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Maximising technology

Christian Foerg looks at how to drive

learning and productivity

As automation and machine learning become

mainstream technologies they are changing

the face of work in two ways. First the facets of

work that can be replaced with artificial

intelligence (AI) and second the augmentation

of work itself using machine learning to

personalise the employee experience.

As a result HR and learning and development

(L&D) professionals face a dual challenge -

getting the best from AI technologies to

enhance HR and L&D's contribution to the

business, while reassuring employees that

any changes will be for the better.

AI technologies are developing fast and have

the potential to transform the products and

services that many organisations offer and

how new products and services are

developed and delivered. There will be a need

for significant L&D activity to prepare the

workforce for the changes ahead.

Employees are ready for change

Increased productivity may come at the 'cost'

of the automation of aspects of some jobs. At

the same time, AI offers an unrivalled

opportunity to replace mundane repetitive

tasks with interesting, engaging work.

Employees are, perhaps, surprisingly

receptive to this idea. A PwC survey, based

on interviews of 10,000 employees, found that

over a third (37%) of organisations are

'worried about automation putting jobs at risk'

but, encouragingly, almost three quarters

(74%) of employees are 'ready to learn new

skills or re-train to remain employable in the


HR and L&D professionals have an important

role to play not only in identifying

opportunities for new technology but also in

creating the culture and environment that will

enable business to get the best out of AI. HR

and L&D professionals have a number of

starting points when looking to maximise the

positive impact of AI technologies on the


1. Set a skills baseline. Assess current skills

and map them explicitly against business

goals. This is a critical first step before HR and

L&D professionals can even begin to think

about using AI to support performance

management or learning and development.


Christian Foerg

General Manager - EMEA Region



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