In this turbulent employment landscape, innovation in the HR space isn't just welcomed — it's necessary. With recent leaps (or perhaps, better to call it bounds) forward in technological progress, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer just a glimpse into the future but a daily reality. According to a recent report by Eightfold, which surveyed 250 HR leaders, the majority said they are already using AI across various HR functions. (1)
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. AI's potential to revolutionize every facet of HR, from recruitment and talent management to employee engagement and company culture, is staggering. This trend is set to continue in coming years, with a recent report by IDC predicting that already by the end of 2023, 60% of Forbes Global 2000 businesses will be utilizing AI tools for various tasks across the employee lifecycle. (2)
The pace of progress can feel overwhelming. How can you keep up with new advancements and effectively leverage these in your organization — and what is the best way to mitigate the various risks? This comprehensive guide offers insights into the current and future role of AI in HR. It provides actionable strategies for adapting and utilizing this new technology to support your employees, improve processes and create a thriving company culture.
1. Eightfold, 2023
2. IDC, 2021
Cultivating a healthy company culture using AI
Certain trends or dynamics within an organization are often difficult to detect, even when you are looking closely for them. This is where AI tools can support you in spotting hidden patterns and sentiments that could be impacting your company. By analyzing open communication channels, some tools can help HR professionals and leaders identify underlying dynamics or behavioral patterns. This insight allows for quick intervention to rectify any issues before they escalate, fostering a healthier work environment.
Taking this a step further, one of the most intriguing applications of AI in HR is sentiment analysis. By reviewing communication channels and survey results, you can detect signs of an unhealthy work culture, such as declining morale or escalating stress levels among employees. More importantly, these symptoms can be traced back to their root cause. This ability to identify and address problematic elements can prove to be truly transformative.
Championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace
AI holds remarkable potential in fostering a more inclusive, diverse, and safe workplace environment. Although this concept might be surprising, it can manifest in many different ways. One of the topics AI can support is identifying biases within hiring or during promotion processes. By actively ensuring equal opportunity for all employees, irrespective of their backgrounds, AI brings a level of fairness that can be challenging to achieve manually, as humans tend to struggle with identifying and being aware of their personal biases.
Beyond this, AI's capabilities can be further harnessed to detect and address issues of harassment, bullying, or exclusion, with a recent report showing there is already the potential for AI to reduce online abuse. This can contribute to a safer, more respectful workspace. Additionally, when incorporated into performance reviews, AI is able to drive greater objectivity and standardization. This can ultimately help reduce biases and promote fairness, ensuring each employee’s work is accurately valued and recognized.
Collectively, these initiatives, powered by AI, could lay the foundation for a culture of respect and equity in companies that utilize AI in their HR processes.
Streamlining and optimizing feedback
AI presents a transformative solution for enhancing performance management, particularly when it comes to standardizing written feedback. When incorporated into performance reviews, AI can help to ensure that each employee receives consistent quality feedback.
Excellent communication forms the cornerstone of a thriving organization, and AI plays a pivotal role in facilitating this, particularly in the era of remote, hybrid, and asynchronous work. With varying levels of comfort and proficiency in written communication among managers, disparities in feedback clarity can arise. Some employees will receive transparent, actionable next steps, while others may receive confusing or misaligned feedback. Addressing this, Leapsome's newly launched AI-backed feedback enhancement feature is designed to bridge this disparity. It optimizes written feedback, ensuring comments are constructive, well-written, and consistent with peer reviews. This empowers all managers to provide productive, comprehensive, and actionable comments, ensuring a uniform feedback experience for all employees, irrespective of their managers’ writing proficiency.
We view AI’s role in HR as an accelerator, optimizer, and improver of content created by humans. We strongly believe in the potential of our new AI features, designed to enhance, not replace, the human role in performance reviews. Feedback should always be prepared and written by a human. But some humans are more confident writers than others. When technology is available to accelerate, streamline, and improve our work — we should embrace it! This enhancement allows all managers to optimize their written feedback based on best practices to ensure their comments are constructive, providing direct reports with more impactful takeaways.
— Kajetan Armansperg, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Leapsome
Furthermore, AI can help significantly refine feedback loops. By analyzing employee feedback and sentiment data, AI can equip leaders with a comprehensive understanding of their company culture, highlighting areas that warrant attention. With the ability to assess feedback in real time, AI empowers managers to address arising issues promptly.
🗣️ Streamline and improve feedback using AI
Leapsome enables managers to give constructive, well-written, and consistent feedback creating a uniform feedback experience for all employees.
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Understanding and mitigating the potential risks of AI
While the benefits of AI for HR professionals are numerous, it’s important to note that AI technologies, given their novelty, present a unique set of risks that should be carefully managed during their implementation within an organization. Let’s examine these risks.
- Data privacy and security: AI systems, by their nature, require extensive data to function effectively, raising legitimate concerns about privacy and security, particularly of personal or sensitive employee data.
💡 To mitigate such risks, it's essential for leaders to ensure strict compliance with data privacy laws and to choose secure, dependable AI solutions.
- Over-reliance on AI: AI can offer valuable insights, but it should not replace human judgment, particularly in addressing sensitive issues. Great management requires empathy, reason, and case-by-case judgment — traits that AI cannot emulate.
💡 To mitigate this, a balanced AI strategy is imperative to ensure human judgment remains at the heart of decision-making processes.
- Potential for inequality and bias: Unless managed carefully, AI systems can unintentionally perpetuate inequality, especially if biases are inherent at the programming stage.
💡 Mitigation strategies include training the AI system with a diverse data set to promote unbiased recommendations and performing regular audits to identify potential biases in AI systems.
Overall, as you roll out new AI systems, ensure these undergo regular audits, and stay ahead of updates or changes in the AI space. Keeping vigilance ensures you not only harness the full potential of AI but also navigate its risks effectively.
The new era of HR
As we adapt to the AI-driven era, HR professionals stand at a pivotal crossroads. To prepare for this future, they will have to not only understand and leverage the transformative potential of AI but also acknowledge and mitigate its risks. This journey will involve continuous learning, staying on top of AI advancements, and making considered choices about AI applications in HR processes. Striking a delicate balance between technology and human touch is key to ensuring that AI solutions support the uniquely human attributes required to build a great organizational culture.
While AI can be a powerful instrument in supporting leadership and culture management, it's not a silver bullet. The human element – empathy, intuition, and understanding – will always be irreplaceable. AI should be used as a tool to augment human capacity, not replace it.
🎡 Keep the feedback wheel turning
Leapsome can help you ensure that coaching is consistent and effective with AI-backed feedback enhancement.
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