Robotics, helpful chat bots, computer vision, virtual reality: These are the technologies of the future with artificial intelligence (AI) at their center.
While tech giants invest in these AI technologies, AI adoption outside the tech sector is in its nascent stage.
Only 20 percent of AI-aware C-level executives currently use an AI-related technology at scale or in a core part of their business, according to McKinsey Global Institute. In fact, many businesses are uncertain of the business case or return on investment. However, PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study found that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030. Whether it’s a customer service chatbot or machine learning integrated into software, it’s clear AI investment and advancements will make a positive impact on the economy.
The barriers to entry for AI investment can range from regulatory to cost, with the added sense of fear, as 68 percent of employees state they are hesitant to use and/or trust AI according to our 2018 State of Workplace Empathy Study. But there is no denying that investing in and adopting AI will at some point become a necessity, and your organization will come out ahead if you’re on the early side of adoption.
So, what is the secret tool to help your organization get the most from AI investments? Your HR department. They can provide offerings to engage employees and create foundational support for AI. Engage your HR team in these three ways to successfully put AI to work in your organization.
Source employee input. When investing in new resources and tools that your employees will be using, have your HR department source their input. Ask employees about their needs for more productive work, what pain points they have with the technology today and how they envision AI becoming part of their daily lives. This initial engagement and buy-in will set you up for a more successful implementation and adoption in the long run.
Provide best-in-class trainings. Getting employees properly trained on AI technologies is the most important piece to driving adoption. About 57 percent of executives believe that a lack of talent would be the biggest barrier to success with AI in the short-term; and 40 percent of executives plan to increase training and education on the business applications of AI. A sophisticated, strong training program can help bridge the gap between fear and confidence for employees in AI, which will lead to faster and more successful adoption down the road.
Get executives involved. It should be no surprise that executive buy-in and sponsorship is absolutely necessary in driving engagement in AI. If your CEO isn’t ready and willing to dive into a new technology, then why should their employees have confidence in its merits? 70 percent of CEOs and 66 percent of HR professionals think technology enables empathy, but employees are not as confident (51 percent). If your HR department can aid the executive team in sharing this sentiment, there will be success in getting employees onboard as they see results twofold: a more efficient workday and increased empathy in the workplace.
Interested in learning more about empathy at work? Get the Executive Summary below.