In business, the strong winds of change inevitably blow and regardless of how you or anyone in your organization feels about it, there are two paths to choose from when they arrive. Let the pressure of the wind decimate you, like trees in a storm or you harness its power, like the sail of a ship, to propel you into the future you desire.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and AI tools, along with their impact on industries around the globe, are these winds of change. Simply adopting these tools and systems is not enough. Organizations must prepare and foster their teams with the right training programs and management strategies through this adoption process to ensure success. For this, a change management strategy must be implemented.
What is Change Management?
Change management is the process in which an organization handles the people side of change. Adopting new procedures and protocols and leveraging new tools is, in theory, a simple process but people often have a hard time dealing with and adapting to changes in their work environment, particularly when those changes are as revolutionary as those brought on by AI.
Why Would Employees Resist Changes and the AI Vision?
- Unaware of the Benefits of AI
Without being fully aware of the power and potential of AI tools, employees may be resistant to changes, assuming that their roles and positions may become more challenging or demanding.
- Concerns About AI Technology Replacing Their Careers
According to a recent study on the role of AIOps by tech company NTT “With any revolutionary technology, there is always a subset of people who believe that their jobs and very livelihoods are at risk of being subverted. Most big changes in society face a period, before their mass acceptance, where fear is associated with proposed changes, making adoption difficult.”
- Unwillingness to Adjust Roles and Responsibilities
People become comfortable in their roles when they are in an organization and the implementation of new systems threatens that comfort. For some, an unwillingness to change or adjust their roles is the root of their resistance.
Ensuring Employee Engagement When Implementing AI
- Open Communication
For any change to properly be implemented, particularly a change of the magnitude of adopting artificial intelligence tools, communication of the vision and goals of the organization is paramount. People need to know how and why these changes are important and how they will affect them, and this new future must be communicated to them by their leaders.
- Proper Training and Support
Proper training and support are essential to addressing and eliminating resistance to change during the adoption of AI. Employees need to be empowered and equipped to handle the upcoming changes as well as be supported by their management staff as their responsibilities and roles are adjusted.
- Structured Approach to the Adoption of AI
The adoption of these systems needs to be structured and methodical, as well as properly paced. In nature, there is an optimal level of growth and change and it is never the fastest possible rate of change. Properly structured and timed change allows people to adapt to the new landscape they will be operating in.
Change Management: Bringing Your People Along
While there are incredible benefits in using artificial intelligence tools and systems, they are not worth it if you lose the respect and effort of your employees. Managing the people side of this change is as important as properly implementing these tools. Be sure to prioritize a change management plan when adopting your AI into your business.