October 30, 2023
Invention breeds comfort and ease. But before innovation becomes convenient, it can be disruptive. While technological advancements have led to rapid changes in all walks of life, one disruption acted as a serious game-changer in 2023.
We’re talking about generative AI (GenAI) — the most commonly known version of which is ChatGPT. This tech went from being an agent of opportunity among employers and employees alike to being a household name in just a few months.
Now that the GenAI movement has become a more permanent workplace fixture, we suggest getting up to speed with the trends. But before implementing any changes in your company, dig deeper into how AI can create business efficiencies and support your employees.
At True North, our team has dealt with disruptive technologies for a long time, and we know precisely how to assist businesses along their organizational design evolution.
What is GenAI?
GenAI is a class of artificial intelligence systems and models that uses large language models to produce content, such as text, images, audio, or other data, to mimic human creativity.
Some basic uses of GenAI for HR include document generation (such as interview forms and job descriptions), chatbots as automated virtual assistants, information parsing, and data analysis. But there’s much more it can do.
How Does GenAI Support HR?
The simple answer is by creating efficiencies. There are many small daily tasks, such as paperwork, that bog down employees, slowing productivity.
True North CEO Paola Accettola says AI can effectively reallocate precious human resources that may get lost in repetitive daily tasks. Companies should be curious and open to studying which GenAI tools can be beneficial and not overwhelming.
“Find your way around the AI world; don’t let it drown you.”
For example, you can save employee time by automating daily redundancies. Study a variety of AI tools before selecting those best suited for your company’s needs.
But, Paola says, like anything else, it’s always good to have oversight in matters concerning AI. “It can be a road full of surprises. Use it with caution.”
Adapting to an AI-focused Environment
There has been rapid uptake of AI and automation worldwide, but along with it has come resistance related to employee anxiety. This is a result of the work-system modifications over the last few years.
Evolution is not easy—we understand. A company’s decision to incorporate AI into its systems can trigger a number of responses from employees.
From dispelling common myths to highlighting seamless ways for integration, True North works with company leadership to prepare a human-focused plan to deal with employee concerns immediately. By tackling these concerns head-on, organizations can strengthen morale and showcase a culture of forward-thinking that is considerate of employee hesitations.
Common AI-related Worries
Automation can be a welcome addition in many workplaces, but if that automation threatens the core duties of staff, it can be just the opposite. As GenAI, like ChatGPT, has demonstrated its capabilities, worries run rampant. Some of the most common include:
- Job insecurity: One of the most common employee concerns is that AI is out to get their jobs. This concern is especially prevalent in industries where automation can easily replicate repetitive tasks.
- Uncertainty: No matter how much AI pervades our systems, we may not fully understand how it impacts our lives. The fear of the unknown can distress employees about the future of their careers.
- Control and autonomy: When machines take over certain tasks, employees may feel a loss of control over their work routine. This is especially true if employees feel excluded from the decision-making process when automation is introduced.
- Cultural shift: Introducing AI into the company can trigger a substantial cultural shift, disconnecting employees from company values or ethos.
- Ethical concerns: There are always ethical and privacy concerns that go with using AI systems, as they don’t have the breadth of understanding or morals that roles exclusively done by people do.
AI Adoption Strategies
Technology advancements can be inundating and can overwhelm decision-makers.
“Spinning out of control doesn’t get anybody anywhere,” Paola says.
True North assists company leadership in getting ahead of employee discomfort by identifying potential risks and challenges associated with AI implementation and creating mitigation plans. Walking on that pathway, Paola and her team work proactively to address concerns about job displacement and other negative impacts.
Until True North is integrated within your organization, here are some steps your business can take to create a supportive, considerate environment for your employees:
- Create oversight: Establish an ethics committee to oversee AI projects, assess their ethical implications, and provide recommendations. Involve employees in AI strategy discussions and decision-making processes to make them feel more invested and less anxious. Encourage diverse perspectives and inclusion in AI development and deployment.
- Reassuring employees: Once employees know that AI tools are being used to complement their work, not replace them, they will be less likely to reject the idea of AI at work.
- Open communication: Companies can address AI-related fears through transparent communication between management and employees. Educational programs about the AI technology being used and its capabilities and limitations can foster trust in the company’s AI initiatives and goals.
- Legal compliance: Ensure the company adheres to all relevant AI-related laws and regulations to mitigate legal risks. Here’s what you should know if you’re using AI to monitor employee progress.
- Data privacy and security: Companies need to emphasize the importance of data privacy and security to allay concerns about data misuse.
- Employee Support: Offer emotional support, counselling, or access to resources for employees experiencing AI-related anxiety or stress. Create channels for employees to provide feedback on AI systems and their impact on work and well-being.
How True North Can Help
We take a personalized approach to HR. After all, it’s people who help your organization function, innovate, and achieve goals, not AI. But AI can make these processes easier and more efficient and may even support your initiatives by helping you get to the finish line faster. If you’re looking to roll out a work plan that incorporates AI into your human-focused company, we’d love to lend a hand. Get in touch with us today.