Employees are at the heart of any organization. After all, a highly motivated and engaged workforce drives business growth. However, when we look at today’s workplace trends, we realize that employees aren’t as engaged as they used to be. In fact, Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace: 2021 Report” reveals that employee engagement dropped by 2% in 2020, costing the global economy a whopping $8.1 trillion in terms of lost productivity.
To recover the lost productivity and gain momentum, businesses need to focus on radical change instead of incremental improvements — they need to step back and completely rewrite their employee experience rulebook. And to change radically, businesses need new ways of thinking and adopting new approaches to work. One clear way to do this is to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can help create a new future of work that’s more flexible, diverse and well-being-oriented than ever before.
Overcome The Global Shortage Of Talent
With Baby Boomers exiting the workforce and inadequately prepared Millennials entering the job market, enterprises are facing a skill shortage. Companies that fail to fill open positions with skilled workers or delay reskilling their existing workforce will scramble to find the right talent for their upcoming projects. An AI-enabled resource management solution helps hiring and resource managers easily track the skills of their employees to counteract the effects of talent shortages and provide employees with opportunities for training and the chance to take on new responsibilities.
Mitigate Employee Burnout
As remote work continues, employees are facing burnout and disengagement due to increased workload and distractions. The results of several global surveys have indicated that employee burnout is rising consistently. The global workforce has endured more than a year of long hours and reduced time off. Overutilization of resources could directly result in employee attrition.
With AI-enabled project management software, managers can easily predict burnout based on factors such as time spent on projects and resource utilization rate. When managers can track allocated work time versus actual resource utilization in real time, they’re better prepared to strategically mobilize benched or underutilized resources and reduce the workload on overworked resources.
Start By Improving Employee Time-Tracking
I often hear from our enterprise customers how legacy and on-premise systems make sharing data between systems and automating processes nearly impossible. This leads to increased administrative overhead and a poor employee experience.
Let’s take employee time tracking as an example. For any large business, employees completing timesheets accurately is a fundamental task. After all, employee time data fuels visibility and decisions around profitability, revenues, utilization, compliance and more. However, employee time data is often spread across multiple systems, including CRM, ERP, calendar and legacy systems, making it incredibly difficult to consolidate data for accurate customer invoicing and payrolls.
And let’s just face it — employees hate filling out timesheets! Timesheet anxiety, coupled with disparate systems and data silos, results in increased administrative tasks and a higher chance of human errors. This isn’t a favorable situation, especially when businesses need to adapt to a hybrid work environment rapidly.
An AI-enabled time tracking system opens a transformative approach to improve employee experience and efficiency. AI and machine learning (ML) can be used to automatically harvest time data from users and systems, assemble a near-perfect timesheet and reduce employee interaction to just a few seconds of review, instead of the typical drudgery. This revolutionizes time tracking as we know it today and presents a paradigm shift in the business world’s most essential task.
Use Self-Driving AI To Make Better Decisions
As businesses of all sizes continue to find the right balance between remote and hybrid workforces, they face the challenge of managing a diverse employee base working across regions, business functions and contract types. AI-powered self-driving technology is vital for creating an environment tailored to specific employees to optimize their productivity and keep them happy in their positions.
When I say self-driving, I mean that AI-enabled technology will help business leaders make data-driven decisions without having to worry about collecting and analyzing accurate and up-to-date data manually. Just like how a self-driving car automatically perceives its surroundings to drive forward safely, self-driving software automatically harvests data, looks for any exceptions, brings those to the forefront and presents recommendations for business leaders to make proactive decisions.
In professional services firms and project-based businesses, this could mean an automation solution can do all the heavy lifting, analyze real-time data and deliver live recommendations on the best possible choices — everything with minimum human intervention.
Fuel The Employee Experience With AI
Self-driving technology powered by AI has great potential to improve the employee experience by automating routine tasks, eliminating human errors, delivering advanced business analytics and helping create a better work-life balance. As an integral part of all digital transformation programs, AI is poised to become the game-changer for creating a work environment that will drive better employee satisfaction. Although enterprise-wide AI adoption across all functions will happen gradually, using advanced timesheet software is a good place to start and get a quick-hit win on improving employee experiences that drive engagement and productivity.