A drastic change in processes helped to define the First Industrial Revolution. While those days were aided by mechanization, the changes happening today overwhelmingly involve data and digitization.
Even the processes and solutions we use to manage our workforce and productivity rely heavily on computers.
Now, as business needs demand even greater speed and efficiency, workforce management solutions have begun to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to help organizations stay ahead of the speed of business. But AI cannot work alone — it's not a replacement for innate human capabilities like creative problem solving. However it can help workers at every level focus their efforts on activities that directly impact the bottom line.
Simplifying Routine Tasks Empowers Personal Productivity
The role of AI in workforce management is hugely important in reducing time spent on menial activities by automating daily administrative tasks. These routines used to cut into the time employees could (and would rather) be spending on the work that actually matters to both them and their employer.
From optimizing schedules to match individuals' performance with shift needs to granting instant approvals for employee requests (such as PTO) that meet company standards, AI is helping to automate things that draw effort away from pursuing success. But even automated processes need appropriate oversight and new digital savvy on the part of managers and HR departments. With ample attention, businesses can work to develop their team's digital skills alongside AI implementation to make the most of its improved workforce management capabilities.
From "Measure & React" to "Analyze & Engage"
One of the key elements of employee engagement according to Gallup is maintaining a clear sense of purpose or meaningfulness in their work, and this applies equally to those who oversee employees, too! No people-manager wants to pore over historic data to calculate and identify possible causes of poor productivity and then have to confront their teams, just to level out their performance.
Now, AI integrations in workforce management help managers by automatically monitoring performance and processing workforce data as it happens. These new systems are sophisticated enough to identify influential performance trends early on and bring them to managers attention through data visualization, allowing managers to address concerns early and work with their teams to not only level out but improve! As a result, employees can more clearly understand the impact of their effort and feel more engaged by their superiors — and managers can know that they are working toward something better instead of trying to constantly fix what has already passed.
For more on this topic, a recent piece published by The Workforce Institute called "The Human Power Behind Artificial Intelligence" continues to explore this relationship, and is well worth a read!