When workers hear about artificial intelligence (AI) and the automation it provides, many fear losing their jobs. But what do CEOs think of when they hear about AI and technology? Most get excited about their bottom line. A recent survey of 699 CEOs in June and July 2020 showed that while “health industries and technology CEOs are most likely to add virtual products and services”, there are leaders across industries — from finance to consumer markets to energy — that are also prioritizing “a more virtual business model.” The challenge, then, is for company leaders to drive employee adoption of new technology quickly and consistently.
When the C-suite successfully uses technology, it makes things easier for their employees, and reduces costs, allowing everyone to win. But to integrate new processes into their organizations, market leaders have to communicate not only how the AI benefits the organization as a whole, but also how employees will benefit by using it. This communication is key to reducing the fears employees often have of seeing their jobs replaced by a computer program.
So, how do CEOs reduce employee anxieties and successfully pitch new, organization-wide AI? The solution is straightforward, although implementation will take some thought: you must support employees with clear and concise communications that ensure they fully understand how the new technology serves them.
When it comes to communicating such an important and potentially complex message, choosing the right medium is critical. Video offers a great platform to explain what the technology does and how it supports workers. With video, you can highlight key metrics like time saved by other program users, how the AI reduces stress among staff, employee-focused or even share personal anecdotes from company executives or employees who have used it. By creating an AI company onboarding video, you have the opportunity to use plain language to explain exactly how the new technology benefits everyone while using compelling visuals to educate and engage your audience. You could even create video series that address specific departments or features.
When implementing new technology into your organization, get training manuals ready for all employees. Make sure they include eye-popping graphics that make it easier to understand and highlight important features. The words you use to describe the new technology are also vital. You want to be more than accurate and use language that everyone can quickly grasp, no matter how strong their technology skills. Good training manuals bring all of your employees on board from the very beginning. With good onboarding, you can make them feel part of the process and ensure they understand how the AI benefits them.
You can also create custom illustrations and animations to show what your product does. These assets, such as GIFs, are also easily distributable to any audience you want to reach. Although bite-size, these illustrations need to have words in them as well. The right combination of words and visuals helps you create easily digestible communications.
The real question is: why do so few companies take advantage of these communication strategies? In a recent survey, researchers also determined that only about 9% of the 699 companies surveyed qualified as “digital champions”, which means they deployed company-wide initiatives to drive employee tech adoption. Digital champions know that engaged employees benefit their bottom line. These champions reportedly “achieved a 7.7% increase in revenue and supply chain cost savings of 6.8% annually.” The next task for every C-suite, then, is to communicate to their employees – ideally using compelling videos, graphics, and strong onboarding practices – the full benefits of AI technologies.