How AI Will Empower Employees to Make Better Business Decisions Faster Than Ever Before

The COVID-19 virus has caused millions of white-collar knowledge workers to work from home, and while this could be seen as a boon to productivity, unfortunately it is not.  Working from home yields hundreds of daily distractions from checking on children to cooking dinner, receiving incoming texts from worried loved ones and the usual social media breaks – in short, a myriad of many non-company activities that are consuming company time.

At the same time, the global workforce wants to be more productive than ever – whether they are working remotely or not.  Job security, professional advancement and personal well-being are equated with high levels of productivity.  And not just any productivity will do—workers want to immerse themselves in the “deep work” that drives real business value like raising profits, reducing costs and improving customer experience.

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For employers, time wasting on the job comes with some staggering price-tags. reveals that 89% of workers admit to wasting time during work hours with 61% squandering at least 30 to 60 minutes each day – and 64% of those blame it in on the Internet, a huge temptation for those toiling from home with no one watching.

Fortunately, new advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will help these workers stay focused on the most important work at hand by eliminating tedious tasks and providing guidance that leads them to focus on the activities that matter most to their organizations.  In this case, AI is the best friend – not foe – to the challenged remote worker and organizations that employ them.

We’re all well aware that AI is being used to handle mundane, non-high value task work.  New technology — AI-powered leadership – is taking this a step further, helping department leaders provide the guidance and insight to keep teams highly focused.   AI excels at using accurate data to produce powerful business insights – often better than humans can.  We simply don’t have the ability to observe and process the same volumes and at the same speed as AI does.

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Moreover, the design of a leader’s day does not allow them to have a comprehensive view of the business – business leaders often make decisions with very limited and often biased input.  People see pieces of the puzzle and try to complete the full puzzle from past experience – again, an incomplete and biased view that leads to inadequate decisions.

With the support of AI, we can all make better decision.  While we cannot hand off leadership to a machine, AI can provide a better starting point to lead from – and usher in the bold concept of machines learning, humans leading.

A great leader is like an athletic coach – 100% performance oriented. Can you imagine a coach not observing his players? Or just stopping into practice here and there and then trying to help — which would do the team a disservice. In the most recent manufacturing era, we had supervisors on the floor. Their role was to observe the workers working and then to offer tips on how to be better. For most white-collar team leaders, it would be too exhausting and time-consuming to sit and watch a team work.  But AI can work in the background and continually observe workers then make prioritized, personalized recommendations for managers to execute on.

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For example, AI can accurately identify the quality impact, uncovering if other employees are more or less productive as a result of an employee’s work. Another example is AI can determine specific actions and in what order employees should work. In sales, AI can determine when to reach out, follow-up, nudge a prospect. We know the system; we may even know the ideal. But we don’t always do it. Thankfully,  AI can make these recommendations accurately and in real time.

AI’s power all comes down to the accurate data it analyzes to yield insights that lead to the best possible decision-making capabilities.  Decisions have a dependency and an input: the data. Companies are sitting on billions of rows of underutilized system data. They collect data all day long and are often not even aware that it exists. By leveraging this data, the AI algorithms makes predictions, just like a human would do to create leadership hypotheses and ask the right questions, uncovering the right answer to the important “What will happen if…” questions and possible scenarios.

Since this data is created in real time, it can be used in real time. When leaders are doing other deep work, AI works in the background to provide recommendations about what is needed to achieve business goals. For example, it calculates the optimal time for like-for-like work. Surprisingly, the variability of doing like-for-like work can be as high as 263%. And this isn’t between different employees – It’s within an employee doing the same thing, time after time. The managers never saw this as they’re focused on macro KPIs instead of identifying which employees need help with what work.

Wondering about the impact of AI in Sales and Marketing? Catch this episode of The SalesStar Podcast to hear more!

The most important decisions leaders make are about helping their teams succeed. And employees truly want to improve and grow but they need help. Over $50B is spent per year in leadership development, but sadly, that investment is failing to yield equal results. Only 7% of CEOs believe their companies are building effective leaders.

Some of these frustrated CEOs are turning to AI-powered productivity solutions from  By placing the decisions that leaders need to make to help their people improve — right in the notifications of their phones – our technology helps leaders make better decisions that will improve employee performance and yield productivity growth. This is the core area that needs attention: better decision-making by focused teams. Right now, employers pay eight hours per day but only getting three hours of productive work per day. This must change now in the face of an economic meltdown.

At this time, leaders need to help employees get over the fear of using AI as most are afraid that new technology will replace them, making their roles obsolete. This is not true in my experience.  If organizations can build the case for AI and transparently show their teams how it will help them advance their careers and derive greater job satisfaction, people will embrace it.  As we head into a global recession, AI will help employees and their organizations thrive and find new ways to succeed in the increasingly uncertain post-virus world.