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.
General Manager - EMEA Region