We’ve long been believers that AI has the ability to help us be better, especially in the workplace. In fact, it’s this idea that serves as the foundation of our Cogito AI coaching system – don’t just take our word for it. According to a study from Accenture, AI has the power to double economic growth rates by 2035 as it enables people to use their time more efficiently, which increases their productivity by 40%. And PwC reports that 72% of executives believe AI will be the most significant business advantage of the future and is expected to increase labor productivity and optimize business efficiency by 67%, automate communication by 70%, and improve data analytics by 59%.

The use cases are clear; however, when it comes to how AI can and should be deployed in the workplace, much of the conversation has focused on the replacement of employees, especially those with more “tactical” jobs. Recently, conversations have gone so far as to say that AI could even replace bosses and those in supervisor positions. The truth is, as AI becomes increasingly advanced, the number and types of tasks that it can be used for also grows. While on the surface this may make it seem as if AI can take on many of the managerial tasks within an organization, it’s vital that we continue to view AI as a performance enhancer, rather than a substitute for the people who make every organization tick, especially at the supervisor level.

Let’s take a deeper look at how AI can augment the natural abilities of managers and help make bosses better.

Encourage the Best in Employees

Managers can use AI to better understand how employees are performing and identify areas where they may be excelling or struggling – even when it comes to their ability to demonstrate soft skills like empathy, which have been traditionally hard to teach. By using AI in this way, bosses can provide feedback in real-time, enabling employees to adjust behavior in times of need or receive positive reinforcement for their efforts. This in-the-moment guidance helps improve under-performers while making good performers more consistent. Plus, It’s been shown that employees often respond better to feedback that’s given in real-time rather than at an annual performance review when the incident is no longer fresh in their mind. By using AI to coach employees on the soft skills they may be lacking, they can more effectively engage with customers and colleagues and perform at their best. AI can be used as a way to help show employees you care about their professional development as it’s happening. 

Better Employee Advocates

Just as AI can be used to provide feedback in-the-moment, it can also be used to help streamline regular employee reviews which are still important to employees’ careers. The reporting capabilities of AI go far beyond what humans can do alone. What’s more, using AI as a guiding force behind performance reviews can take out the subjectivity and any unconscious bias that typically exists within the process. Now supervisors can ground their feedback in complete data sets rather than limited samples, supporting their reviews with performance-based evidence that can give employees a better idea of how they’re doing and how their performance has changed overtime. This makes objective conversations with employees much easier and gives managers the tools they need to be better advocates for their reports.

Boost Employee Engagement and Trust 

Employees today crave constant feedback. It’s not surprising when you consider millennials and gen Z-ers grew up in digital environments and are used to immediate gratification. Specifically, 60% of gen Z workers report wanting multiple check-ins from their manager during the week; of those, 40% want the interaction with their boss to be daily or several times each day. Giving this type of feedback regularly, which has now been made easier via AI, will help employees feel more valued and engaged in their jobs. It can also help managers identify when an employee is starting to feel stressed or fatigued during conversations with customers, so they can step in and offer support. This can have an incredible impact on employee burnout and ultimately help reduce employee turnover. 

Keep Customers Happier

When employees are more fulfilled and engaged in their work, customers feel it, but that’s not the only reason customers will appreciate how AI augments the abilities of supervisors. When managers know when employees are struggling to handle difficult conversations on their own, they can jump in during these impactful moments and help ensure a positive resolution. How many times have you asked to talk to someone’s boss when you don’t feel you’re being heard? With AI, managers have the insights to jump in before the question even has to be asked, making customers feel more valued even during the most stressful situations.

Ultimately, all of these improvements will lead to a more satisfied employee and customer base – which can pay dividends for your company’s bottom line. No matter how advanced AI becomes, supervisors play a key role in customer and employee happiness. Removing these people from the equation will only cause new problems. Arming them with the tools they need to do their jobs better, though, will bring your organization to new heights.

Steve Kraus
Steve Kraus

Steve brings over twenty years of experience in marketing, selling, and delivering customer engagement solutions to the world’s most customer-centric organizations. Prior to joining Cogito, Steve led product marketing for Pegasystems CRM suite of applications, growing the suite from a niche player into a recognized leader for marketing, sales, and service applications. Steve led go-to-market activities for Verint (formerly KANA Software), serving as the General Manager for Verint’s customer experience management applications, and led product marketing and strategy for Chordiant Software’s CRM applications. Earlier in his career, Steve managed consulting teams within Ernst &Young. He has a B.A. in Economics and Accounting from The College of The Holy Cross.