Activity by AI companies is currently supporting £9.1bn in gross value added (GVA) per year to the UK economy by making processes faster and smoother, says Duncan Casemore.

According to research from McKinsey, these figures could dramatically increase in the future, with Generative AI holding the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60-70 percent of employees’ time today. The same findings show that Generative AI could drive UK labour productivity growth of 0.1 to 0.6 percent annually through 2040.

When it comes to enabling a positive employee experience, the potential of AI is huge. And, a positive employee experience is crucial not only for driving employee engagement and retention but for improving business revenue and performance.

In light of this, how can HR teams optimise AI’s influence on the employee journey? How can they leverage it effectively to maintain a happy and productive workforce that fuels business profitability and growth?

Addressing AI anxiety in the workplace

Research shows that 62 percent of UK employees believe ‘more jobs will be lost to automation by robotics/AI than will be created’ and a report from Goldman Sachs showed that AI could replace 300 million jobs. However, AI shines in particular tasks, whereas human rational judgement prevails in others. To help ease employee anxiety, HR teams should offer reassurance that AI’s goal is to increase productivity and job satisfaction rather than take the place of human roles.

In the hiring process, candidates might feel uneasy about how AI impacts the selection process, with research indicating that this method doesn’t consistently result in impartial decision-making.

HR teams must therefore vigilantly oversee how AI affects the process, to ensure fairness and equity throughout.

Employees might also feel anxious about swift changes in the workplace and harbour worries about data privacy, particularly concerning sensitive HR data. HR teams must treat these concerns with openness and respect and clearly communicate the role and benefits of AI, to foster a positive perception amongst employees.

Given these considerations, how can AI contribute to enriching the human element of the employee experience?

Improving the employee experience

AI offers numerous pathways for enhancing the employee experience:

  • Personalised search: AI empowers employees to swiftly access customised content and receive tailored responses to their inquiries, enhancing their experience.
  • Smoother, more efficient processes: AI accelerates task completion, easing complexities and optimising workflow efficiency.
  • Tailored learning and development: By leveraging predictive analytics, AI identifies skill gaps and provides intelligent recommendations for learning resources.

Revolutionising HR efficiency

Embracing AI allows HR teams to focus more on fostering a positive employee experience. AI-optimised software can significantly enhance HR teams’ efficiency and productivity through various means:

  • Smoother recruitment processes: Automating processes alleviates administrative burdens, relieving HR teams from repetitive tasks and minimising human errors. Intelligent onboarding ensures a seamless and efficient experience for new hires.
  • Smart analytics and data security: HR teams can use AI-driven analytics to identify trends and gather insights that can help refine their talent acquisition approach and performance management.
  • Virtual assistants and AI support:The global virtual assistant market is expected to hit $51.9 billion by 2028, showing a growth rate of 28.5 percent annually. Acknowledging AI’s strength in administrative support, HR teams can harness this technology to elevate HR interactions and revolutionise employee engagement.
  • Bridging the knowledge gaps with lightning speed: With a single click, leverage generative AI to instantly create comprehensive knowledge articles, news, and diverse content for HR review. By seamlessly filling these gaps, AI can help provide precise answers and tailor a personalised experience for users.

Ways to foster employee engagement

HR teams should prioritise the full involvement of employees in the AI integration process. Using pulse surveys effectively engages employees, allowing insights into their opinions and concerns. Maintaining complete transparency regarding the business’ use of AI, and consistently communicating the latest developments and integration plans with teams is also essential.

Welcoming AI to transform working life for the better

Keeping apace with the rapid advancements in AI within the workplace remains a continuous challenge, with 40 percent of UK workers saying they feel overwhelmed about not being able to keep up with new AI developments. Business leaders must therefore work hard to ensure employees are fully involved in AI integration and make sure they’re supported every step of the way. With a well-thought-out integration process, businesses can adopt AI as a collaborative asset, enhancing the employee experience, boosting productivity, retention, and the organisation’s overall profitability.

By optimising tasks, refining processes, and nurturing learning and career advancement, AI holds the potential to significantly enhance the quality of work life.


Duncan Casemore, Co-founder and CTO of Applaud.