More and more technologies and tools related to the use of artificial intelligence are appearing on the corporate training market. Dmitry Fotiyev, Senior Adviser at Brainy Solutions talks about how to effectively use AI in training employees, as well as about problems and their solutions.
According to the recent WEF report The Future of Jobs 2020, in the next five years, one in two employees in the world will face the need to retrain or upgrade their skills, and the set of required skills will change by 40%. At the same time, all business processes, including employee training, will undergo digital transformation for 84% of employers. Therefore, the widespread use of artificial intelligence tools in corporate training is only a matter of time. The only issue left is to learn how to use them as efficiently as possible.
How to properly utilize AI in employee training
Employers and employees benefit from the use of AI solutions in corporate training. The former gets more efficient business processes and resource savings, while the latter master new skills in a modern and convenient way. Below are the main ways to get the most out of these technologies.
There are no two employees with exactly the same background and initial knowledge. Moreover, the entire staff of a company or even a particular department cannot be homogeneous.
Ideally, each employee needs to select an individual training format. It is clear that it’s not possible for HR department to have enough resources to develop personal programs for everyone. This is where AI is indispensable – the algorithm will collect information about the user’s previous experience and, on the basis of this data, will create individual programs corresponding to the level of knowledge and skills of the student. AI will help to identify employee weaknesses and focus on working them out. Learning will become more interesting and rewarding, and the level of engagement will increase.
Ensure continuity of learning
Classical corporate training is often carried out in fragments, classes are available to staff at specific times, and theory is divorced from practice. In the case of AI tools, the learning process becomes continuous – relevant knowledge is always at hand.
You can give employees the opportunity to ask a question to the chatbot at any time and receive a prompt in real time. This applies to both teaching users new software and onboarding – adaptation of employees to a new place of work. In a pandemic situation, this has become especially relevant. Previously, an employee could quickly ask a question to colleagues in the office, but because of the distance, this has become hardly possible.
Save time and resources
Traditional corporate training tools, be it instructions, offline sessions, lectures, webinars, or even more individual lessons, require a lot of time and significant financial costs. AI-based digital solutions make it possible to train employees faster and cheaper, often on the fly.
Teachers do not always objectively assess their students – this is a human factor and anything can hardly be done about it. Potential consequences include reduced motivation, unnecessary conflict and lack of expected results even with a perfectly tailored training program. The use of AI tools eliminates such situations.
Predict career prospects
With big data analytics, AI-powered tools can identify leadership skills in employees and proactively offer professional development and skill development options. On the other hand, algorithms are able to predict who might quit in the near future, giving the company the ability to retain an employee or find a replacement in a timely manner.
Increase employee loyalty to new technologies
AI-powered tools help employees learn new technologies and complex IT systems easily, work faster and more efficiently. User loyalty increases, and it is often a key to successful digital business transformation.
Assess the educational process
With the development of AI in the field of corporate learning, an additional emphasis appears – based on data analysis, it is possible to evaluate not only students, but also educational materials and processes. For example, it is better to understand what the correct and incorrect answers of employees mean: if many were mistaken on one question, then most likely you need to better explain the material or give more practice. Or perhaps the staff did not understand the question in the test and needed to be formulated differently.
What problems arise and how to solve them
One of the main problems in implementing AI technologies is employee resistance, sometimes to the point of outright sabotage. We can say that modern Luddites appeared. In the early 19th century, Luddites staged spontaneous protests and pogroms against the industrial revolution in England. It seemed to them that the introduction of machines would completely remove humans from production and lead to mass unemployment. The same fears exist today.
Both then and now, these fears have no serious basis. It’s just that humans are always afraid of a negative scenario of the development of events, clings to old habits. There is only one way out – to convince with real examples. Once employees see that technology does not replace them, but helps in training and work, confidence in them increases.
Another common problem is a negative first impression of working with AI, which makes it difficult to assess the full potential of the technology. For example, when mentioning chat bots, many recall their long experience, complain about long, formal, incomprehensible or meaningless answers. But technology is constantly developing: chatbots with NLU algorithms (short for Natural Language Understanding) appeared. They not just communicate in natural language, but also self-learn, expanding the vocabulary in the process of use.
In addition to the complexities at the level of human perception, it is worth mentioning one pure technical problem. Any AI-based tools are only part of the overall digital ecosystem. In case of making changes to adjacent blocks or introducing new technologies in the company, it is important not to forget to update the data that is available to AI platforms.
How to get the most out of it
- Don’t hesitate to integrate AI-based tools into employee learning and onboarding processes. This is an inevitable decision, and the sooner you make it, the more advantages you will get over less responsive competitors.
- Explore ways to use AI in employee training and choose the ones that best suit your needs, business size, and budget.
- Be prepared for problems, especially in the first step. Implementing AI takes patience and perseverance, but the results are definitely worth it.