How to Combat Net Job Loss Due to Automation

June 1st, 2017

By Michael Solomon, 10x Management Co-Founder

What are some ways to combat the effects of net job loss due to automation? Employees owning a meaningful piece of their companies could be a viable solution. This is a concept that is getting less attention from the media but has a lot of merit. In essence, if you own a piece of your company and lose your job to automation or a technological advancement, the cost savings and value to the company should have a positive impact on you that might offset the loss of your job. There are a handful of innovative companies like Tesla, Chobani and Starbucks that have done this voluntarily already. It will be incredibly interesting to see if others follow suit. In my opinion, we are going to need to move away from the I and toward the we if we are to sustain our society in a post-labor world. This article from the Harvard Business Review does a great job of explaining why owning stock is such a great way to incentivize employees and encourage technological advancements:

“If an employee holds stock in a company, and is replaced by a robot, they may actually benefit from the robot taking their job and doing it better, since their stock’s value will increase as the company becomes more successful. Imagine if Uber gave out stock to its drivers today — several years from now, if Uber becomes a successful autonomous car company, its former drivers would gain financially. Stock options allow workers the possibility of becoming future owners and beneficiaries of the robots that replace them.”

As the idea of allowing more employees to hold stock catches on to offset automation and more companies adopt this policy, we will begin to see an economy that benefits everyone emerge.

If you like this article, you might enjoy reading How the Fast Pace of Technology Can Be an Advantage For You