Artificial intelligence (AI) can provide businesses with key opportunities to make gains, whether it’s improved productivity, efficiency or expansion.
As HR, you will likely be working closely with [business leaders] to scope out the use of AI in your business. One of the key questions you may find yourself facing is how can you safely manage the use of AI?
From a HR perspective, here’s four steps to have on your agenda:
HR in Control: Four Steps to Safely Manage AI Use in Your Business
1. Identify & Access
Making sure you identify when and where AI could be deployed, how it could be effectively used and the potential impact on employees will be key.
Drilling down into individual departments and roles, as well as reviewing existing processes and procedures is likely to be revealing – you may be surprised to find how the adoption of technology could benefit and change how your business operates.
Having this understanding will inform your overall strategy and help you to identify specific safeguards you may need to implement.
In addition, it will also enable you to identify (and plan for) any employment law processes that may need to be followed, for example, a variation process if an employee’s job role is proposed to significantly change due to the use/impact of AI.
2. Policies and procedures
You don’t need us to tell you how important it is to make sure you have the policies and procedures in place that your business needs – they need to work for your business, not against it.
Check if your proposed use of AI will necessitate any changes being made to your existing policies or procedures (or even contracts of employment) or whether you will need to put anything new in place.
Getting this right can help you safely manage the use of AI in your business by clearly communicating to employees the boundaries around its use.
3. Training, guidance, and support
Alongside the above, identifying the training, guidance and support employees will need when working with AI is vital.
This can not only help to make sure that your business achieves the maximum benefit by ensuring it’s being used appropriately to its full potential, but it is also key to preventing issues from arising and mistakes being made.
It will put your business in a more robust position to deal with any issues, such as future poor performance if you can evidence that appropriate training and support has been provided.
Bear in mind that some employees will be better at using technology than others and some might not feel very confident (or comfortable) using it at first, so some extra help and support may be needed.
4. Gain employee buy-in
The power of employee ‘buy-in’ shouldn’t be overlooked as your business starts on its AI journey.
If your business is to reap the benefits and reduce the likelihood of employees making missteps or breaching your rules employee buy-in will be key.
If you think employees may be resistant to using AI in their role or may have concerns, consider in the planning stage what these may be / the reasons behind them.
Effective planning can help the business appropriately prepare to manage such situations and may enable you to quickly respond to (and even alleviate) employee concerns.
Remember, if there could be changes to employees’ terms and conditions or the introduction of the use of AI could significantly impact an employee / their job role it’s likely that consultation with employees will be required with a view to seeking agreement to the proposed changes.
Before acting, it’s important to seek employment law advice on the individual facts of your situation. We provide 15 minutes of free advice, helping you to talk to us and share your concerns confidentially.
The use of AI in your business is unlikely to remain static as the technology develops, with this in mind it will be important to keep its use under review and to assess what is working well for your business and areas where improvements could be made.
Re-evaluating what tasks can be performed by AI and considering the potential impact on the workforce is likely to become a mainstay on the HR agenda.