The business world has changed tremendously over the past few years. Not only has technology catapulted us into new and exciting possibilities, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many businesses ran and how employees looked at their jobs.
According to research conducted by Mckinsey and Company, COVID-19 led many employees to re-evaluate their purpose and role in regards to the bigger picture. In doing so, they found that their supposed job security wasn’t reality, or they realized how minimally business owners were concerned with employee confidence or well-being. In some regards, employees became concerned that their role in a business would become obsolete due to the new technologies.
The bright side of automation means that the repetitive, tedious tasks, like running reports or status updates, no longer need to be completed by an employee. By reducing employee input on simple, menial tasks, their abilities can now be used to create opportunities for meaningful projects.
With the integration of IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) tools and applications, such as Prophecy IoT, some machines are even intended to produce unique forms of human intelligence and, using data from employee behaviors, make decisions about workers themselves.
In our personal lives, we have no reservations about allowing AI to transform how we interact day to day. We appreciate that LinkedIn employs artificial intelligence to provide career recommendations and contact suggestions for us. We have fun using Snapchat overlay filters that move in rhythm with our faces. We survive thanks to our digital assistants that act as appointment reminders and alarm clocks, and similarly, the household digital assistants that control things like our lighting, thermostats, and garage doors.
Therefore, if we can readily embrace AI in our personal lives, it should be easy to embrace in work situations, right?
Not always. For lower-level employees, this goes back to fear of employees becoming obsolete. For executives, this has to do with the financial investment AI requires, and the fear of its failure.
Let’s try to dispel both of those fears here.
While many people expected automation to displace workers and cause dissension, it can actually bring about the opposite by eliminating jobs that are essentially dissatisfying. At first, people become alarmed, afraid that robots will replace them; however, the truth is that their menial tasks can be replaced by meaningful, technology-based work. In addition, employees can finish more tasks in less time by allowing the technology to work for them.
When the frustrating manual work is replaced with automation, it makes way for high-skilled technology work that does not require specific degrees in programming. This is, again, another fear. AI requires training, and it’s an employer’s task to offer training with new technology in order to guarantee that the new AI tech will be used to its greatest advantages.
An example of this can be demonstrated with banking’s move to automation. ATMs reduced the operating costs of bank branches, and they allowed banks to significantly expand the number of locations in order to reach more customers. The tellers were moved to the sales desks where they were greeted with greater pay and more stimulating work.
And this is the true benefit: AI helps the company to excel while allowing the employee to feel more purposeful.
These same benefits can be seen across the business world. Fabric production became more affordable because of automation, which then resulted in an increased demand in products through the higher number of customers. In law offices, thanks to data specific software, sifting through legal records became cheaper and faster, allowing lawyers to do their job faster and more thoroughly. In the medical devices and healthcare industries, users and manufacturers of medical devices will benefit from new features, improved ways to manage doctor-patient interactions, and enhanced healthcare delivery thanks to AI.
The bottom line is this: AI handles menial or even sometimes dangerous tasks, therefore allowing employees to focus their energy on more important tasks like customer relations or creating new products to expand the business. Employees will then feel more purposeful in their work, and in turn, be happier. For employees, AI means:
- more balanced workloads
- remote work options
- additional time for training and professional development
- reduced impact from staffing changes
- greater visibility into work processes
Another important aspect of automation as it pertains to employee engagement is demonstrated in the evolution of decision making by management and executives. Data-driven decision-making and task automation improve efficiency at these levels, too. Automation can mitigate decision fatigue, guaranteeing that leaders make the best possible decision for the organization. As a result, leaders have more time to lead and build employee relationships.
If you are interested in seeing how AI can advance your business by creating a more productive and balanced workspace, Godlan consultants have the knowledge to provide innovative software solutions for your business. Our specialists can provide the best choice in ERP for your needs and suggest AI technologies to enhance your company. Visit Godlan.com or call 586.-464-4400 today.