One of the biggest talking points of the 21st century is the inevitable rise of artificial intelligence. Perhaps you saw the news story about a former Google employee who reported that the company’s AI system was showing signs of sentience? According to this report, the machine was demonstrating emotions, feelings, and fear of death. No matter which side of the AI debate you are on, this was a bit of a wake-up call for many. It is now not a matter of if, but when artificial intelligence will become prominent. And while there are many concerns for the future of AI, there are also just as many positives to look forward to. In this article, we will take a look at how AI can help with reducing employee turnover.
What is Artificial Intelligence? What are the Concerns?
Before we get into the specifics of employee turnover, we first need a concrete understanding of what artificial intelligence is. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is essentially just a computer program that can perform tasks that normally require the intelligence and ability of a human. This covers a massive array of functions, but basically, the computer has to be able to think and make decisions.
You likely already have experience with AI if you use Alexa, Siri, or a large number of other virtual assistants. AI has a wide range of abilities, as well as a wide range of complexity. Some handle only simple tasks, like your Roomba, whereas others, like the Google AI, can handle a wide array of complex functions.
The upsides to AI functionality are massive, but so are the concerns. One of the largest concerns with sentient machinery is the fear that they will not prioritize human life. Because AI is a computer system, it should in theory make all decisions based on logistics and statistics, without factoring in bias or emotion. But what if the computer makes a decision that does not serve humanity? Furthermore, how can we ensure that AI is programmed without bias?
Because it must be designed by a human, it seems highly probable that either consciously or subconsciously AI will be programmed with the same biases, opinions, and rationales as the human who made it. And if that is the case how can we possibly trust the AI? There are some other associated concerns, but for now, let’s move forward to the benefits. Particularly to the benefits of reducing employee turnover.
For those who are unfamiliar, employee turnover is the loss of high-end talent within a company, whether to competition or to burnout. For many companies and industries employee turnover is a massive source of profit loss. Top talent in an industry can be lost. Industries like first responders, EMTs, and teachers show particularly high rates of turnover. And as a result, these industries lose massive amounts of talented candidates. Thankfully, the rise of AI presents a new opportunity for reducing employee turnover.
One of the largest factors that contributes to employee turnover is employee burnout. Burnout occurs as a result of a combination of overworking and lack of free time or rest time. Oftentimes burnout leads to not just employee turnover, but also health and immune system issues for the individual. And one of the main causes of burnout is the repetition of monotonous or tedious tasks. This is where AI steps in.
Because AI is essentially designed to perform human functions, it should in theory be able to tackle some of these routine tasks. The AI systems can either help to simplify and expedite these tasks, or even to take care of them entirely. Taking advantage of AI software can help to reduce some of the stress and monotony of a daily routine and in doing so help to combat burnout.
Another leading cause of employee turnover is strife between employees and managers. One study finds that nearly 80% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation from upper management as a major reason for doing so. This means that employee-manager relations are more important than ever before. And thanks to AI, companies can help maximize these relationships.
Using a wide array of tools, analysis, and data, AI can assess and evaluate relationships between employees and managers. It can evaluate whether conversations are healthy and productive, and identify areas for improvement. Furthermore, AI software can assess the value that employees feel. It can gather different statistics and data which demonstrate whether or not a company makes its employees feel valued and important. And these are just a couple of the ways AI can help to combat employee turnover.
Because the concept is so new, we truly don’t know the limitations of AI technology. In spite of the many concerns associated with AI, the future of what it can offer our society is equally as bright.