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Digital Workplace Journey: Navigating the AI Frontier

Mindy Honcoop
on August 23, 2023

AI is transforming the digital workplace now and it will re-shape the future of how we work. In 2022, research showed that both customer and employee retention improved by 32% with investments in AI technologies and solutions.

Have you assessed your company’s AI readiness for your employees? If not, it’s time to get started. First, begin by analyzing your current workplace practices and taking a baseline assessment. Then, seek to unravel the potential and specific use cases for implementing a digital employee experience within your organization. As you continue reading this article, I will unveil strategies to kickstart your AI digital workplace journey.

Evolving From Employee Support to Employee Service

First, you create an employee service delivery strategy that aligns with company goals. Phase one is actioning an employee support delivery model, which means simplifying and tailoring previously manual and multi-step processes. As the company continues to improve its support delivery, it will mature to provide employees with an interactive and adaptive modern service delivery experience. Within a few clicks, it offers services that can guide employees through scenarios based on their input without human intervention.

Employee service models are how companies know if employees have what they need and feel supported. Understanding if benefits are managed well. Tracking how people are doing at their jobs. Helping employees learn and grow. AI can be a game-changer for employee service enhancement. It can handle manual tasks that take too much time. AI can handle the nitty-gritty of welcoming new team members. Or scrambling to reschedule interviewers at the last minute. This type of automation can save time and hassle. But that’s not all – AI can also personalize an experience. Imagine AI using data to figure out what each employee needs and likes; suggesting training that matches what someone does in their job. AI can be an intelligent assistant, always there when you need it.

Map Your Current State For Employee Support

Before jumping into the world of AI, carefully examine your current workplace processes and procedures for your employees. Check how things work and find out where problems might be. This step is like generating a “heat map” that shows problem areas (time consuming, outdated, inefficient, etc.). As well as where AI and/or automation can step in and make things even better for employees. Gather data through focus groups or role shadowing, to surface these areas for improvement. Through a one-team mindset, HR, IT, and department leaders find ways to track workplace activity data. For example, a company reviews its HR employee life-cycle processes. Opportunities for improvement (like leave management, state policy compliance, collection, onboarding, and coaching) generate actionable ways these processes can benefit from AI / automation.

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[👆🏽If you want the employee journey audit template in Google Sheets, click here to make a copy]

Putting Employees First: Embracing AI with Care

Adopting an employee-centric approach is critical to making AI work in the employee experience. Think of AI as a partner that enhances and augments what people can do, not a substitute for them. When rolling out AI initiatives, employees should feel confident that AI is here to be a helpful partner. To make this happen, involve employees in the AI integration process. Conduct workshops, chat sessions, and surveys to obtain their insights. Include employees in the decision-making process before purchase decisions are made.

By understanding needs, preferences, and concerns, you’ll gain assurance that you are selecting the right AI solution. While making sure a seamless blend of technology, company values, keeping employee well-being are in check. Remember, AI is a tool – like a power tool in a workshop. It requires human supervision. It is possible to go too far with AI. In the excitement of embracing technology, you may create unnecessary complexities if you don’t remain centered on the employee experience. Create a task force with HR experts, IT specialists, and employee representatives to collectively make decisions. The cross-functional collaboration will foster a sense of collective ownership in the AI integration process.

Leveraging Employee Archetypes

Employee archetypes help build an employee-first approach. Each persona requires classifying employees into groups based on their characteristics and behaviors. Each persona helps understand how employees react to AI and how AI best supports them. For example, task-oriented employees may be more receptive to AI that automates repetitive tasks. In contrast, employees who are relationship-oriented may be more interested in AI that helps them connect with customers or colleagues.

To create employee archetypes, start by sorting your workforce into groups. Sort based on their role, who they are, and how they like to work. For each group, gather helpful information: (1) what they do every day; (2) what they don’t like; (3) how they prefer to chat; and (4) where they want to go in their careers. This information gets you to know your employees and helps you pick the right AI tools that best meet their needs. For example, a company creates archetypes like “New Joiners” and “Experienced Professionals.” Guiding your decisions thatt new employees need more guidance during onboarding while experienced ones seek advanced development opportunities.

Robust Infrastructure

Creating a robust data infrastructure lays a solid foundation for your AI journey. Setting up a sturdy data infrastructure enables seamless AI integration and instills trust among employees that their information is well-protected. This foundation provides that your AI-driven initiatives are innovative but also reliable and secure. Start by assessing your current data systems and identifying any gaps. Confirm that your data is organized, accessible, and stored in a secure environment compliant with data protection regulations.

Next, invest in the right technology and tools. Consider cloud-based solutions that can handle the scale and complexity of AI applications. Implement encryption and access controls to make sure data privacy and security. Regularly check and maintain your data infrastructure. Perform routine audits to identify vulnerabilities and address them promptly. Train your IT team to stay updated on the latest security practices. Do not forget AI can also be leveraged to help you improve your infrastructure as well.

Change Management: Smooth Integration of AI

Develop a comprehensive strategy for introducing AI, making sure it seamlessly blends into existing workflows and processes. Map out a clear plan that outlines the steps for AI implementation. This plan should detail the roles and responsibilities of each team member involved, providing everyone knows their part in the transformation. Communication is key. Keep everyone informed about the benefits of AI and how it aligns with the company’s goals. To seamlessly blend AI into your operations, provide comprehensive training to employees. Equip them with the knowledge and skills to use AI tools and technologies effectively. Create a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable experimenting with AI and sharing their experiences.

Continual Refinement: Listen and Improve

Throughout the process, gather feedback and continuously evaluate the impact of AI on workflows processes, and user experience. Stay flexible and be prepared to make adjustments as needed. By fostering a culture of adaptability, your change management strategy paves the way for AI’s successful and harmonious integration, enhancing productivity and employee satisfaction.

8 Practical Examples of Gathering Feedback.

Here are some practical examples of how to evaluate AI’s impact, and maintain adaptability during the integration process:

  1. Regular Surveys and Polls: Conduct surveys and polls among employees to gauge their experiences with AI tools. Are the tools improving their efficiencies?

  2. Feedback Sessions: Organize regular feedback sessions or focus groups where employees can openly share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions about AI integration. These sessions encourage open dialogue and allows you to address issues promptly.

  3. Usage Analytics: Track the usage patterns of AI tools. Are specific tools being underutilized? Are there any features that employees find particularly helpful? Analyzing this data can guide decisions on refining or promoting specific AI applications.

  4. Pilot Programs: Introduce AI tools on a smaller scale before full implementation. Collect feedback from a smaller group of employees to identify any challenges or opportunities for improvement before scaling up.

  5. User Experience Testing: Have employees participate in user experience testing for new AI interfaces or applications. Their feedback can help streamline and optimize the user interface for better usability.

  6. Collaborative Problem-Solving: Encourage teams to tackle challenges posed by AI integration together. Collaboration promotes a sense of ownership and camaraderie in finding creative solutions.

  7. Performance Metrics: Define clear performance metrics related to AI implementation. Continuously watch these metrics to assess whether AI is delivering the intended benefits.

  8. Adaptive Training: Offer ongoing training sessions to provide employees are well-versed in using AI tools effectively. Use feedback from these training sessions to fine-tune training materials and approaches.

Achieving seamless integration requires a thoughtful and strategic approach driven by a deep understanding of current practices, employee services, and the essence of employee experiences. By embracing concepts like employee archetypes and fostering an employee-centric mindset, companies can lay a strong foundation for an AI-driven transformation that benefits both the business and its employees.


Mindy Honcoop

Mindy Honcoop is an experienced People Leader now serving as MeBeBot’s VP of Customer Strategy and Operations. Previous HR advisor to, Spiceworks Ziff Davis,, Blackbaud, and Expedia.