The workplace dynamic is evolving so rapidly and with such innovation, that it is quickly transforming the way in which teams are managed and business success is achieved.
These momentous shifts in technology integration have ultimately caused a subsequent shift in the way we manage our workplace leadership programmes and the content entailed. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not only becoming more prevalent in the workplace but across a vast range of commercial and private sectors, with the aim to improve service offerings, minimise the risk of human error and develop ways of working that are more effective and streamlined.
AI in the workplace
Recent research has revealed how some of the leading global companies are evolving their workplaces by integrating digital aspects more heavily, to achieve a competitive edge and improve their process through a digitally focused strategy.
With the introduction of AI into the workplace, companies anticipate a huge shift in the way we conduct workplace leadership. This poses the question, how might humans and AI work alongside one another? Workplace leadership training will need to focus more heavily on technology and how to effectively manage an environment that is populated by both robots and humans.
Skill sets will likely need to be upgraded to cater for a change in job roles, where some processes are automated and moved to AI’s. Upskilling and retraining will need to occur to ensure that existing staff can retain a position in the business, but also align them with the ways in which processes will change with the introduction of AI.
The evolution of customer service has been heavily influenced by the development of AI and the way in which teams have been downsized due to the use of virtual advisors. These chatbots have evolved greatly since the days of MSN and similar IM operators. These highly intelligent programmes are able to communicate with customers via text or auditory methods, making them highly accessible to a wider array of customer demographics, with a vast catalogue of responses to cater for any query.
AI and job security
There is an underlying worry from workforces, currently performing jobs and tasks at risk of becoming automated, regarding the potential redundancies which may arise as a consequence of the shift. Some analysts estimate that 80% of current jobs could disappear within 20 years, which further drives the need for managers to ensure their workplace leadership tasks focus on strategic planning. These plans need to focus on the retention of valued and talented staff members and the development of their technology skills, in order to work seamlessly alongside the AI systems.
Workers should not feel deflated by the idea of AI’s taking jobs, as with any automated function, there will be a distinct lack of human empathy, emotional intelligence, negotiation and crisis resolution. As with many customer-focused functions, there is often a requirement to maintain the ability to speak to a real human being. Some questions require the advisor to think and feel empathy for a customer, or find an alternative the solution for a unique question, query or situation, otherwise not apparent to a machine.
The future of workplace AI
Full AI systems are a long way from becoming fully integrated into businesses, with most applications currently in adolescent stages of intelligence or even early development and research stages. The future of AI looks to encourage more people to take up roles in learning to translate the digital language, convert data into human experiences and make the raw data more accessible to those unfamiliar with the technical jargon.
Workplace leadership is the key to refocusing the attitudes of employees to AI, alongside pushing the development of technical knowledge. Management must be the driver of change when it comes to preparing for the future, securing their companies place in the future marketplace and ensuring that their business remains competitive.