By embracing the ways of new technology, HR leaders can drive workplace equity and engagement.
By Holly Grogan
In the U.K., almost 60% of respondents would like to see the government regulate the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the workplace to safeguard jobs, according to a recent Prospect trade union survey. At the same time, more than 70% of workers in India and 40% of surveyed workers in Ireland believe AI will replace their jobs in the future.
In the U.S., workers have also expressed their collective concern about AI in the workplace in a recent Pew Research Center study. When asked about potentially beneficial or harmful effects of AI in workplaces in the next 20 years, a higher share says it will hurt more than help workers versus those who say the opposite.
From scanning resumes to onboarding practices, the increasing use of AI in the workplace will continue to reshape HR across geographies in the coming years. Yet, while HR leaders address the real and perceived challenges that AI presents, the technology has the potential to be the great equalizer.
By harnessing the power of AI, HR leaders can revolutionize their practices, gain better insights, and foster a more equitable workplace.
Most organizations recognize the importance of creating diverse environments where employees feel valued and empowered. Here are some ways AI can drive and support these initiatives.
Create a Bias-Free Hiring Environment
HR leaders must first address potential bias in the hiring tools they use. However, with proper vetting, AI-powered tools and algorithms can help eliminate unconscious bias in hiring.
Traditional hiring methods may inadvertently introduce bias, resulting in the exclusion of qualified candidates from underrepresented groups. By implementing AI-driven applicant screening and assessment tools, HR leaders can create standardized and objective evaluations that focus on relevant qualifications and skills. AI tools also can help identify potential biases in job descriptions and offer suggestions to make them more inclusive.
Target Training and Development to All
AI-powered learning platforms can help HR leaders provide customized training programs. These platforms analyze individual employee performance data and deliver personalized learning content tailored to specific needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
By offering targeted training opportunities, HR departments equalize the training playing field, ensuring that all employees have the same access to skill development and career advancement opportunities. Moreover, AI can help identify potential gaps in the training process, leading to more effective and equitable learning experiences.
More than 70% of workers in India and 40% of surveyed workers in Ireland believe AI will replace their jobs in the future.
Close the Pay Gap with Better Insights
According to the World Economic Forum, the global gender pay gap score in 2023 stands at 68.4% closed, an improvement of 0.3 percentage points from last year’s edition. (The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks gender parity across 146 countries, providing a basis for robust cross-country analysis.) Technology, including AI, will continue to play a role in shrinking this gap. By leveraging AI algorithms, HR leaders can analyze data to identify potential pay gaps across various demographics.
With this information, HR leaders can work across their organizations to address pay inequities for comparable work. Transparency in compensation practices fosters trust and engagement among employees, and as more regulations come into play, AI can help organizations align with legal and ethical standards.
Elevate Employee Engagement and Workplace Experiences
In Appspace’s 2023 Workplace Experience Trends & Insights Report, employees ranked providing “consistent and simultaneous communications to all employees,” as the most necessary office improvement. This finding was the same across all employee populations, whether they worked from the traditional office, remote, or hybrid. The right AI tools can connect teams in both the digital and physical workplace to engage employees through targeted communication campaigns and more personalized interactions.
Specifically, a workplace experience platform that uses AI can help identify productivity declines, spot high-potential employees, and manage the risk of attrition—all while proactively identifying areas of improvement and providing targeted support.
The Future Workplace is Here
There have been a lot of conversations and articles about the future of work, and HR strategies must continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of organizations and employees. Integrating AI into HR practices today presents an immense opportunity to drive positive change and create a more equitable and engaged workplace.
HR must take great caution to leverage AI correctly. However, when used in the right ways, with the right outcomes in mind, AI tools and technologies can serve as an ally, playing a role in elevating the workplace experience today, tomorrow, and for years to come.
Holly Grogan is chief people officer of Appspace.