CO - HR Innovation

Impact of AI on the workforce Pre and Post the Pandemic

Impact of AI on the workforce Pre and Post the Pandemic

With the sudden advent of COVID-19 - a global crisis of unprecedented scale, organisations now are compelled to understand and act on both immediate and long- term changes with respect to how people work and what the workplace looks like. The top priority is still to protect the health and safety of people, including their workplaces. And AI can help!

Pre-Pandemic

Over the last 25 years, technology (internet, mobile, cloud services) has revolutionised the way we work and live. With each wave, the cost of technology has decreased as it becomes more widespread. While AI is not new (it was invented around 30 years ago), it has been getting bigger and better and now becoming a major disruptive force.

How has AI traditionally impacted the workforce before the current crisis?

AI, technology has been disrupting the workplace through a number of ways as listed below:

Key impact areas around the workplace :

  • Operations and employee experience

o   AI can be used to handle low-level tasks and take the pressure off the HR function in areas where it shapes the co-ordination of work, such as AI-powered recruitment, talent management, performance management/feedback & wellness.

o   Employees can be empowered by the data available to them in health, productivity and recruitment apps (among others), allowing them to have a personalised and fulfilling working experience.

  • Augmentation

o   AI expands worker capabilities, enabling them to focus more on customer service. Tools include chatbots, AI software (in call centres, for example) and VR onboarding to take care of first level enquiries.

  • Disintermediation

o   AI based platforms remove the middleman to streamline processes. Tools such as recruitment marketplaces, gig economy platforms, L&D and talent management solutions put the employee in touch with the service provider directly.

  • Collaboration

o   Intelligent AI technology enables workers to communicate more efficiently –apps and software such as Slack or Microsoft Teams allow much easier exchange of information.

  • Substitution

o   Many employees fear technology will result in replacement of their jobs with machines. Advances in technology can allow for this substitution, for example robots in warehouses & manufacturing plants or the use of RPA in back office functions. But these are often ‘physical, repeatable jobs’ that can enable workers to focus on other, more skilled areas. 

As technology becomes more sophisticated and we move towards further automation of processes, workforce composition is also expected to change significantly, with many full-time positions being replaced by part-time roles or machines. As a result of all the above changes pre Covid19, many organisations were already required to re-think their leadership culture and design, as well as their data privacy and ethics policies.

Feedback from HR leaders on the role of AI (Pre COVID)

Even before the crisis, according to research by KPMG, 70% of HR executives recognised the need for workforce transformation. However, just 37% felt ‘confident’ about HR’s actual ability to transform and move them forward via key capabilities like analytics and AI. However, 60% were planning an investment in analytics and 47% in AI.

Post this global crisis, more organisations are compelled to make these transformations happen quickly to remain relevant and survive. The rise of AI is a great opportunity for HR to be proactive and an influential force in the times to come. It can enable them to minimise disruption and start creating a flexible digital workplace. One that is productive, efficient as well as safe for its employees.

  • Devyani Vaishampayan
    Devyani Vaishampayan
    Chair of the Tech London Advocates People Tech Group

    Chair of the Tech London Advocates People Tech Group, Non-Executive Director British Quality Foundation ( BQF) Devyani is the Managing Partner of HR TECH Partnership, a People Tech investment venture whose investors are all Non-Executive Directors/Corporate Directors investing in Workplace/Employee/Talent Digital start-ups using leading edge technologies such as AI, Robotics, Virtual Reality, etc. Devyani was featured in the 2017 Financial Times "Ethnic Minority Leaders List" and the 2016, "FTSE 100 'Women to Watch" list by Cranfield BUsiness School. She is currently Managing Partner The HR Tech Partnership

You May Also Like

The CMO of People
The CMO of People

Many organizations are not getting the best out of their HR function. Ask a CEO, “What is your...

The Challenges of Hiring Future Ready Leaders and  Russian Doll Theory of Hiring
The Challenges of Hiring Future Ready Leaders and Russian Doll Theory of Hiring

One of the biggest challenges most companies face today is hiring transformational leadership talent...

Why Do Most Innovation Programmes Fail?
Why Do Most Innovation Programmes Fail?

What do companies do when a new boss says “Innovation has to be part of our DNA”? Here ...

The Greatest Resource any Organization has is the Creativeness of People
The Greatest Resource any Organization has is the Creativeness of People

For too many years people have been treated as expense items instead of highly valuable resources. T...

How To Quit A Job You Love
How To Quit A Job You Love

It is not easy to quit a job you love. Even with a new dream job in-hand, cutting the cord that conn...

Take on Mistakes
Take on Mistakes

Yes, we do say mistakes teach you a lot and you shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes. But we...

Five Stages Of Organization Evolution And Key Characteristics And Concerns At Each Stage
Five Stages Of Organization Evolution And Key Characteristics And Concerns At Each Stage

Organizations almost always progress through five more-or-less well-defined evolutionary growth stag...

Managing in Multi-Cultural Environment
Managing in Multi-Cultural Environment

As several companies expands the business overseas, it is crucial to understand how to run the busin...

Crossing Corporate Cultures Creativity In Organizations Across Industries
Crossing Corporate Cultures Creativity In Organizations Across Industries

Every market has its own unique business practices. People working in different business sectors dev...

Four pillars of Yoga for holistic health
Four pillars of Yoga for holistic health

Every human is unique; therefore it is necessary for each of us to find out for ourselves how we can...

Brave to Lead Like a Girl
Brave to Lead Like a Girl

All of us are dealt a unique deck of cards. Our aim is to identify our strengths and play those card...

How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?
How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?

You Change Lives When You Empower Others! (Extending Influence #1) When you empower others you chan...

How Important is Vision in a Successful Life?!
How Important is Vision in a Successful Life?!

Understanding Vision (How Important is Vision #1)   How do you communicate and give vision to ...

How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?
How do you Extend Influence to Others and Change Lives?

You Change Lives When You Empower Others! (Extending Influence #1)   When you empower others y...

High Potentials vs High Performers
High Potentials vs High Performers

A Leaders Guide to Identify the Differences  Mistaking a high-performing employee for...

Is 7% good enough?
Is 7% good enough?

A topic discussed at the recent World Economic Forum was the reluctance of male executives to mentor...

Learning & Development as Part of a (Digital) Transformation Strategy
Learning & Development as Part of a (Digital) Transformation Strategy

The global workforce is constantly evolving to support a knowledge based, digital economy. Due to th...

The Future of Work – Digital Nomads and the Gig Economy
The Future of Work – Digital Nomads and the Gig Economy

It is estimated that within a short couple of years, a large portion of the workforce (estimated to ...

Political Correctness towards Civility To be, or not to be, politically correct...
Political Correctness towards Civility To be, or not to be, politically correct...

We can incidentally praise or criticize others depending on how we say it, the word choice or expres...

Let's not confuse loyalty with longevity
Let's not confuse loyalty with longevity

Let's not confuse loyalty with longevity It is interesting that the issue of loyalty in the wor...

The Attitude of Gratitude - Replying does not mean Answering
The Attitude of Gratitude - Replying does not mean Answering

The Attitude of Gratitude - Replying does not mean Answering In the ever increasingly connected di...

(Work-Life) Balance or Harmony (! / ?)
(Work-Life) Balance or Harmony (! / ?)

(Work-Life) Balance or Harmony (! / ?) Welcome to the world of Work-Life Harmony, beyond Work-Life...

Making Board Meetings More Agile
Making Board Meetings More Agile

Making Board Meetings More Agile Given my belief that the world we live in today has changed irreve...

It's Good To Fail
It's Good To Fail

It's Good To Fail I want to share with you something different from a normal convocation speech...

Four Lifehacks To Be More Productive Now
Four Lifehacks To Be More Productive Now

Four Lifehacks To Be More Productive Now Here are four daily life-hacks to help you to be more pr...

A leader sets an example, a leader doesn’t just order things, he does it so that others can do it  
A leader sets an example, a leader doesn’t just order things, he does it so that others can do it  

A leader sets an example, a leader doesn’t just order things, he does it so that others can do...

How would you end Executive Loneliness?
How would you end Executive Loneliness?

How would you end Executive Loneliness? What is the hardest part about being a leader? Altho...

Leadership Soft Skills Required for Business and Personal Success
Leadership Soft Skills Required for Business and Personal Success

Leadership Soft Skills Required for Business and Personal Success We often get asked, “What s...

New-G Leaders: Remember the Cow
New-G Leaders: Remember the Cow

New-G Leaders: Remember the Cow "Cow Don't Drink Water, Cannot Push Cow Head Down"&nbs...

Google your self
Google your self

What are your key leadership attributes? The beliefs and behaviours that make you unique and success...

Culture is not enough … Get the right culture
Culture is not enough … Get the right culture

A few years ago in Europe I asked a group of business leaders if they had the right culture.  S...

How Leaders Can Create a Culture of Agile Collaboration to Win in a VUCA World
How Leaders Can Create a Culture of Agile Collaboration to Win in a VUCA World

China growth-deceleration, the normalisation of monetary policies on the USA, tepid economies in Eur...

Is LinkedIn Improving Itself Out of Business?
Is LinkedIn Improving Itself Out of Business?

I still remember the day I joined LinkedIn.  A friend of mine called in frustration and asked w...

Life is the Name. Transformation is the Game.
Life is the Name. Transformation is the Game.

Over the past half a century, I come to realize life is about having gratitude and resilience. We ne...

How to handle negativity and negative colleagues at work
How to handle negativity and negative colleagues at work

In arithmetic's, negative into negative equals positive. But that’s just in arithmetic'...

ADAPT or PERISH: It is time for HR professionals to decide and create a new function or move out of the way!
ADAPT or PERISH: It is time for HR professionals to decide and create a new function or move out of the way!

Artificial intelligence in recruitment and performance management giving employees their key deliver...

Leadership Confidence in Times of Uncertainty
Leadership Confidence in Times of Uncertainty

How do you successfully lead an organization in uncertain challenging times?   Unparalleled st...

Insights for Making Working at Home Work!
Insights for Making Working at Home Work!

How can business and HR leaders manage challenges and find opportunities in the new realities of wor...

The Real You Is Not Really You…
The Real You Is Not Really You…

The Real You Is Not Really You…   We tend to see and act with our surrounding based o...

3 Powerful Lessons To Make A Successful Career Out Of Your Passion
3 Powerful Lessons To Make A Successful Career Out Of Your Passion

It Feels Like a Dream As I went on stage today to receive the Asia's Most Talented Coaching Lea...

How to Recover Your Direction - a case study during COVID19
How to Recover Your Direction - a case study during COVID19

What really happened 5 days ago I set myself a new challenge. Coronavirus had fundamentally changed...

Career Tips, Please
Career Tips, Please

Last week, I was tagged by the fab Tim McDonald in a LinkedIn post asking to share some pointers for...

Career Kickstart
Career Kickstart

The first job you land could be the most important decision you make in your career. I have seen th...

Peter Principle - Are you a victim or Perpetrator?
Peter Principle - Are you a victim or Perpetrator?

The Peter Principle – Who do YOU Blame? In my junior years of business, many times clients an...

Stay Connected With Us