AI and the hybrid workforce revolution
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes an increasingly prominent role in the workplace, more and more people will be interacting with hybrid teams made up of both human and digital employees. In fact, Forrester recently predicted one-tenth of start-ups will emerge with more digital workers than human ones. What’s more, the unprecedented situation in which we currently find ourselves as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic - and to which companies are having to rapidly adapt - is further accelerating the need to redefine the future of work.
Many companies now recognise the need for establishing a hybrid workforce, but don’t know where to start. Whilst there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there are a number of steps that companies can follow to help set up their digital employees for success. We explore the best implementation strategy:
The journey to full deployment
In order for organisations to begin any hybrid workforce transformation, companies should focus on the desired use case or use cases for deploying AI-powered digital employees. Nevertheless, even with the right resources and clearly defined strategy in place, challenges are bound to arise given the significant technical, process and cultural changes that will take place following an AI implementation. But the good news is that as more and more companies worldwide share learnings and best practices for deploying AI, navigating through the implementation phases is becoming easier.
For example, a study by HFS Research and supported by KPMG, outlined a number of key principles to adhere to when designing, building and deploying a hybrid workforce. According to the study, which is based upon business leaders’ real experiences of using AI, there are five requirements for businesses looking to develop a hybrid workforce:
- Empower your employees with intelligent automation to provide superior customer service. AI can be used to help customer service staff access instant information and therefore help them resolve customer enquiries faster. This helps agents work more efficiently, improves customer service and has the added benefit of reducing any element of human error.
- Train your digital employees to achieve the desired outcomes and set them up to deliver against future use cases. To maximise the value from any AI-powered digital employee, it is vital that businesses have the necessary resources to dedicate both time and money to training the solution in order to deliver on desired outcomes.
- Design digital employees to be “channel agnostic” to make experiences touchless and seamless. Whilst businesses often want to categorise communications by channel, customers just want issues resolved in the quickest, most convenient way possible. Enabling AI to work across multiple channels will hugely enhance the customer experience in the long run.
- Apply smart design tactics to remove time consuming, repetitive and low-value human interactions. When planning an AI deployment, companies should identify the tasks that employees are wasting a significant amount of time on but don’t create significant business value. These can then be analysed to see if they can be taken over entirely by digital employees, to focus human employees on interactions that have a higher revenue potential for the company.
- Leverage digital employees to drive compliance and security throughout your organisation by having them validate self-serve processes. Whilst cost effectiveness and efficiency are major drivers for the adoption of digital employees, businesses should not overlook their importance in helping make processes more secure, compliant and error-free.
Digital will drive the future of work
In an increasingly competitive and fast-moving digital market, savvy companies that adequately prepare for the hybrid workforce revolution will be the ones that drive the most impactful business value from AI.
Whether it’s making internal processes easier and more intuitive, supporting your call centre staff or carving out novel and exciting customer experiences, accelerating hybrid workforce creation will be crucial for those organisations that want to remain relevant in 2020 and beyond.
Faisal Abbasi, Managing Director Western Europe & MEMA, Amelia