2020 was the year of work from home, 2021 the year of work-life balance and 2022 will be the year of employee empowerment. Empowerment that will come from a culture driven by the transformational power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
As Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc., stated, artificial intelligence will be more profound than fire, electricity and the internet.
Today, there are about 3.29 billion people employed all over the world, in different occupations, and it would be an understatement to say that the last two years have been phenomenally transformational for at least two-thirds of them.
Employee empowerment has taken on various forms. From flexible work arrangements, employee-friendly policies, qualitative engagement and embracing DEI at the workplace, organizations have and continue to go all out to improve and enhance the dynamics of the workplace.
The question is, “Is it enough?”
How can organizations empower employees in a sense that is truly emancipating?
Automation certainly is a step towards this goal.
Automation empowerment is when people at work are equipped with the necessary technology and tools (not limited to AI) that will enable them to experience a greater sense of accomplishment, leading to improved productivity, increased efficiency, and an overall feeling of fulfillment.
Automation empowerment will not only help scale and enable efficiencies, it will also free up time for people to develop their skills and engage in activities that they want to do.
Organizations that are able to create and develop “Centers of Automation” around business processes are set to thrive in the new economy.
Automation empowerment will also become the new mantra for employee satisfaction. For HR, automation will become a potential talent acquisition and retention tool. Imagine a scenario where there are two accountants. Accountant A who scans and processes bills manually and accountant B, who is equipped with an AI assistant that scans and processes bills for accountant B. Who do you think will feel more enthused and liberated about the work they do – accountant A or B? Employees are looking for purpose, fulfillment and eudemonia. Workplaces need to be attractive, engaging, and uplifting.
The onus is on the organization and its leadership to veer the ship away from manual and towards automation, growth, and employee satisfaction. Leaders must go all out to ensure that employees are equipped with the required automation tools, AI assistants, cognitive workers, and digital channels.
As for the scare of people losing their jobs, well, the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, technology will create at least 12 million more jobs than it takes away, a sign that in the long run, automation will be a net positive for society.
In the new order of priority, automation is the way to empower people and move up the value chain.
Sources: ILO Global Employment Trends 2021. Harvard Business Review
About the Author:
Bellinda is a marketing professional with 20+ years of experience in content, B2B, and B2C marketing. As part of her role, she has been championing technology offerings for B2B and B2C target segments through her proficiencies of Digital and Non-digital platforms. She is passionate about AI and its possibilities to empower and offer a wide range of solutions, especially when combined with human brilliance.
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