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Can AI Help Your Organization Navigate the Great Resignation Unscathed?

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By Animesh Samuel, Co-founder & CEO, Light Information Systems Private Limited

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. Termed “The Great Resignation,” the mass exodus of employees from the workplace is perhaps the reflection of deep dissatisfaction in the past work culture.

But what changed?

You may have heard of a concept called time poverty – when you have too much to do and too little time to do it. In 2020, about 80 percent of American workers persistently felt time-poor, and the concept wasn’t just in their heads. It is a well-known fact that most employees have been overburdened over the years. Working extra hours is generally linked to greater success, but it also contributes to burnout and a dishevelled work-life balance.

During the pandemic, many people globally were forced to hit the pause button, having more time than ever to reflect on the quality of their lives. With the sudden illness and lockdown, many people could sit back and think about their well-being instead of being a part of the daily rat race.

Overall, the ongoing global pandemic enabled workers to rethink their careers, long-term goals, and working conditions – leading many to look for better opportunities or pursue something they had been putting off for long.

Here are some of the top reasons why workers are quitting their jobs this year, according to a Joblist survey:
● They are unhappy with how they were treated by their employers during the pandemic (19%)
● No benefits or low pay (17%)
● No work-life balance (13%).

On the bright side, about 20% of employees reported quitting to pursue a new career path, indicating the new opportunities created by the pandemic for individuals to climb the corporate ladder or switch fields.

The Business Side of the Story
Any successful company would consider their employees to be their key strength. Yet, it’s normal for organizations to think about essential jobs carried out by workers who can be replaced. Unfortunately, enterprises sometimes overlook the amount of time and training that goes into training a worker to carry out an essential job – which brings us to the concept of essential workers – people you want to retain to meet your business goals effectively.

From a business side view you’d agree about the high cost of churn. Therefore, it’s essential to rethink what your employees really need to prevent “The Great Resignation” from hitting your firm. You can already see a shift in how employers perceive their workforce, with 54% of business leaders reimagining work processes and re-evaluating outdated practices to improve employee productivity and experience.

It’s Time to Act!
According to IDC’s Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Employee Experience Management Strategies, 2021, “a distributed workforce accelerated changes at an exponential rate. Organizations had to quickly reinvent the way in which employees worked, creating the right technology experiences virtually and, importantly, maintaining or improving the corporate culture to ensure that workers feel cared for during a difficult time.”

However, with many businesses moving their workforce back to the office or shifting to hybrid work models, there’s going to be some chaos within the workforce unless the employee experience is evolved enough to match the workforce’s expectations.

According to IDC, the availability of a frictionless, collaborative work environment with digital experiences embedded in the flow of work is crucial to improving employee experience and productivity as you navigate the great digital shift of the present times.

But what does that mean for your business?

Several things, but primarily, a move towards creating more meaningful work and work culture through digital technologies. At the forefront of this change, you have intelligent virtual workers or multifunctional cognitive agents who work with your workforce to improve their productivity.

Most of us are already aware of the transformative power of AI in various industries – think chatbots in sales as an example. But AI co-workers are different from chatbots. They actually collaborate with people in the organization and handle specific roles. Unlike chatbots, these are AI workers who can achieve tasks in recruiting, accounting, support, and many other verticals.

AI-based workers are trained to carry out bulk of the manual processes efficiently and leave your human employees to focus on the core aspects of the business.

For instance, an AI sales manager can make many more interactions for sales. The AI co worker can be trained to handle various workflows, such as ensuring the human’s calendar is automatically updated, all the communications are automated , the generated leads are pre-qualified, and the human shows up at all meetings towards the best outcomes. In customer care also, AI Customer care executives can make sure that the customer is heard and understood by the enterprise and generate automated reports to enable a single human to cater to several more customers. These AI Coworkers can also automate tedious administrative tasks, such as creating a service ticket, adding notes to a CRM system, or sending a follow-up email to a customer.

Having such intelligence reduces the burden of your employees and pushes the humans higher up the value chain, enabling them to deliver better results in less time. Simply put, AI co-workers create a stress-free work environment for your employees by ensuring they have everything ready to get the important work done. Imagine this – an AI co-worker to run reports, the same one to keep the IT infrastructure up-to-date, it doesn’t forget anything!. So, your employees only do meaningful work that requires their expertise, saving them time and boosting productivity. Automation also reduces the overall cost of work, enabling enterprises to have higher budgets for their employees’ development.

At this time, there are already several enterprises using AI co-workers to simplify work. These AI co-workers will help you augment your resources with 100% compliant AI to take care of mundane tasks and allow the few human counterparts left in the industry to produce much more. The combined effort of happier humans and efficient machines can eventually ensure your enterprise does optimal levels of business, to remain competitive in this the fourth industrial revolution.

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