Modern technology is growing at an incredibly fast pace and artificial intelligence (AI) is leading the pack. Businesses across several industries are proactively finding ways to integrate it into their organizations, for external customer-oriented tasks or for internal operational tasks. 73 percent of senior executives said they have received "measurable value" from their AI initiatives.
There is little doubt AI is transforming businesses in the 21st century and as it continues to mature, it appears executives are eagerly embracing this tech. AI’s workplace power is leading people to feel a bit worried and more than curious about how it will affect their jobs.
Gallup reports close to 75 percent of people believe AI will eliminate more jobs than it creates. Furthermore, 23 percent of workers admit to being "very" or "somewhat" worried they'll lose their jobs to AI.
It's becoming clear AI is a highly disruptive tech and organizations implementing it will need some time to adjust. Learning how to coach your team members can help them face the ever-changing technology in your industry.
Be open with employees
Business intelligence and automation will only continue to collide with your employees' familiar processes and routines. When new technology is integrated on your team, it's important to be open with employees about what it means for them, and how it can make them even more productive. It might seem easier to simply implement without explaining; that would eliminate some apprehension and frustration in the interim. However, in the long run, this approach will probably do more harm than good.
An article published by Talent Management and HR points out: "In every organization, everyone needs to be prepared to adapt to the changes that inevitably come. Sticking your head in the sand and hoping that everything’s going to be OK is a recipe for disaster."
Workers may feel segregated and unimportant by being left out of the loop. It's a slippery slope that could put them on the path to disengagement. According to Gallup, 87 percent of employees feel disengaged with their jobs. Leave them out of the change equation, and productivity and morale are likely to sink even further.
Workplace coaching could be your solution.
Establishing a coaching culture can negate disengagement, and have a positive impact, increasing productivity and organizational success rates.
Managers play a huge role in driving better engagement. With AI steadily making inroads, now is not the time to ignore the changes going on in the world. If you are integrating AI, communicate with your employees and let them know. Openness and reassurance can go a long way.
Emphasize the positive
People appear to quickly embrace and happily use AI in their personal lives but not so much when it comes to their professional ones. A recent survey indicates 9 in 10 Americans use one of the six most common products with AI components. Yet, people are wary of it when it comes to the workplace. This isn't surprising since managing resistance to organizational change has historically been a challenge for leadership. It's one thing to consult Siri or Cortana for personal issues but another thing entirely when disruptive tech gets connected to a paycheck.
However, many organizational leaders and human resources executives believe integrating AI into HR functions will actually improve their employees' overall experience and provide higher levels of personalization—from the hiring process to working with current employees. Along with customized experiences, AI can remove the mundane or repetitive tasks associated with day-to-day routines.
- A “chatbot” can be a customer's first point of contact, giving employees more time to work on other more challenging tasks rather than spending hours a day on the phone.
- Using AI tools to expedite routine tasks such as benefits management, common training questions, vacation requests and onboarding allows the HR team time to add a more human touch to other important employee issues.
- When the marketing team uses AI to deliverpersonalized customer experiences and perform the complicated process of examining and analyzing data to find customer behavioral patterns to predict future behavior, they have more time for more creative or innovative projects.
- Transitioning some manual tasks to automated ones frees up everyone to explore development opportunities, professional growth and the chance to perform more rewarding work.
It's clear, AI is steadily changing the way employees work. There’s no going back. Organizations and individuals need to learn how to work effectively with emerging technology to remain competitive.
Generally, it's a good idea to put employees at ease wherever possible. By accentuating the positive elements associated with AI, you can show them how it has the capacity to augment their jobs, rather than eliminate them.
Coaching can help ease the transition
The biggest thing to avoid as your organization undergoes any significant change is putting distance between managers and employees. Coaching can bridge the gap and encourage employees discover the solutions to help AI work with you in a way that builds the employee/employer relationship.
A coaching cadence and framework opens up conversations so employees can:
- Understand AI and adapt to change.
- Learn how to work with new technologies.
- Process how AI will affect their daily routines and processes.
- Discover how AI fits into the overall business strategy and how it impacts every employee.
To maximize success as you implement new technology, you'll have to find ways to effectively lead employees through a potentially complex. While training is good, coaching is a more powerful way to change behavior permanently. It energizes, motivates, and leads to faster results.
Managing organizational change always comes with some challenges, but with high-tech in the mix, decision-makers often find themselves in unexplored territory.
While AI gathers the data, humans have a few attributes machines don't—empathy, creativity and emotional intelligence—the same attributes that can be relied upon as you forge through organizational change.
Well-designed coaching is highly effective in helping people to learn because it draws them out in a safe environment, empowering them to use their talents and knowledge throughout the process. Coaching isn't a total solution to HR problems, but it's a nice complement that supports departmental initiatives.
Now that you're actively thinking about how to handle AI when it comes to your organization, find out about the best 7 essential behaviors experienced coaches put into practice.