The rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies has created new opportunities and challenges for businesses, requiring them to adapt and evolve in order to remain competitive.
Key amongst these is the ability to take informed, intentional decisions on when and how to use technology, and to ensure the right safeguards and mitigations are in place to enable a confident technology strategy. The sheer pace and scale of these changes makes clear that this requires an organisational-level capability to recognise and navigate decision points impacting the team, customer and wider society.
Human Resources (HR) plays a crucial role in establishing the culture, skills, rewards framework, and role expectations within organisations that enable them to make responsible decisions on the use of AI and other emerging technologies.
HR’s Role in Cultivating a Responsible AI-Driven Culture
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” might be getting long in the tooth, but remains highly relevant. Without a culture that encourages the team to make the tough decisions, and feel confident doing so, any other actions to promote responsible use will fail.
So what can HR do to promote this culture?
On a practical level the first step is to raise awareness and open the floor for conversation. HR teams have change management in their DNA and can organise workshops, seminars, and other training programs to educate employees about the responsible use of these technologies. This will help employees understand the potential risks and benefits associated with AI, and guide them in making informed decisions. Importantly, by making these sessions interactive, the team can try-out the activities and mindsets needed to tackle thorny issues that might not have right/wrong answers.
That doesn’t mean anything goes as long as it’s discussed in the team, and HR plays a key role in developing and implementing ethical AI policies within organisations. These policies should be designed to promote responsible use of AI and ensure that the technology is employed in a manner that respects data privacy, fairness, transparency, and accountability. HR can also represent the challenges the workforce might face, and plan a realistic adoption approach.
The successful implementation of AI and other emerging technologies requires a collaborative and inclusive work environment. HR teams should work towards creating a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and insights regarding the use of AI. This will help foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among employees, ensuring that they remain engaged and proactive in shaping the organisation’s AI-driven future.
Developing and Enhancing AI-Decisioning Skills, tools and capabilties
HR professionals play a critical role in identifying skill gaps within organisations and developing strategies to upskill employees. Naturally technology skills enable the team to understand the environment they are navigating. But also consider decisioning skills: data gathering, synthesis, managing trade-offs, negotiating defensible positions. This skills mix is recent and in high demand meaning external training providers, such as TechInnocens, are likely better placed to provide your team with the skills they need and to encourage a continuous learning approach.
It’s important the team is also supported in delivery by appropriate tools and resources. Working with knowledge management, best practice COEs and toolkit development teams ensures that the team can put their skills into action. Understanding where to find the tools and how to use them means teams can shift to address questions and uncertainties without missing a beat in their project or work.
Establishing Roles, Rewards and Reviews for AI-Driven Performance
Communicate, demonstrate, reinforce.
HR teams should design rewards and recognition frameworks that align with the organisation’s communicated and demonstrated goals for technology use. Failing to embed recognition for the right behaviours will see them deprioritised. By rewarding employees for responsible AI adoption and ethical decision-making, HR can encourage a culture of accountability and responsible technology use.
To foster a culture of innovation and collaboration, HR should create reward systems that recognise both individual and team efforts in implementing AI-driven solutions with care. Encouraging cross-functional collaboration will ensure that employees from diverse backgrounds and expertise contribute to the organization’s AI strategy.
To ensure the team appreciate that this approach is a permanent change, don’t leave things as aspirations: update job descriptions to reflect the new skills and responsibilities required for AI-driven roles. Of course that also means integrating demonstrated responsible-use decisioning into the organisation’s performance management process.
The role of HR in setting the culture, skills, rewards framework, and role expectations within organisations is crucial in enabling responsible decision-making in the use of AI and other emerging technologies. By fostering a responsible AI-driven culture, developing and enhancing AI-related skills, establishing a rewards framework that promotes ethical AI adoption, and defining role expectations for AI-driven responsibilities, HR can ensure that organisations remain competitive while remaining true to their vision and identity. As AI continues to shape the future of work, HR professionals must remain proactive in adapting to these changes and supporting their organisations in making responsible decisions on the use of AI and other emerging technologies.
While this can seem daunting, HR teams across Australia are already making the change. Ask TechInnocens how we can help you bring your organisation into the age of AI.