Want to adopt AI in the workplace? Start small, experts say

In theory, it sounds good to implement AI in an organization. But many HR leaders are worried about adopting data and automation technologies: Is it burdensome? Time-consuming? Does it take the human out of human resources?

Fear not, HR Tech speakers said during the HR Technology Conference & Exposition, held virtually.

When used to their full potential, data and analytics can help HR advance its position as a critical value creator, providing data-driven insights that will benefit employees in the form of recruitment and onboarding, developmental opportunities, and innovative programs and policies, said Kiran Raja, executive vice president of AI and data solutions at Alight Solutions.

Enabling that technology often leads to hyper-personalization. “Helping employees specifically and understanding their specific needs in the moment that matters for them” adds value, he said. Certain tools can identify employees’ challenges or issues, help them understand their benefits or even help workers better invest in their 401(k) or health savings account.

Read all of our HR Tech Conference coverage here.

AI technology can help employers understand total workforce costs and improve the employee experience. It also can help compare an organization compare what it is doing to others so it can do better, said Greg Goff, chief product and technology officer at Alight Solutions.

“For employers, it’s understanding what’s going on in their total population of employees–but it goes much broader than that. It goes into what’s going on across total industries, broad populations of people,” Goff said. “There’s the application of understanding trends and really turning it into action, which is truly the value of AI.”

Related: Can AI fix one of HR’s biggest problems?

Since adopting the tech can seem daunting, it’s best to start small when implementing it in your workforce.

“You can’t eat this big elephant all at one time,” Goff said. “Pick the metrics, the couple measures that are meaningful to your business and think about how to affect those by engaging with the right partners. Don’t try to think about broad applications of AI.”

Added Raja: “See what’s relevant for you, leverage the right partners and start to think about moving the ball forward.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.