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How to help your employees learn to love AI

As Artificial Intelligence will become increasingly critical to business strategy, it’s imperative for companies to help their employees learn to love AI. Plenty of articles have tackled the importance that AI can have for organizations as well as the challenges that go along with implementing it. And then working with it.

A lot of them are, of course, technical and have to do with costs, infrastructure, and systems. There is however another ingredient that can make or break any such initiative. And that is how willing your employees are to embrace and use Artificial Intelligence.

Based on our expertise concerning these types of initiatives we’ve focused on 3 major areas which we think give you the best chance of turning your AI project into a success, from an employee adoption point of view.

Openly communicate your AI strategy

The introduction of any new technology in a company tends to have a not-so-positive impact on the security, stability, and purpose of employees. And when it comes to Artificial Intelligence this feeling can be overwhelming.

People are constantly bombarded with articles and news saying that they will be replaced by robots and that the number of jobs available will be significantly diminished. This naturally tends to make them worried and reticent whenever they hear talk of Artificial Intelligence systems being implemented in their company.

To gain their support, you need to be clear about the way AI will be used. In this particular case don’t focus on cost reduction or competitive advantages. These might work for your business case or when it comes to convincing the C-suite, but it doesn’t work for most employees. Focus on how it will help them to:

  • Get rid of repetitive and boring tasks
  • Improve their productivity
  • Develop new skills

Support your employees in learning how to use AI

Go beyond the traditional and boring approach that most organizations tend to use. Avoid just simply using recorded tutorials. Focus on interactivity and do case studies, quizzes or webinars with some of the people who have already used the system or those who are implementing it. Give people an opportunity and a place to get together and exchange information, ask questions, or suggest improvements to the systems.

It wouldn’t hurt to also offer some general courses on AI and machine learning. Nothing too specific, but the basic stuff so that they also have context and understand the grand scheme of things behind all these technologies. Andrew NG course is a very good place to start.

Some companies, such as Levi’s, have even gone one step further and taught their employees’ machine learning and data science skills so that they can take full advantage of the new AI systems the company implemented.

Make AI systems easy to use

This is an aspect that many people overlook. And not just with regards to AI but any new software systems that companies implement. At some point or another, we all had to interact with such a system. Whether we had to upload a contract, create an expense report, become a recognized supplier, or request access to a new system.

And we are sure that we speak for almost everyone when we say that ease of use and a user-friendly interface was not a characteristic of many of these systems. But it’s important if you want to make life easier for your employees and implicitly for yourself as well.  

The more complicated to use and the more unfamiliar these systems are the greater the resistance to change will be. No matter whether people are Generation X or Z or Millennials, they are accustomed to using software or apps which are intuitive and easy to use. And they expect the same thing to happen in the organizations they are part of. If you can send an email in three clicks, why should it take more to upload an invoice or predict the stock for the next three months?

How can we help?

AI projects have many challenges and that is why it’s important to have the right partners on this journey. We’ve helped companies, big and small, develop, improve and implement custom software and AI solutions. And we can do the same for you.

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