Managing change in AI: When change affects people in your organization, remember that you have a wealth of talent that needn’t go to waste. Consider re-skilling to meet the company’s needs as well as the employees’.
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How many times have you heard a manager respond to employees about organizational change with the words, “It just made sense”? To workers who are adversely impacted by the change, it might not make sense at all. That’s exactly why managers who introduce artificial intelligence and enable change should never lose sight of the human impact.
Early in my career, I was impacted by organizational changes that affected my job and responsibilities. Later in my career, I was the one making these changes and communicating change to employees.
Along the way, I learned three things:
- If an employee’s job is significantly changed, you engage the employee early in the process of defining new work flows and you support that employee with the necessary retraining.
- If an employee loses a job because of a reorganization, you do all you can to try to place the employee elsewhere, whether in your company or someone else’s.
- If you have employees who remain after some of their workmates have lost their jobs, you spend time with those employees, who are likely to go through feelings of guilt or sadness.
In a nutshell: You need to attend to the human side of your business when the business undergoes change.
With artificial intelligence and robotics beginning to assume many of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks that employees have done in the past, and with the tech industry saying that these devices and automated processes will leave employees with valuable time that they can spend on more complex and skillful work, it is important to follow through with your workforce to ensure that what tech companies say is really the case and that your employee issues are addressed.
Learning from a cybersecurity training program
I recently had a conversation with John DeSimone, vice president of cybersecurity, training and services at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. DeSimone was in the process of building out his organization’s cybersecurity skills. While our conversation was not entirely about change management, DeSimone stressed the importance of retaining and investing in employee skills training so employees could continue to evolve with the company.
I asked him what he has learned from his tenure about how to promote change management and re-skill workers. […]
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