Back in 90’s I watched the movie “Terminator 2” with awe and exhilaration as a child, but two and half-decade later, watching “ExMachina” became more thought-provoking and relatable. This wasn’t because I was a grown-up now, but because the movie seemed much more plausible in today’s situation. Perhaps, the sheer magnitude and the rate of AI-powered developments are helping the technology to get gradually incepted as a new normal in the human thought process.
“My son and I were reading a story that talked about the future of schooling and learning with the advent of AI in the next 30 years. It was very easy for him to envisage learning from the comfort of home, lessons at the pace they decide, with chatbots as teachers and without the printed books. Interestingly it appeared very normal for him to accept this change”
However, in the corporate world, such an acceptance of AI is still a farfetched idea – easier said than done. Underneath the huge fan following of the latest technologies and the disruption, there is a high level of anxiety about AI. Possibly, the perception of job insecurity associated with AI has a major role to play in creating apprehensions. It’s fair to have uncertainties in this VUCA world, however, by now one should realize we can’t stop the change nor can stand against it. What we can do however is to embrace technology and augment our performance and experience by the “Integrated Human – AI approach.”
Since dealing with people and managing them is what I do for a living, what better than talking about enhancing employee experience using this integrated Human – AI approach by decoding the 9 steps from A to I as follows:
Are you the right fit
One of the nightmares in HR professional’s life is to screen and source the best candidate within the set timeframe. A bigger nightmare is to hire and keep the recruiters motivated to do this task repeatedly. AI can solve both these problems by helping recruiters pick up profiles matching the competencies best suited for the role as benchmarked with existing high performers in that role. That too without gender bias, region or industry biases and within no time. Hence your walk-ins or campus recruitment drives can be done with ease and effectiveness. This frees up time for the recruiters to focus on quality interviews with the handpicked candidates. It also gives them the chair on the decision-making table along with the line managers.
Be a part
Onboarding can become seamless and effective for the new hires using AI-powered chatbots or programs. Someone who supports them with questions related to their shuttle, shift timings, laptops, etc. Moreover understanding the new culture of the organization is imperative for stronger assimilation and here the chatbots can conduct culture training shots periodically. In this fast-paced life employees need answers instantly. These questions can be related to HR policies, employee benefits, Tax calculations or insurance cover. Their experience can be enhanced by providing them with instant and accurate answers at any time of the day using AI-based tools.
Cut the crap
Robotic process automation tools are now available which can monitor workflows and processes and make intelligent suggestions about how tasks could be done more effectively and efficiently. Basically by removing waste from the workflows. These tools can also prompt when employees are facing difficulty or are spending too long on a particular issue. Not only that, they are designed to step- in to either assist or suggest where human help could be available.
Dare to face
There are AI applications available which can infer the mood and morale of the employees by tracking the emoji’s and the word patterns in emails employees use and contextualize them as negative or positive emotions. If organizations and managers can handle these inputs in good spirit and take proactive actions transparently, a progressive and open work environment will await round the corner.
Engage and Empower
If hiring talent is difficult, retaining and engaging them is a herculean task. According to a BambooHR survey, more than two-thirds of the employees surveyed report leaving a promising new position within the first 6 – 12 months. According to a Gallup report, 85 % of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Part of the reason for this is due to disruptions in the industry. In such times if organizations can know which engagement initiatives will work for the different people and what rewards and interventions will give the greatest ROI, they can enhance their employees experience and engage them firmly. The plethora of tech tools using natural language processing, machine learning and biometrics are available to empower HR and managers to improve employee engagement.
Fun at learning
Learning can be truly inspiring and engaging for the workforce if it uses AI and VR powered platforms and content. Many companies these days use VR head gears while the engineer is at work which records every small work detail and translates into training programs used to train the new hires. AI-powered learning assistants could track the learning progress of the employees, help them set their goals, challenge them using gamification techniques and provide them comparative scores. But the best effect of this is empowerment to people to take their own development responsibility which truly engages them as owners of their careers.
Millennials which will constitute 75 % of the workforce by 2030 like to be independent and try to find solutions to their emotional issues by themselves. AI could support this empathetically and confidentially like a counsellor whenever, wherever employee needs help.
How’s my performance
Real time feedback, unbiased performance reviews is what keeps people motivated. Unfortunately giving objective feedback sends many mangers a shiver down their spine. Work Graph based on employees work profile prompts feedback from peers and managers making it real-time and natural. It also recognizes the preferred method of interaction by the people and adapts it. With work graphs, trends across departments can be compared making performance reviews objective and data-driven.
Last but not least, Many people join organizations and leave their managers. Many times below the culture vision and structure of a company there are hidden and ugly layers of politics and conflicts. In some organizations, it is more in others less, but every one of us have faced it and at times left the company when we were not able to handle it. What if a chatbot is programmed using AI who is fed with possible answers to handle these political and conflicting situations from the organization and outside. One who could neutrally and confidentially advice on handling such instances with logic and grace.