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General Business
Managing People
Employment & HR

Will AI dominate or work in partnership with us in the workplace?

Primed Team
7 May 2024 3 minutes

Will AI dominate or work in partnership with us in the workplace? International HR Day approaches on 20th May and this year's theme, "HR shaping the new future," prompts us to explore this issue alongside discussions on future workplaces, people leadership and ongoing advancements in skills and education.

International HR Day - HR professionals talking in the office.

The future of the workplace will be a forever changing dynamic with every new development in technology. Business owners and managers face important questions regarding engaging and managing an evolving workforce in a flexible environment. Addressing longstanding skills gaps are vital, alongside adopting productivity-boosting technologies such as AI. In an increasingly AI-driven landscape,  businesses are forced to explore how technology can enhance productivity, employee wellbeing, recruitment, and training while being mindful of the ethical considerations and empowering workers to utilise technology effectively and responsibly. According to People Management, AI could improve HR efficiency by 30%.

The discussion continues; is AI a threat or is it here to help? Although there are concerns about job losses, there are plenty of opportunities for creating more and better jobs! By automating some processes using technologies we are changing how people work and the types of employment available. The use of AI can leverage a person’s productivity, allow people to work remotely and even give the opportunity to outsource tasks to someone else. AI chatbots are one of the most accessible examples, streamlining tasks and even mimicking personal style. In untrained hands, the result is likely incorrect or inappropriate. The risk of spreading misinformation and bias must also be considered!  A learned human touch is necessary.  AI technologies are still not widely adopted, creating a digital divide. Organisations should invest responsibly in AI, considering its impact on job quality and workforce engagement.

So who’s responsible when AI does something wrong? There are currently many grey areas surrounding this issue, needing government regulation. Data security and privacy are also worries, particularly when thinking about workplace monitoring and decision making. A risk of inequalities is also possible, depending on who has programmed the AI in the first place. Bridging the gap between technology and human needs is essential, alongside addressing the UK’s technology skills gap. While technology offers opportunities for streamlining HR tasks, its ethical use should be prioritised.

Another aspect of Future Workplaces, explores the ideas of flexible working, ensuring EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) and promoting well-being or work life balance. In essence, creating a workplace where employees feel valued and trusted will result in a productive workforce. Some of these issues are currently being addressed, both via legislation and promotion in reports. Several reports mention the possibility of the four day week in the future, as attitudes shift.

Excellence of people leadership; at the centre of any business there should be trust. Focusing on clear communication, empathy and genuine leadership will be essential. Future workplaces are likely to need leaders who foster inclusive environments, ensuring every individual feels comfortable being themselves at work. When employees feel supported and accepted, they are more engaged, productive, and committed to the success of the business.

The final topic is exploring the ongoing advancements in skills and education. Businesses should consider new ways to boost employee skills and broaden access to work and education. The concept of lifelong learning allows for continuous progression and even change. Some strategies include mentorship programs, microlearning and upskilling.

Why not use International HR Day to your advantage? Try these ideas to celebrate yours and your department’s achievements:

 

  1. Highlight the Value of HR: Showcase the role of HR in driving your organisation’s success. Share success stories and data to demonstrate HR’s impact.
  2. Invest in Professional Development: Prioritise continuous learning and skill development to remain current in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
  3. Reflect on Achievements: Review individual successes over the past year, whether it’s professional development, career growth, or networking successes.
  4. Connect with Peers: Join online HR communities to exchange best practices, ideas and even collaborate with fellow professionals.

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