AI + HI (Human Intelligence)=Future Workplace


Human Intelligent (HI) Workplace
Helping Leaders Help Themselves

September 23, 2023

AI has been getting a lot of press lately and has been defined as the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. One question being asked in many different places, is how will AI affect organizations and the workforce? Many are concerned about how AI can be used in negative ways while still having effective uses. One other key concern is how many jobs and positions it will impact. However, if history is an indicator maybe we should not be as concerned. An example is when the PC came into existence, it is estimated that it eliminated 3.5 million jobs, but it created almost 20 million. As of this past May, AI has eliminated 3900 jobs.

There are many that believe that AI can help as in a recent study 70% would delegate tasks to AI when and as appropriate. Twice the amount of leaders believe that it will help in increasing productivity vs. cutting headcount. Also, in the book “I, Human”, the author highlights that irrespective of the amount of AI and technology, interpersonal skills will be fundamental in the workplace of tomorrow. This when recent college graduates have been cited as lacking in these skills.

One thing that I believe is missed in all of the press on AI is the psychology of today’s workforce. Something that took center stage during the pandemic. Where terms like quiet quitting, great resignation, working hybrid and/or remote have become key in today’s workplace. Today’s workforce is craving, meaning, purpose, and happiness at work, something that seems to be lacking when it has been pointed out that only 30% of the US workforce and 13% globally are engaged.

Another key issue that is affecting today’s workforce is stress. In the book, “Dying for a Paycheck“, the authors point out that the 5th cause of death is work due to stress. And for 70% of the workforce their leaders play a bigger impact on their mental health than their doctor. It also does not help that in another study 86% of leaders considered themselves as inspirational and provided good examples, while 82% of the workers saw their managers as discouraging. This was further reinforced in the book, “The Mind of the Leader”, where they found that 1/3 of the workforce would forgo a pay raise to see their boss fired.

This why I believe that while AI will play a key role in the future workplace and with the workforce. It is Human Intelligence (HI) that will make a bigger impact on the workforce and workplace. I define HI: as one where leaders model effective leadership behaviors by creating an environment where the worker’s experience is one of being engaged while collaborating with their diverse team members. It is a workplace where the workforce feels safe when raising different perspectives, taking risks, being innovative, or creative. It is a workplace where the workforce feels listened to and understood by their leaders. It is a workplace where the workforce finds fulfillment in the work they do and, in the organization, they work in.

All mentioned above are and will continue to play an important role on the ever- evolving psychology of the workforce. However, one that stands out is “feels listened to”, where in the book, “The Mind of the Leader“, the authors found a study that showed that only 8% of leaders were effective listeners and communicators.

Different studies continue to find the importance of psychological safety as leading to a 76% more engaged workforce. And that happy employees have a tendency to call in sick less, are less absent, more loyal, and more productive. That when leaders are more empathetic and compassionate, this can lead to more innovation, engagement, retention, and inclusivity. Bottom line, effective leadership and utilizing more HI can lead to organizational effectiveness, customer satisfaction, productivity, and financial returns.

In further support of the importance of HI in the era of AI, in the book “Neuroscience for Leadership“, the authors point out that our brain needs a leader that creates an environment that feels safe and certain. That communicating effectively, ensuring transparency and clear understanding is imperative.

In summary, some of the following components will be important going forward. You will need your leaders are ensuring an organizational environment that creates a positive workplace experience by enabling a psychologically safe environment. That you focus on the health of your workforce and capitalize on their diversity. And that your organizational culture is a healthy one that supports these components in order to better position your organization for organizational success.

As Johnny Taylor, Jr. the SHRM President and CEO has been cited as saying. “To reshape the future of work, leaders must be at the forefront of the evolving issues facing your workforce today.” And for this to happen, not only will AI be present, but organizations will need to tap into their HI.

If you want to assess your organization from an HI perspective, reach out and contact me, as I have created an instrument for organizations to use.

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