Improving productivity is a crucial aspect of any organisation’s success. It is now flagged as a government priority, which will help reduce the cost-of-living pressures on the Australian public.
Australian Federal Treasurer, Jim Chalmers recently stated: “We’ve made it clear we think the productivity opportunity for Australia is not to make people work longer for less but to invest in human capital.”
With rapidly growing digital footprints, organisations are increasingly relying on technology to streamline their operations and stay ahead of competitors. Therefore, digital skills development programs are becoming more critical than ever, as they can help employees stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, allowing them to work more efficiently and productively.
Ever since powerful large language models (LLMs) became more easily accessible to the public earlier this year, companies have been finding that Generative AI can help companies reduce repetitive tasks and increase turnaround speed – all while keeping a human in the loop. By incorporating generative AI skills into their digital training programs, companies can help improve productivity and drive business growth.
According to The Future of Digital Work survey by Adobe, Australian workers think generative AI is “miraculous” and want more of it in their jobs, yet only about ten per cent say they are experts in its use, and a further 30 per cent say they are “just getting by” with the revolutionary technology. The study also showed that despite the nation’s workforce lagging in digital proficiency, a staggering 82 per cent of respondents say digital tech is essential in their day-to-day work.
Organisations and employees who aren’t keeping up with generative AI may fall behind, so it’s never been a better time to consider AI training.
How can generative AI help organisations?
Advancements in Generative AI and large language models have been exponential; these programs can help spark ideas, create content, generate images, and more. Because these models are evolving so quickly, it’s crucial to stay current with the latest advancements. For instance, a book on generative AI from 2022 likely already contains outdated material because our knowledge of generative AI and its capabilities has expanded since six months ago.
When companies look to train their workforce on AI, they should ensure it is quality training from a provider they trust and that the resources are up-to-date, valuable, accessible and easy to use. Shorter form content and modularised training is useful for organisations because it can be continually updated. Employees may be more inclined to take virtual courses or watch videos, rather than turning to physical books and other traditional upskilling methods. These learners are looking for educational content that is applicable, concise, and visually appealing.
The learner must be able to see how it will be immediately applicable to their job — and a resource that will add value to their career.
Organisations also need to keep their specific business needs in mind when finding training resources. AI has different implications and use cases for each industry, so finding an AI training that’s relevant to your line of business is important.
Once a program is in place, businesses can continue to monitor to see if the training is engaging, up-to-date and performing well. Regular discussion group meetings can help ensure the content is performing well, whether it’s still applicable to their business, and also provide a space to decide how to approach the next steps.
Keeping humans in the loop
While generative AI can be a powerful and useful tool, it’s not perfect. It gets some information utterly wrong and presents it in a tone brimming with certainty, confidence and flowery language.
Detailed reviewing and editing are still required by employees with succinct writing skills and organisational knowledge. The content an organisation shares reflects their organisation and therefore, generative AI should not be used to replace important human contributions, but rather to augment them and increase output. It’s also important for employees to take accountability for how they use AI and to be transparent when and where it is used. Ownership of the content source and how they choose to share it is paramount.
Where should AI be avoided?
While managing the risks in AI, I believe we must focus on the opportunity it presents, while still being mindful of its challenges, because, without a doubt, this technology is a game changer. It’s not here to replace us. It is here to elevate and scale the meaningful work we do.
Organisations should develop their own policies around AI usage to avoid privacy and legal issues, cybersecurity risks as well as bias and non-discrimination.
Incorporating generative AI into digital skills training programs is essential for companies to help their employees develop the competencies they need to succeed in a fast-paced and constantly changing business environment. By providing personalised, adaptive and continuous learning opportunities around generative AI, employees can learn how to work more efficiently and effectively, leading to improved productivity and business growth, innovation, and success in the years to come.