial principles have been founded on practical implementation already taking place in several of The B Team’s members’ businesses. Catherine Tanna, Managing Director of EnergyAustralia, said companies’ prospects for adapting to change were much higher when they listened to the experts – their own people. EnergyAustralia is establishing a $20m project to draw out employees’ insights on the future of work and applying them to develop the skills and training needed.

The B Team, Australasia

“CEOs shouldn’t forget the great perspective employees can offer, earned from working on the frontline. Getting our business in shape for a radically different world is a two-way partnership with our people. I’m not sure it can be done, or done effectively, without them.” EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna.
Beyond acknowledging the transition to a more tech-influenced workforce, The B Team Australasia members and the 100% Human at Work network are actively challenging one another on how best to support people throughout the changes  –  recognising that tech-driven disruption is likely to change and disrupt major elements of human roles, the principles aim to help businesses address these changes.

“The extent of the usage and effect of AI is evolving and evolving quickly. We believe it is time for business to establish some principles of best practice. We have developed some, but offer these for discussion and evolution in themselves. Definitive principles we hope will emanate from what we are suggesting for the good of all stakeholders,” David Gonski, co-chair, The B Team Australia. 

The B Team, Australasia

The principles aim to better understand and acknowledge the employee experience through times of change, as well as promoting learning and the sharing of ideas between organisations. The Future of Work Principles are: 

1. STRATEGICALLY PLAN FOR TECHNOLOGY: Devise a strategic plan for the development and use of technology and the impacts on people within an organisation.
2. CREATE CAREER GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES: Create individual growth opportunities for team members with specific targets to transition them into their future careers either internally, between organisations, or externally.
3. FOCUS ON THE WHOLE PERSON: If there is no longer a position available within the business for a team member because of technological disruption, fully support them in preparing for their next challenge, taking into account all aspects of their well-being, not only from a skill and remuneration perspective.
4. ESTABLISH SUPPORT NETWORKS: Assist in creating a network of employees experienced at advising others through the process in making the transition easier.
5. BE PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE: Report publicly on what has been done in seeking to ensure all stakeholders have been dealt with respectfully and with dignity to encourage others.