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New Generative AI Research From McLean & Company Calls for Focusing HR Resources Amid Inevitable Technological Disruption

With the explosion in popularity of tools like ChatGPT, generative AI (artificial intelligence) is emerging as a widely sought-after solution to reduce the burden of administrative and routine tasks in HR. 

As advancements in generative AI technology are fundamentally changing how organizations approach and conduct work, HR is positioned to play an integral role in successfully adapting to the future of work. To help HR leaders bridge the gap between the lack of employee and organizational knowledge and understanding versus the immense capabilities and possible benefits of generative AI, McLean & Company has released its timely new research blueprint, Harness the Potential of Generative AI in HR.

Many employees are already using generative AI tools and products, though they often lack the skills and competencies needed to maximize the benefits of this technology while minimizing the risks. Organizations are also struggling to optimize and manage the use of AI tools and must contend with significant risks, biases, and inaccuracies in generative AI.

The global HR research and advisory firm explains in the new resource that through the development of skills needed to leverage evolving technology and empowering employees to embrace the associated capabilities, HR has a key opportunity to support the evaluation and implementation of generative AI throughout the organization.

“Generative AI presents an exciting opportunity for people leaders to rethink how HR does its work and find unprecedented efficiencies,” says Will Howard, director of HR Research and Advisory Services at McLean & Company. “HR plays a crucial role in supporting the entire organization in understanding the far-reaching impacts of generative AI and helping employees adapt to the disruption.”

In the blueprint, the firm explains that the relationship between generative AI tools and employees is mutually beneficial. Generative AI tools can improve efficiency and accelerate innovation by automating routine day-to-day tasks, while employee input is crucial for validating and improving the output provided by generative AI.

McLean & Company also suggests that the key to successful implementation of generative AI in the workplace is creating a culture of trust and support within the organization, with employees who aren’t afraid of trying new ideas being 4.47x more likely to be engaged than those who are.

The latest data-backed blueprint is divided into three sections to provide a concise process HR leaders can follow to evaluate and implement generative AI tools within their organizations. The firm’s recommended process is outlined below:

  1. Define generative AI use cases in HR: Completion of the first section of the process will identify key stakeholders and a project team, evaluate organizational and HR strategy to inform the project purpose and guiding principles, and complete a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities) analysis to understand how generative AI applies to HR practices. This section also requires gathering feedback from employees, prioritizing HR capabilities, and determining the application of generative AI use cases.

  2. Pilot and launch generative AI use cases: The second section supports HR leaders in creating guidelines for generative AI use in HR, piloting the generative AI use case in HR prior to implementation, and identifying the skills, knowledge, and behaviors needed to optimize generative AI.

  3. Support the organization in implementing generative AI: The third and final section of the research guides the development of a policy on the acceptable use of generative AI, the conduction of a risk assessment of use cases across the organization, and the empowerment of employees to leverage generative AI in their roles. It also reminds HR leaders to conduct workforce planning to anticipate and prepare for future needs.

“There is a lot of anxiety among employees about the impact of generative AI on job security,” explains Howard. “Engaging employees early and often is crucial to reduce uncertainty.”