Automation has been a fact of life for decades now; transforming, first, manufacturing and now service-based and technology industries. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in automation allows software to run through processes and tasks, increasingly reducing the need for human intervention.
While the development of automation isn’t new to us, changes to our technology infrastructure and capability are providing new opportunities for automation through AI, and it’s important to understand their impact within our workplaces.
How AI Automation Will Impact Your Business Leaders
As we go into the last quarter of 2023, businesses are facing continued pressure from a number of fronts with the same concerns being raised across the board: Rising Costs, Worker Shortages and Sustainability.
I want to look at how each of our workplace leaders can benefit from AI in automation to support their work in these areas.
1. For the Workplace Experience Leader
Looking after the physical and cultural environment, the Workplace Experience Leader will be ensuring your workplace aligns with your company’s values and objectives.
We’ve talked before about how our workspaces have developed and what our people want from them - particularly the importance of using the data we have to create solutions that work. (You might be interested in this post which identifies the three pillars of your physical workspace; or this post which gives some ideas about how your data will guide workspace development.)
As more people talk to me about managing rising costs and improving sustainability, it’s interesting to see how technology - and AI in particular - can support this. New systems are available which will collect building and weather data to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
Utilising the data available, these systems can make predictive decisions using previous patterns of use and the conditions outside the building. Promising to reduce excess energy consumption, these systems will improve both sustainability and cost metrics, which can be easily measured with the transparent data availability.
2. For the Learning and Development Leader
Your Learning and Development (L&D) Leader is responsible for the ongoing growth and training of employees, ensuring they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles as well as providing opportunities for further development.
There is a clear role for the Learning and Development Experience Leader in employee engagement, improving systems that will help individuals feel valued helping reduce the number of employees leaving.
This article from Forbes identifies a number of ways in which AI can be better utilised by L&D leaders, including:
Learning management systems which are personalised to the individual’s knowledge levels and learning style.
Supporting the creation of content providing resources which suit a learners preferences.
Improvements in e-learning systems which can provide real-time intelligent feedback.
Making the most of these innovations will not only improve the learning experience for employees and make more opportunities available, AI tools can make the content creation process easier giving your training teams the opportunity to spend time on more innovative and fulfilling work.
3. For the Digital Experience Leader
The role of the Digital Experience (DE) Leader is to focus on your customer and employees digital touchpoints to ensure a seamless, efficient and enjoyable digital journey for everyone.
AI and automation provide a number of opportunities to develop better processes which will support the DE Leader to manage rising costs and improve employee engagement to support retention.
Automation and AI can make huge process improvements but to be successful, it’s essential that these developments are designed around the humans who will be using them. This means systems should be designed to be easy to use, inclusive, convenient and secure. AI systems (such as chatbots or online help systems) can answer simple questions while ensuring a fast connection to the required expert when necessary. Ensuring these systems work for the individual accessing them is a question of great design.
Most of us are already using AI-powered apps to support any number of our daily tasks (Alexa and Google assistant) and creative pursuits (Synesthesia and Facetune). As organisations we have the opportunity to provide our employees with simple, accessible solutions to their problems - either through existing applications or developing our own.
Elevating Workplace Potential
AI and automation will continue to improve giving us more development opportunities within our workplaces. Within this article, we’ve looked at some specific examples of how AI can support our workplace leaders who, by harnessing its capabilities, can drive innovative solutions, optimise key strategies, and provide unparalleled experiences for both employees and customers.
All this, while still keeping a focus on the wider business concerns around costs, employee retention and sustainability.
About the Author
I'm Terry Chana. I am an innovation strategist that connects customer, employee and brand experiences. My passion lies in building ecosystems to solve business problems by combining creativity and technology.