Automation And AI In Workplace

A word people have come to fear over some time because they believe that this is the reason they would lose their jobs. Hearing people say “automation is just a quick fix” is common but there is no truth to that statement.

In fact, it will not help anyone if the automation is being used to fix a problem. AI automation is used to enhance pre-existing business processes and improve workforce management.

Automation can make the process faster, more efficient and give you data on where your problems lie, but not fix them.

What this process is actually doing is that it takes a repetitive and mundane task from a person and does it faster than a human. You must be thinking then, “It is taking our jobs!” Although there is some truth to it, it is only one side of the coin.

According to the World Economic Forum, there are 133 million jobs that it has created while contributing to the decline of 75 million roles.

Artificial intelligence is reshaping the way businesses function today. In the past two decades, the world has seen heightened activity in Information Technology. This has led to significant changes at work.

Companies are increasingly accepting that employee engagement is important for improving the overall performance of employees. 

Hands down, employee engagement improves productivity and related programs boost company revenue by 26%

Glassdoor

This means there’s so much that automation can do to help the firm contribute more towards employee engagement.

So without any further ado, here are the seven ways automation is reforming the workplace.

AI In Workplace

Resume Parsing

There are companies that go through hundreds of emails and resumes, trying to find the best fit for their company. These judgments are based on personal experiences which often have a very limited view. One bad conversation can leave a sour taste.

So automation with the help of artificial intelligence understands what your requirements are, sorts through many resumes and rates them on a fit. This not only saves time but gives the user an unbiased result and how good of a fit a resume is.

There are obvious benefits to saving time but there are also implicit benefits that come out of this. Sometimes a simple misplaced word on a resume can be the factor that could sabotage a really good employee. 

On the other hand, resume parsing picks up the keywords available on the resume to make the fit possible, bringing the best employees to the company.

Reskilling and Upskilling

It may sound repetitive, but, it is important to know that the jobs that are coming out of the automation shift that we see today are skill-based. If firms want to retain employees and have them take on more responsibility, it is vital that they invest in their employees.

How does this relate to automation? Well, investing can be done through money and time. Especially if the skill already exists with someone at the firm, they can pass on these skills to other people by creating and implementing learning modules. Much like an online learning course.

The process is quite simple, a person who has the skill you would like to impart to employees in the workplace takes up the project. They use methods like video recording, creating quizzes, assigning papers, etc and create a competency module. 

Now, this would become usable by everyone in the company. If a manager would like their team to learn the skill, all they have to do is assign the module to their team and the learning can begin.

Learning is not done solely through assignments and quizzes as anyone would tell you. There is also the option of adding live workshops that are valuable to the company. There are so many ways automation can help skill an employee in a rigorous but timely manner.

Chatbots Answering Questions

Firms have employed people on calls answering the same set of questions every day. These questions are often found under the ‘Frequently Asked Question’ tab of a website. What if instead of a human answering your question, a bot answers them? Will it be that different? Most people don’t think so.

Chatbots with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence, have grown so much more than just answering questions. They can book travel tickets, send emails, order food and so much more! It also has the capacity to store data provided to it. One of the amazing use cases that I have come across is the travel ticket booking. An entire office could have access to the same chatbot and they can book tickets for company travel. The chatbot not only books the tickets but also stores the data for future company use. No receipts lost, no mess made!

With features like voice chat services and multilingual support across multiple platforms, it has become a must-have for any business.

Onboarding new employees

Most companies don’t invest much time in the onboarding process of a candidate. They believe that the right candidate would fit into the company culture and understand the process without much effort from their end. Therefore, they let the candidate explore and know more about the company.

 However, before they realize, they already lose the connection with the new member by neglecting the much-needed onboarding process. Selecting the right candidate isn’t the final step in recruitment. New employees would have expectations and demand some amount of time and attention to get comfortable in a new work environment. 

Of course, it’s difficult to make time for every new employee, especially in cases of mass hiring, but an automated applicant tracking system (ATS) can be used to make the process easier. It helps keep track of where the new applicant stands in the hiring process and keeps them engaged until the onboarding process.

Performance analysis and evaluation

You hire a group of professionals who will bring in sales and numbers but how do you measure whether the numbers are enough? Moreover, it’s great if your employees are meeting deadlines but how does one ensure that the employees meet their deadlines with quality work? This is where performance analysis and evaluation plays a key role.

Using AI tools, managers are able to follow and assess employee performance on a regular basis by keeping track of tasks, goals, and work being done by an employee. This ties into the annual appraisal cycles that make it possible to give the team an unbiased response. Like mentioned before, the automation allows for efficiency and improvement but does not solve an existing issue.

This is, in the crudest sense, a lot like college where all your grades from assignments, quizzes, and participation add up to give you a final score. Your tasks, engagement, and growth are all quantitatively measured to provide you with valuable feedback.

Talent acquisition and benefits

As mentioned earlier, you can swiftly eliminate 75% of the applicants by scanning, reading and evaluating them with the help of a recruitment platform.

This platform can come in handy to the management and leadership team. With insufficient time and ever-expanding roles of employees, this kind of automation would be a godsend. 

Technology will help you source the right candidate, screen their profile, and bring you well-prepared candidates. It will reject the rest three-quarters of the applicants.

This is a huge benefit for recruiters as well as the hiring team because-

  • This way they can invest more time in personally interacting with the candidate and analyze them better
  • They will only interact with a smaller group of candidates that is, in fact, interview-ready
  • The process will improve the quality of hiring decisions
  • Companies will save a substantial amount of money and time that they otherwise would have wrongly spent on a bad hire.

The talent acquisition platform is currently being used by recruiters to rank applicants as well. AI in workplace allows employers to contact the favorable applicants first instead of sorting through applications and getting lost in paperwork and emails.

Retention to measure Return on Investment

Employees stay when they feel like they belong. It isn’t always about the money and it isn’t always about the manager. It’s about the work they do and the value they add to your company. It’s how you treat them and their ideas to acknowledge, appreciate and reward them when they do a good job. Employees like recognition for their work. 

How will AI help? AI has the power to analyze and predict how your employees feel. It has the potential to collect and assess employee feedback and understand their needs. In fact, they need someone to talk to about their professional life and problems, if they’re facing any. AI can automate the entire process so that management can do the talking part and make their employees feel better. All of this adds to up employees feeling supported by the team that they work in. This also creates opportunities to focus on people that need it the most.

Ninety-one percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey. This would result in an alarming employee turnover rate that would cost businesses a lot of money in the future. 

To combat all this AI in workplace can come in handy. Automating the processes that require little to no imagination is how companies can focus on their workforce individually.

Conclusion

A future that relies on the work of automation is imminent but that is not a bad thing at all. There is a chance of growth if people put efforts to enhance themselves to work alongside automation. The job profiles are becoming a lot more complex and businesses are soon going to use Human Capital Management platforms like peopleHum to keep track of their employees. 

There is going to be a growth in terms of what AI can do in the coming future and developers are constantly making technology that better, faster, and more accurate. This is going to make jobs that require some form of technical background even more popular while the labor-based job profile will see a heavy decline till 2025. With 75 million jobs being displaced by 2025, there is a possibility to see more training centers and institutes that help upskill the current workforce so that they can change their jobs. 

The use of smartphones is common with AI in workplace. Most platforms and software that businesses will use in the future are going to have an app attached to them. This will keep the workforce connected at all times. The gig economy is also on the rise. And companies are going to have to make policies regarding the freelancers and contract workers they work with. The platforms are going to need provisions for these seasonal workers.

If you like this blog and want to know more about AI in workplace, check out peopleHum.

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Blog Cover Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash