Should Robots Be Training Your Employees?

Phonlamai Photo/Shutterstock

Here is an interesting twist in the world of training and developing employees: Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be better at reading emotional intelligence than HR professionals.

Click here to read the article.

An exceptional human skill is reading people’s emotions, but robots may be better at it than trained HR professionals. A robot with the proper algorithm may be better served training employees, supervisors, and managers on the soft skills of emotional intelligence than an HR professional.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. By using AI and machine-learning algorithms a greater amount of HR data can be analyzed and evaluated at a level of efficiency and accuracy that no human can achieve. Could you image a HR professional evaluating an employee’s emotion with 87 per cent accuracy? Well, AI can reach that level of emotional accuracy. Researchers at MIT have created a wireless system called EQ-Radio, which uses wireless signals to scan an individual and identify if an individual is excited, happy, angry, or sad.

Click here to watch how MIT has developed an emotion detection machine.

Imagine what impact this type of technology may have on training and developing employees? Instead of using the end-of-training session reaction evaluations (commonly known as happy sheets), you can measure if your training had an emotional affect. In addition, there are many other HR applications of using emotions to understand employees at work.

AI and machine learning algorithms may just start to become mainstream in some workplaces. HR must be aware of the impacts of AI on the employees that work in organizations, how to use these new technologies, and how to manage the changes that these technologies will have.

Discussion Questions

Think about AI, machine learning, and EQ-Radio. How could these technologies disrupt training and development in the workplace?

Identify some of the potential ethical concerns that HR departments will need to address when companies start using emotional detection scanners in the workplace? What could HR do to reduce ethical and personal privacy concerns?

Change your Brain, Change your Performance

The Future of Employee Training

brain lifting weights: illustration
Beatriz Gascon J/Shutterstock

Most employers have the organization goal to train and develop their employees, but the age old question always arises. In what areas do employees need to be developed? Perhaps organizations need to approach training their employee’s brains like fitness instructors train their bodies.

Dr. Judy Brockis, the author of Future Brain: The 12 Keys to Create Your High Performance Brain, suggests we can drastically improve our brain’s performances. Let’s start by describing Dr. Brockis twelve keys to brain performance.

Click here to read more about these twelve brain keys.

Key nine focuses on Change ability, a skill that can assist employees and organizations to adapt to change.

What is brain change ability? Well, the concept is very closely tied to the concept of neural plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to grow, develop and change its neural structural. Research on neural plasticity is well developed and it illustrates that we all have the ability to grow and develop at any age. If we combine the concept of neural plasticity and Dr. Brockis’s brain key number nine, change ability, we may have more tools to help employees manage change in their workplace.

Dr. Brockis outlines that our brains are dynamic and designed to change and adapt. It is our fear response that can impede change.

In her article in HRM Canada, Dr. Brockis feels that the human brain “is really wired to change, change is beneficial and always present, and it is part of the human condition. But it is all about psychological safety, the brain needs to feel that the change is not a threat in order to accept it.”

Click here to read an article on Dr. Brockis and change in the workplace.

The HR professional needs to understand the future training needs of employees and should become versed in the concepts neural plasticity and change ability, and integrate them into any change management program they wish to implement.

Discussion Question:

  1. Your VP of HR has asked you what you would recommend to make a workplace change successful. After reading the twelve keys to a fit brain, create a five minute presentation on training employees on a fit brain in the workplace and how it can reduce the turmoil during an upcoming change initiative.