As a Director of Research and Innovation at UKG, Ryan Alexander helps create and advocate for UKG's vision for the future of people-centric technology through research, speaking, and writing.
Do you remember the 2009 version of the movie “Star Trek”? Early in the movie, little Mr. Spock is standing inside an inverted dome, reciting numbers and quotations to an artificial intelligence (AI) tutor at warp speed. Almost 15 years later and we can see a time where, much like communicators, universal translators, and tricorders, “Star Trek” tech becomes reality.
But in the meantime, we rely on parents to pull double duty—to fill the gap left by organized education by providing personal attention or planning and getting help from external resources, such as human tutors. This extra effort at home affects how we show up to work. We at UKG have our perspective, which we call The Human Energy Crisis, but its effects appear everywhere.
However, just like the idea of an AI tutor, there is a real opportunity for businesses and organizations to embrace AI to fill this gap for working parents and caregivers. After all, according to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, business is the one institution that people perceive as the most trusted (ahead of NGOs, government, and the media).
There is a real opportunity for businesses and organizations to embrace AI to fill the gap for working parents and caregivers.
Fortunately, businesses can do well, very well, while doing good (check out UKG’s Global Impact Report). The belief that employee satisfaction inversely correlates with market performance looks less true every year. Especially for low-wage workers. So, what will organizations build with AI to support people at work? Here are five ideas.
5 Ways Businesses Can Leverage AI to Support Their People at Work
1. Provide basic employee needs
Let’s talk about a critical but under-discussed resource: time. AI-driven scheduling lets organizations staff the teams they need and integrate more data points that support their team members’ lives, such as scheduling around class hours or facilitating emergency shift-swaps to care for a sick loved one.
2. Address burnout
Existing AI tools are already helping organizations spot the subtle signs of burnout in their teams. Generative AI will complete the loop giving tailored advice to people and their managers to treat and prevent these issues sooner.
3. Recognize and celebrate employee success
Customized reminders can take routine (ignorable) nudges and turn them into targeted, valuable updates on what everyone in the organization is contributing. Combined with a decentralized value-add tracking system and never again will great contributors be undervalued.
4. Support purposeful work
Modern workers collaborate a lot—perhaps two out of five days. While most report this collaboration creates higher quality work in the end, the meetings, messages, and emails take a toll. AI can lower that cost by turning short prompts and plain-language data requests into rich reports. It offers all the benefits of shared context without the time spent creating them.
5. Invest in technology
Seek out partners, vendors, and technology that are dedicated to using AI to build meaningful relationships between people and workplaces. Technology should connect culture and operations, not treat them as disparate functions.
Organizations can be leaders in AI
Our workplaces, our lives, our children, our history, and our future are interconnected in surprising ways. Just think back to the AI tutor in “Star Trek”: Science fiction creates an idea. That idea becomes a reality.
Businesses can be leaders by embracing AI that supports parents and caregivers so everyone is better off.
If you’re looking for ways to support your employees, download this resource on the Life-work Journey.
Plus, UKG Chief Product and Technology Officer Hugo Sarrazin explains how UKG is using generative AI in service of our people.