How Can AI Re-Engage Bored Employees?

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There are two trends we’re seeing over and over in today’s professional landscape:

  1. Companies of all shapes and sizes are grappling with the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence and searching for ways to stay on the cutting edge of technology in a purposeful way.
  2. Human resources departments—especially in cash-strapped companies—are desperately seeking effective, cost-efficient ways to retain their top talent. 

The way we see it, in this case, solving one problem solves another.

In a recent article for Money Inc., Community Brands CEO Jean-Paul Gilbault identified four ways NGOs and other cash-strapped organizations can use AI to optimize their processes. In the context of the work we do here at Quantified Communications, one of them stood out in particular: Identify trends to predict outcomes and the employee experience.

“The deployment of AI allows the technologies to spot relationships between variables that humans are simply incapable of seeing, such as identifying unsatisfied employees, top performers, and how employees spend their time to decrease turnover and increase job satisfaction.”

– Jean-Paul Gilbault, Money, Inc.

Gilbault is spot-on, and we’ve seen dozens of organizations successfully leveraging technology to identify both disengaged employees and top performers. But we want to take that a step further: what’s next? How can those same companies use AI to reengage bored employees and replicate the traits of top performers across entire teams?

Why do employees disengage, and what can employers do about it?

While, once upon a time, fresh-faced college grads accepted entry-level jobs, then spent thirty to forty years climbing through the ranks at one company, the career ladder has changed.

Today, employees aren’t satisfied with learning just the skills required to complete their assignments—they want to be challenged on another level. Today’s employees expect their companies to help them grow and develop the leadership skills they’ll need to tackle the challenges that are three or four steps ahead. They’re eager to hit above their weight in order to become major contributors to the team.

That’s why traditional development programs, which frequently consist of generic workshops or a series of passive online classes that provide limited insight and feedback, are no longer effective. When employees no longer feel like they’re learning, they disengage, and they move on.

And this is true for Fortune 100 companies with vast budgets, but it’s an even bigger challenge for associations and nonprofits that are cash strapped and struggle to compete with for-profit competitors to recruit and retain talent. These are the organizations that must get creative and stay on the cutting edge of technology to keep their top employees engaged and fulfilled.

And that’s where AI comes in.

Once they’ve identified the flight risks, companies can leverage AI-driven leadership development programs to offer personalized feedback, resources, and improvement plans designed to reengage each employee. By offering employees the “soft skills” training that will help them improve their executive presence and become natural leaders, these organizations can keep their top performers challenged and add to their overall communication quotient. These programs offer the benefits of personalized executive coaching at a fraction of the cost.

So what’s in it for the organizations? We know that businesses as small as 100 employees spend, on average, 17 hours a week clarifying previous communication, which translates to an annual cost of $525,000. So, simply ensuring every employee develops strong communication skills can save up to half a million dollars per year. And that’s not to mention the costs of turnover and lost productivity from disengaged employees.

“Artificial Intelligence” has become such a heavy term that it can be intimidating to many organizations—especially the ones that are smaller and more risk averse. And that’s okay. But when it comes to streamlining employee engagement, we think AI is the way to go.