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Human-Centric AI

Thoughtful deployment of artificial intelligence in HR can augment the work experience, boosting engagement, collaboration, and productivity.

By Ayaskant Sarangi

In recent times, the conversation around AI in talent management is evolving. Companies have moved beyond the initial excitement of automation and are starting to understand its real impact on people. Tools that automate repetitive tasks, such as scheduling and handling data entry, enable professionals to get involved in more human-centered tasks like client relationship building and strategic planning.  

A McKinsey report found automation can tackle 40% of repetitive tasks like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and onboarding. It frees up valuable time for HR professionals to focus on talent development and workforce planning. 

The true power of AI lies not in replacing humans, but in empowering them to build a more human-centered work experience. While automation simplifies tasks, it’s important to focus on how it strengthens team collaboration and enhances human potential. Studies confirm that human-machine collaboration empowers teams to process information faster, enhances problem solving and helps make better decisions.  

A Microsoft report found that 74% of employees globally want personalized learning and development opportunities at work. AI can’t replicate the empathy and genuine connection that HR professionals bring. Instead, let AI handle the administrative burden, freeing up time for coaching, mentoring, and building meaningful relationships. 

Let’s consider the case of a new hire, excited, and maybe a little overwhelmed, starting their first day. Instead of navigating a complex onboarding process and dealing with unanswered questions, what if they had an AI assistant guiding them through the onboarding process, and addressing concerns in real-time? HR professionals can then focus on the human touch: providing personalized guidance, building a rapport, and creating a welcoming environment. This synergy of human and technological expertise creates a smoother, more engaging onboarding journey, setting the stage for a successful and fulfilling employee experience. 

Personalizing Learning 

AI can personalize learning paths for each employee, based on their skills, interests, and performance for their unique needs. A report by Deloitte finds that today’s workforce demands personalized learning and development experiences, a reflection of employees’ desire for opportunities that cater to their unique needs and aspirations. 

AI isn’t only about hiring right; it’s about proactive talent development. By analyzing performance data, training records, and even sentiment surveys, AI can predict potential roadblocks like skills gaps or burnout. It allows early intervention, offering targeted support and training before issues escalate. Imagine the impact on employee engagement and retention. 

Management must be open with their employees about how AI is used, emphasizing its role as a supportive tool, not a replacement for human judgment. They must explain its role in decision-making and emphasize that it’s there to support, not replace, human judgment. 

AI can crunch numbers, but it can’t build trust or foster engagement. That’s where upskilling comes in, especially in the face of evolving priorities. Research indicates that from 2023 to 2027, analytical thinking will be the top focus (10% of training initiatives), followed by creative thinking (8%). This shift emphasizes the need for human skills that go beyond data processing. Equipping the workforce with the skills to understand and leverage AI is crucial.  

Personalized interactions, meaningful conversations, and genuine empathy will always remain central to an organization’s HR approach. The future of work is always changing, marked by innovation and adaptation. With the three pillars of transparency, upskilling, and a human-centric approach, the workplace can go beyond mere efficiency to foster engagement, empowerment, and a truly people-first culture. 

Ayaskant Sarangi is chief human resources officer at Mphasis. 

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