As organizations grapple with an increasing number of routine, administrative tasks that can drain employees’ time, digital disruptions like mobile apps and AI (Artificial Intelligence) at work, are already demonstrating how rapidly it can transform work. There is cautious worry about the effect that the new age HR solutions with AI coming in a picture will have, especially when it comes to the workplace and the perceived threat to high-transaction oriented jobs.
Keeping that in context, the pace with which automation is transforming business productivity and aiding to human efficiency in the routine process driven work is remarkable. When embracing these new-age technologies and processes, employees should welcome and attune themselves to new AI-powered workplaces and harness these aids for making themselves future-ready. Probably one of the most important points is how your team should react and take the responsibility in handling the transition from working without AI to having an AI aided team member to automate administrative tasks.
How to prepare for new HR tech practices in workplace:
Be an early adopter: Start now by experimenting, learning and understanding more patterns from relevant/connected fields. As marketers quickly have adapted to using mobile apps and chatbots to improve customer interaction, so can HR functions implement the same for a lot of employee activities. “Catch the train while it’s steaming up”.
Effective change management at all levels: Make people understand how AI works and why one should not feel intimidated. Make them a part of PoCs (proof of concepts) and experiments so as they are familiar with the advancements which happen. Develop and reward enablers of technology which would assist in driving the change ahead with their teams.
New Training Methodology: Create fun and gamified ways of improving communication with coordinated and team members. Look out for people internally who are ready to embrace this challenge and understand the positivity in the impact.
Calibrate Recruiting Strategy: Existing people in the organization may know the organization context much better, however, might lack in skills related to creativity. Organizations must identify candidates who bring creativity, collaboration, empathy and judgment skills to the table and train current workers in these capabilities, hence re-engineering & align to current demands & skill development is essential to new recruitment strategy.
Iterate and Improve Success Definitions: Failure to shift key performance indicators for the current leaders will lead to a delay in the adoption of technology. It will prevent the adoption of new skills. New ideas for success should be based on creativity, collaboration, and experimentation.
Elevating & Transforming Roles: With the power of automation and getting away from repetitive tasks with help of AI-powered machines; human capital would now have to shift focus from transactional to strategic decision making. Time-constraint being the least of worry now, individuals need to develop their competencies, collaborate with team members and recreate roles for themselves which in turn would lead to realizing a higher potential and eventually improving organization’s overall performance.
Digital transformation and automation is not the future of the workplace, it is the present and happening today. HR leaders need to experiment with all facets of AI to deliver value to their organization.
A lot of people are anxious about AI and Robotics and the impact on jobs. Their fears have some justification. But paradoxically the rise of machines will place a huge premium on the things which make us human – our emotions and creativity. Machines and AI cannot replicate emotions and creativity. That is uniquely human, and that is what will become more critical and sought after in workplaces. Similarly, the ‘soft skills’ will become valuable because machines will excel at the ‘hard skills’. Very few of us can compete against AI in data, logic, and reasoning but we are quiet sure when it comes to compassion, empathy, creativity and collaboration.
Don’t fear the rise of machines. But do hone your creativity and soft skills because that is the way of the future!!
Author: Prakash Rao is a Founding Member and Vice President of the Multi-Process HR Outsourcing business at PeopleStrong. An expert in the field of HR Transformation, Prakash has led the transformation of human resources for various leading organisations of India.