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How Should Enterprises Approach Building Their AI-Powered Assistant?

Consider for a moment how your productivity is compromised every day. Think about how much time you spend sifting through emails, searching for information, or analyzing decks and spreadsheets just to perform your job. This inefficiency creates a trickle-down effect, whereby poor productivity makes your workforce less efficient, ultimately leading to increased employee dissatisfaction and churn.

“How can we solve the paradox of enabling employees to be more efficient with their time, while accelerating productivity and simultaneously upskilling their job roles?”

This recent survey revealed that the average employee spends approximately 3.6 hours daily searching for information. Moreover, more than 31% of those surveyed reported that the frustration of being unable to find information made them feel burned out, and 16% indicated that this frustration made them consider leaving their company.

This highlights a critical question: How can we solve the paradox of enabling employees to be more efficient with their time, while accelerating productivity and simultaneously upskilling their job roles?

Using AI to Add Value to Employees

As transformative as artificial intelligence (AI) is, its strongest features empower us to be smarter and much more efficient with our time, while also increasing our overall productivity. This makes AI seem to be the perfect assistant for the workplace, which is reiterated in this McKinsey study: “Enhancing human capital at the same time as deploying the technology rapidly could boost annual productivity growth.”

With a focus on helping employees easily consolidate and decipher information into digestible business content, Adobe has launched a company-wide beta for a generative AI assistant tool designed to enable smarter work and improve productivity. Adobe’s CIO summarized how the AI Assistant addressed three key areas of the business:

Closing Knowledge Gaps Faster.

Using AI Assistant, employees were able to quickly analyze large, complex documents through automatically generated summaries and detailed queries. This has halved the time teams spend on document analysis from over 10 hours a week to significantly less.

Increasing Document Efficiency.

The AI Assistant enhances document navigation by generating focused responses with clickable citations, enabling quick verification and in-depth exploration of information. This efficiency has notably benefited sales teams, reducing the time spent on researching prospects and responding to RFPs from eight hours a week to about four hours.

B2B Content Creation.

Generative AI helps employees repurpose information from documents into various business formats, such as emails and reports. This capability has saved communication teams over five hours a week by instantly generating first drafts of media decks, social media posts, blogs and other content, which is down from a full workday previously spent on these tasks.

MasterCard is taking a more in-depth approach to how it can foster its employees’ growth and career paths.

AI as a Career Coach.

At Unlocked, MasterCard’s internal talent marketplace, AI matches employees with opportunities, such as short-term projects, volunteer roles, open positions, mentors and learning pathways. 90% of the company’s workforce uses the platform, with one-third of participants in projects or mentoring experiencing a role change or promotion.

AI as a Wellbeing Guide.

AI sentiment analysis helps MasterCard identify key themes and areas for improvement, delivering personalized insights to optimize work habits. For instance, it suggests the best meeting cadence based on feedback and sends nudges for considerate email scheduling across time zones, promoting healthier work habits.

AI as a Workflow Assistant.

MasterCard’s AI-powered interview scheduling tool has accelerated the scheduling process by nearly 90%, allowing candidates to complete scheduling at their convenience. AI nudges managers to approve requests like vacation time, seamlessly integrating into routine tasks.

AI as a Copilot.

AI acts as a personal digital assistant, boosting productivity by reducing repetitive tasks and enabling innovation. It enhances meetings with real-time summaries and action items, and provides insights into meeting behaviors to improve experiences.

AI as a Workforce Planning Partner.

The platform can identify skill gaps, develop learning paths and create hiring plans. AI also informs decisions on workforce planning factors, such as talent availability, office space utilization and client proximity, ensuring that MasterCard’s strategies best serve the business, employees and customers.

To truly foster a culture of AI adoption across the enterprise, it’s essential to recognize that AI is a tool designed to improve and enhance employee skillsets. To ensure an AI Assistant benefits both the enterprise and employees, it is crucial to establish AI education and guardrails that allow for feedback and refinement, encouraging transparency.

In my opinion, we often lean too heavily on technology as a plausible solution. Consider the last time you used Google search. Did you click on one of the first three links above the fold, or did you scroll down the page or click through to the second page to find something better?

To maximize the benefits of AI, continually ask it questions and avoid relying solely on the first answer. Think of it as an ongoing dialogue with someone who has deep institutional knowledge about the subject matter. By exploring the questions of why, how and what, with AI’s help, you can truly extract the most value from the task at hand.

Questions? Email me here. As always, thank you for reading.