In a famous interview, artificial intelligence expert Kai Fu Lee recently said that AI was likely to ‘automate and eliminate’ about 40 percent of jobs within 15 years. Interestingly, this is the part of the interview that got the most press. But what didn’t get so much attention was that Lee went on to talk about what distinguishes human intelligence from artificial intelligence. Lee pointed out that this differentiator would enable employees to survive and thrive in the new age of AI. 

AI will, at some point, take on most jobs that require hard data logging, processing, and crunching. In fact, AI will not just automate repetitive tasks but may also replace ‘white collar’ jobs in finance, accounting, marketing, healthcare and other areas. But, at worxogo, we believe that AI delivers the most transformational outcomes when applied to complement human capabilities rather than replace them altogether. And that’s because there’s so much more to human intelligence than just computing power. Human intelligence comprises the power to feel, to imagine, to empathize, to inspire. It is these uniquely human elements that will define our success in the age of AI. And it is precisely these elements that every employee brings to work each day. 

AI like our sales coach Mia is trained to understand and support skills as well as qualities that makes people thrive at work. Using AI to enhance employee performance and engagement is what will give new-age organizations their competitive edge. Mia helps build effective, dynamic high-performance teams (and managers) that are accomplishing more than before, making both the employees and their organizations more successful than before. 

Here are three ways that our AI engine Mia is enhancing employees and their managers at work:

Individual Coaching For Employees

AI can transform workplaces by supporting the capabilities of employees. Imagine if every individual in a team could get a personal performance coach. AI can make this a reality, especially for large teams and organizations of scale.  

In 2017, Deloitte showcased Titan’s use of worxogo’s AI-based personal digital coach in a report on Disruptions in Retail through Digital Transformation. The report traced how Titan boosted their sales team’s productivity using Mia. Using behavior nudges based on individual employee performances, Mia sent ‘clear call-to-action insights’. Titan saw 75% of their sales teams hit their targets along with a 20% increase in focus-product sales. In fact, the AI coach was able to increase sales performance in double digits and reduce month-end skews – a challenge common to most sales teams – yielding a steady sales trend throughout the month. 

Mia coaches sales teams to sell better. One of the reasons this coaching is so effective is because it is hyper-personalized. Using machine learning, the AI engine understands each person’s unique motivators and workplace persona in order to deliver personalized coaching insights. Each employee is driven by a variety of factors that are influenced by their own personality traits, upbringing and other environmental factors. Most people may be unaware of their own drivers but respond well to coaching insights (behavior nudges) that are framed using their unique communication style, values, and disposition. The AI engine actually helps employees connect with their motivations and thereby boost their performance.

Helping Managers Become Better

Political and military leaders over the centuries have inspired action, even at the risk of death, by using empathy along with their other leadership capabilities in order to be effective. Leadership in business should be no different but studies show otherwise. In one survey 91% of respondents said that their managers were ineffective communicators – with the underlying cause being a lack of emotional intelligence. One study found that only 40% of frontline leaders were strong in empathy. The research presented compelling data that empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) is a “critical driver of overall performance for management.”

Frontline leaders and management are often buried under their work and don’t find time to be empathetic. AI can help managers unlock their time by taking away mundane tasks and focusing their energies on coaching their teams

Mia helps managers mentor and manage their teams better by analyzing team and individual performances. The AI engine coaches managers, showing them who in the team needs attention/intervention as well as how and when to intervene for maximum effectiveness – enabling the manager to give team members individual attention even in large teams. With a click of a button, a manager is instantly able to reach out to the individuals on his team with an appreciative note or a helpful suggestion. This not only increases their effectiveness as a manager, but also creates an encouraging atmosphere that builds engagement. 

The analysis of team performance also helps managers spot trends, identify future leaders and possible attrition and be better prepared to make crucial decisions.

Overcoming Human Cognitive Limitations

AI can help us to maximise our potential by mitigating human cognitive weaknesses. Behavior Science studies show us how our inbuilt biases and behavior patterns sometimes trip us up – making us operate from a default mode or make decisions based on our feelings. People are prone to do what they’ve always done. Employees find it hard to change their automatic responses and conditioned behavior even when their performance is clearly being affected. 

Our AI engine Mia helps employees overcome these biases and create new and productive behaviors that help them in the long run. Mia nudges employees towards actions that move them towards their goals faster and with better results.  

A great example of this is the common trend in sales teams to start working towards targets only as the end of the month draws near. Mia helps employees overcome this very human tendency to procrastinate by breaking down a faraway deadline into smaller, more achievable targets and milestones and gently nudging individuals to get started early. The results are dramatic as most sales people end up exceeding their targets just because they were nudged to start early. 

Conclusion

Since 2017, the United Nations has been teaming up with AI scientists to use ‘AI for good’ in search of solutions for climate change, disaster relief, food shortages and other global issues. We believe that collaborating with AI will bring the game-changing solutions that businesses need to thrive today. There’s more to AI than just replacing employees with automatons. In fact, the real power of AI is in using it to augment human intelligence – making employees more effective and productive, a principle we’re applying to build high-performing teams. At worxogo, we’re promoting ‘AI for good’. 

 

Image Credit: Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

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