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Productive, Resilient Employees Less Likely to Fear AI

The implications of generative AI technology on employees are greatly dependent on their problem-solving skills and how resilient and positive they are, according to the new meQuilibrium workforce well-being study of 5,989 employed adults. A quarter of employees (25.3%) with low positivity are concerned that AI threatens their job security, compared to 16% of workers with high positivity. Strong problem-solving skills make employees 66% more likely to experience productivity gains from generative AI, and nearly half as likely (49% less) to worry about their job security being undermined.

“Fundamental traits such as positivity, problem solving, and resilience confer significant advantages when it comes to navigating the transformative impact of Gen AI,” says Dr. Brad Smith, chief science officer at meQuilibrium. “While some employees are raising concerns about job displacement due to AI, positive employees and those who possess problem solving skills are better able to adapt to AI in the workplace, take advantage of its capabilities, and are less concerned about job security.”

The Importance of Resilience

There are also stark differences between highly resilient and low resilience employees. Highly resilient employees feel less threatened by generative AI and more likely to make productive use of the tools, the study finds. Resilient workers are 35% more likely to report that generative AI tools help them be more productive in their day-to-day work. In addition, resilient employees are half as likely than low resilience employees to express fears that AI systems pose a threat to their job security (13% vs 26%).

“This disparity highlights the importance of cultivating resilience among the workforce as organizations continue to integrate and leverage the capabilities of generative AI,” Dr. Smith says. “Employees who are better equipped to adapt to change and embrace new technologies are better positioned to harness the productivity-enhancing potential of these tools, and more confident in their ability to navigate the evolving job market.”

Additional key findings from the study are below. 

  •  Nearly one-third (31%) of companies have explicit guidance on the appropriate use of generative AI, yet just 9.3% of employees overall say their managers are providing practical support on how to effectively leverage these technologies.
  • Only 5.1% of health services industry employees have been provided with guidance for using generative AI tools at work, compared to 56.5% of technology industry employees.
  • Overall, 18% of employees are feeling their job security is threatened by AI tools. Managers are 68% more comfortable than individual contributors in feeling that their positions are safe from the threat of replacement by generative AI.

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