Job Enhancement, Not Job Replacement

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought a wave of performance-enhancing capabilities to businesses and their core processes. And while those in the boardroom have particularly high hopes for the future of AI-driven technologies, the employees directly involved in those processes are experiencing a different type of emotion — fear.

This (quite rational) fear stems from the idea of AI-driven automation and its ability to do their jobs faster, more accurately and tirelessly. Even though that’s technically true and AI will alter how work is done and who does it, it’s vital that staff understands that AI’s impact on their jobs will be one that works as a complement and an enhancement, not a replacement.

AI has gotten quite good at reproducing similar results to what humans can do, but there’s simply no replacement for the human brain and its uniquely transferrable skills. Although it’s easy to associate AI with futuristic technology and innovation, the reality of its effect in the workplace is much simpler.

AI isn’t meant to automate jobs, it’s meant to automate certain skills used to perform jobs. Automation has the ability to empower workers because it doesn’t replace human skills that require problem-solving and reasoning. Rather, it aims to take over the repetitive, process-oriented skills that add little to no value to an organization and hamper job quality. According to Cpl Jobs, 80% of process-oriented skills can be done by machines, but 80% of cross-functional reasoning skills, like emotional intelligence and conflict resolution, can only be done by humans.

Even though the idea of AI taking over tasks that usually require the human touch can be intimidating for staff experiencing digital transformation within their organization, it’s important to recognize its’s innovative ability to enhance job quality by creating more time and resources for value-added business activities.

So how exactly does AI-driven automation make jobs better? Here are a few of the biggest ways.

  1. It helps you quit wasting time on mundanities and reduce paper use.
    Employees no longer need to spend time on repetitive, manual tasks like keying in data and tracking down documents in file cabinets.
  2. It allows staff to dedicate more time to tasks that require transferrable skills.
    By eliminating those manual processes, staff can focus on business-critical activities that need more human touch and resolution, such as customer service.
  3. It helps reduce errors.
    Another benefit to automating tedious tasks is the minimization of human error. One thing AI has over humans — the ability to repeat the same task over and over without making a single mistake.
  4. It creates easier communication and seamless collaboration within teams.
    By automating workflows, there’s no miscommunication between steps — everything is automatically routed to the correct person. It also tracks each step, providing heightened visibility and accountability into processes.
  5. It provides you with performance-enhancing data.
    With automation, valuable data is collected along every step of workflows — data that can provide transformative metrics and insights into productivity, profitability, trends and overall performance.

AI should be looked at as a partner in the workplace, not a replacement. And while it’s easy to feel apprehensive about its role in future jobs, it ought to be leveraged as tool for exceeding the limitations we have as humans and a way to do away with menial tasks that distract employees from focusing on the activities that greatly affect a company’s overall success and bottom line.

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