Organizational Wellness

AI Trainings for Employees: An HR Guide

May 13, 2024
Last Updated May 14, 2024

It seems that everybody is talking about artificial intelligence (AI) these days, from automated chatbots to AI-powered software. How did everyone become an expert in AI?

The truth is that implementing AI technologies in the workplace doesn't require new degrees in "prompt engineering" or specialized expertise. With the right training, you can be sure that your team knows all the basics of AI so you can improve productivity, results, and employee satisfaction. 

This guide will show you how to effectively implement AI training for your employees to help you embrace the power of AI tools in the workplace.

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The Value of Workforce AI Training

Equipping your team with AI training can help you keep up with the latest HR trends and leverage these tools to your company’s advantage. Here’s how empowering your workforce with AI skills can drive substantial benefits:

Increased Productivity

AI training enables employees to use automation and machine learning to streamline workflows and reduce the time spent on routine tasks. What’s not to like about less time spent on repetitive jobs? This will free up time and mental energy so that your employees can focus on more complex and valuable activities. 

In fact, workers who leverage AI can get more things done and produce results of more than 40% higher quality than employees who do not use AI, according to a 2023 Harvard Business School study. Once they know how to integrate AI tools effectively, teams can handle larger work volumes with higher accuracy, enhancing overall productivity.

Improved Decision-Making

AI is excellent at quickly analyzing large datasets, which can be time-consuming for humans. Training employees in AI tools helps them find valuable insights from large sources of data without having to train them in complex data analytics software like Python or SQL. 

AI chatbots equipped with natural language processing (NLP) enable everyday users to analyze extensive data sets and swiftly identify crucial insights. That way, your team can be equipped with powerful data analysis tools without recruiting an army of data scientists.

Keeping Up With the Skills Curve

Adopting new technology requires ongoing learning and skill adaptation — something AI can help with. Developing your employees’ skills is a more viable strategy than relying solely on hiring new talent, which may cost more. AI training prepares your workforce with the latest skills, keeping your business efficient and competitive. 

Types of AI Training for Employees

AI is a vast group of technologies, so effective training can incorporate foundational training for everyone and personalized, skill-specific training for each employee. Here’s some of the content your training can cover. 

Foundational AI Literacy

As with any new technology, users need to learn how to interact with AI to get the full benefit from it. Making sure your employees feel comfortable using this technology and understand the principles of AI is crucial for successfully implementing AI tools in your organization. 

Some key AI concepts that foundational AI training might cover are:

  • Machine learning: It can be tricky to learn to use something you might not understand. By giving employees a general understanding of how AI automatically learns and improves from experience without being explicitly programmed, you can help minimize the intimidation factor in your teams.
  • Rules of engagement: When Salesforce began using AI, they wrote out clear guidelines for all employee usage for privacy protection and legal reasons. Define your company boundaries for AI usage and clearly communicate those to employees.
  • Algorithms: These are sets of rules or instructions given to a computer to help it perform specific tasks or solve problems. Examine with employees what formulas or prompts will give them the best results.
  • Data bias: This happens when preconceived notions or misrepresentations in the data lead to partial or prejudiced outcomes in AI systems. Employees can learn to recognize the bias and adjust for it in their work.

Skill-Specific Training

Once your team is familiar with AI tools in general, you can begin training for specific AI tools relevant to your industry. This allows employees to leverage this technology in areas that directly apply to their jobs, helping them be more productive. For instance, sales teams might learn to utilize AI for better lead scoring, while IT staff may explore AI for network security enhancements.

Ethical Considerations of AI

A too often-overlooked aspect of AI training involves the ethical considerations of AI use. AI tools have been shown to contain biases in their algorithms, which often leads to gender and racial discrimination, according to a 2023 study published in the International Journal of Information Management Data Insights. Ethical AI training may include approaching AI solutions responsibly to prevent biases and discrimination. Employees learn about fairness, transparency, and recognizing potential biases in AI systems.

How to Build an Effective AI Training Program

No two organizations are the same, so you’ll be looking to build an effective AI training program for your organization's unique proposition. Here’s how to structure a program that meets your specific needs, from assessing your requirements to tracking its success:

Needs Assessment

Understanding your needs before you start looking for AI training is one of the best ways to facilitate successful implementation. Analyze the roles in your organization that directly interact with AI technologies or could implement them in their regular workflow. You can conduct surveys or interviews with employees to identify gaps in knowledge and skills and personalize your AI training.

Set Goals

Once you have figured out what you want to get from your AI training, you need to set up clear goals. Whether improving efficiency, enhancing skill sets, or reducing errors, setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals will provide direction and motivation for your training program.

Choosing the Right Training Format

AI training comes in many forms, and choosing the right one for your employees will help them learn quickly and more effectively. Here are some training formats to consider:

  • Online courses are flexible and scalable, making them ideal for foundational knowledge and some of the most popular training formats. 
  • Workshops can facilitate deeper understanding through interactive, hands-on experiences. 
  • For complex AI applications, in-house training with tailored content might be the best approach. 

Consider a blended learning style combining various formats to cover all aspects effectively.

Procuring the Training

Deciding whether to develop your AI training in-house or to hire external experts depends on your resources and needs. In-house development allows for highly customized content but requires significant time and expertise. Contracting external trainers can provide professionalism and depth — but at a higher cost. Evaluate your organization’s capacity and the quality of available vendors to make the best choice.

Conducting the Training

Not everyone will be on board with AI at first—and that’s okay. Start by laying out the "why" behind AI adoption and be clear that this is an organization-wide change designed to make employees' jobs easier, not to replace them. Make sure that the delivery of your training is compelling and accessible to keep your employees as engaged as possible. Use real-world examples to help employees see how they could use AI tools in their daily workflow to improve their productivity and results.

Tracking the Success of Your Program

To evaluate the effectiveness of your AI training program, track metrics like knowledge retention, employee satisfaction, and any increases in operational efficiency. Use regular feedback sessions and quizzes to measure progress and identify areas for improvement. 

Enhancing Workplace Wellbeing Through AI Training

Implementing AI in your organization can completely revolutionize your employees’ productivity and results — but only if they are properly trained in AI tools. From foundational literacy to skill-specific learning and ethical considerations, comprehensive AI training equips employees with the necessary tools to keep up with the latest technological innovations.

Implementing these AI training programs aligns directly with enhancing employee wellbeing. When employees are well-trained and confident in their roles, their job satisfaction and workplace engagement typically increase

If you're ready to amplify your employee wellbeing strategy, our Wellbeing Specialists are here to guide you. Contact a Wellbeing Specialist today to learn how our holistic platform can enhance your workforce wellness!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!

References

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  5. Khurana, D., Koli, A., Khatter, K., & Singh, S. (2022). Natural Language Processing: State of the art, Current Trends and Challenges. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 82(3), 3713–3744. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-022-13428-4
  6. Nichols, J. A., Herbert Chan, H. W., & Baker, M. A. B. (2018). Machine learning: applications of artificial intelligence to imaging and diagnosis. Biophysical Reviews, 11(1), 111–118. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12551-018-0449-9
  7. Varsha, Dr. P. (2023). How can we manage biases in artificial intelligence systems – A systematic literature review. International Journal of Information Management Data Insights, 3(1), 100165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jjimei.2023.100165
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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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