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Each year in Davos, business leaders and decision makers from around the world gather to exchange ideas on how to address current global trends and issues.

Last year, that focus was on ‘globalisation 4.0’. Economic and business concepts like this are often loosely defined. This does have some benefits, such as enabling open-minded discussion not bound by industrial or regional parameters.

However, it often leads to certain vital issues being lost in the complex dialogues that arise at such events. While many leaders are focussed on how to utilise technology to enhance commercial or operational efficiency, the importance of human resource issues is being set aside in favour of a focus on corporate success.

But, as acknowledged by Steffen Maier, Co-founder of Impraiser, there is an imperative need for C-Suite executives to realise the value of HR departments in helping to drive productivity and foster a more engaged workforce.

In a world where technology is consistently improving, with old ways of working becoming outdated at record speeds, employees will need to continually ‘upskill’ or they will become redundant and companies will have to face a world beset by human talent shortage. Indeed, such a talent crunch is already expected to affect more than 85 million people by 2030.

If companies are to ready themselves for – and thrive in – globalisation 4.0, they need to take a people-first approach, focussing on the talent and well-being of their employees over the bottom line.

If they don’t, the world is facing a looming social and economic crisis of technological unemployment that no amount of AI or 5g will mitigate.