Survey says! Here’s what employees think about AI right now

The White House’s recent order spotlights AI’s pivotal role in HR tech, prompting a closer look at how employees engage with AI at work.
By: | November 8, 2023

Lately, it sometimes feels like it is AI all the time in the HR tech world, and recent news from the White House signals how important this topic is to both industry and government leaders.

Cliff Jurkiewicz, Vice-President of Global Strategy at Phenom, said that “human-in-the-loop” is the foundation of the executive order recently signed by US President Joe Biden.

If you are not up to speed on everything the order entails, the document calls for standards that govern responsible AI development, promote individual privacy, prevent bias in AI applications, consider safeguards and more. There is a lot packed into this order, but in this week’s HR Tech Check, we look at what lies at the heart of this effort: the human side of AI interactions.

Let us gain insight into how humans are receiving AI tech at work by checking out several recent surveys.

AI should be powerful but simple to use

According to a UKG and Workplace Intelligence survey of more than 4,000 employees in 10 countries, nearly 90% wished workplace software interfaces were as simple as using their favourite navigation app.

When asked about the likelihood of embracing the use of AI at work, over 85% said they would adopt the tech to help them balance their workload. Other positive received use cases include completing more work during a shift, automating time-consuming processes, and helping the organisation improve profitability.

AI should make life easier, but stay out of evaluations

Another survey, this one from Qualtrics XM Institute, revealed that employees would accept AI if they sensed they had control over it. Top Employee Trends for 2024, which included responses from 37,000 employees across 32 countries, showed that employees are least comfortable with AI evaluating their work in situations such as performance management or hiring decisions.

As in the UKG/Workplace Intelligence research, people are more willing to rely on AI to make their job easier—61% of employees said they would use AI to write tasks, and just over half would take advantage of a personal assistant tool.

AI can be leveraged for employees with disabilities

According to Capterra’s 2023 Tech Accessibility survey of nearly 250 employees with a disability, 77% said that software advanced by AI would help them be more productive at work.

Key use cases indicated by the report include predictive text in messages, real-time visualisation of data and recommendations for next actions.

To realise tech ROI, build trust first

An Accenture study of 2,425 C-suite executives in 13 countries recently showed that 94% plan to increase technology spending in 2024, with 74% focusing directly on data and AI.

Tying back to the Qualtrics study, the organisation’s Chief Workplace Psychologist, Dr Benjamin Granger, urged leadership to communicate the “individual benefits of AI” when introducing new tech in the workplace. He said that employees who are engaged and trust their employers are more likely to adopt AI.

READ MORE: The three trends impacting recruiting in 2024

Prioritise the quality of data when navigating AI

The Adecco Group brought together executives from Bank of America, Microsoft and Avanade on a webinar to discuss navigating AI, drawing insights from its Global Workforce of the Future report—a survey conducted among 30,000 employees across 23 countries. The report unveiled that 70% of employees already incorporate AI into their jobs.

During the event, Josh Brostein, Head of Global Talent at Bank of America, emphasised that, while the possibilities of AI in the workplace are exciting, the key to its effectiveness is reliable data. Brostein stated, “We must prioritise the quality of the data, the protection of the data, and the processes and control of the data.”

About the author: Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of HRE. This article first appeared in Human Resource Executive.