Nurture employee interest in AI, your bottom line will thank you

  • Embed a ‘future of work’ narrative.
  • Empower your people to influence your AI plans.
  • Upskill, upskill, upskill.
  • AI as part of your EVP

Excitement—and concern—about artificial intelligence (AI) features in the workplace as much as in our wider society. Generative AI, such as ChatGPT and Bard, have captivated the minds of millions worldwide in recent months.

Here in Australia, our recent survey of workers showed that on balance, more workers see the positive benefits of AI, with 22% saying it could help them be more productive, and 17% saying it could help them learn valuable new skills, compared to only 12% who say it will impact on their work in a negative way. These are lower percentages than workers globally or in the Asia Pacific region - both in recognising the benefits and in being concerned about AI.  

It seems many workers in Australia are still underestimating the potential impact of how AI will affect them. For example, the nation’s Financial Service employees are twice as likely to see AI as increasing productivity/efficiency (34%) than those in retail/consumer areas.

AI will be a significant disruptor but it can also be viewed as an opportunity for organisations to gain a competitive advantage, and there is much business leaders can do. 


Embed a ‘future of work’ narrative.

The C-suite needs to set the organisation’s tone around AI. Create and communicate a strong narrative that covers what the future of work means for your company and people. Make it a measured and inspiring narrative. When people feel reassured and excited about what lies ahead, they’re far more likely to embrace change.

AI will replace some work but largely it will augment the work we do today. The sooner employers and employees embrace its potential, the sooner organisations will come to realise the benefits. But to truly discover the opportunities of AI, leaders need to look to their people. Help your workers appreciate that human oversight will continue to be a necessary part of our foreseeable future. Create the opportunity for your employees to raise their awareness, comfort, and confidence around AI and their roles.

Empower your people to influence your AI plans.

AI can be a catalyst for employee engagement – for your people to co-create and tap into skills. While upskilling can be via formal training, it can also be a by-product of diverse teams that bring everyone along on the journey.

Get creative and channel the excitement about AI that your employees may have outside of work, and bring their energy into brainstorming sessions at work. They’ll have valuable insights into where AI might be most effective. 

Upskill, upskill, upskill.

Our survey showed only 44% of respondents were confident their employers will provide them with the opportunity to apply the skills that are most important to their career, in the next five years, while only 27% believe the skills required for their job will change significantly during that time.

You can’t successfully plan for the future without a clear sense of where your employees are today—and where they could be tomorrow. Every leadership team should be able to draw a clear line between the skills and capabilities they need to grow—and the specific business outcomes they want to achieve. Give everyone in the organisation equal opportunity to upskill and re-skill.

To this end, AI can be a critical tool, if applied in a structured and measured way, to meet employee expectations as well as drive business outcomes. 

AI as part of your EVP

Getting your People and Culture or Human Resources function on board with AI sends the right message to all employees - both current and new - as part of the broader Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

With the war for talent, many potential employees will be comparison-shopping between opportunities. AI and automation can be integrated into the recruitment and onboarding processes creating a structured and consistent experience for new hires and can be customised and personalised to provide a positive first experience. What are you waiting for?

Pauline Sullivan

Partner, Workforce & Change, PwC Australia

+61 414 307 736


Norah Seddon

Asia Pacific Workforce Leader, PwC Australia

+61 2 8266 5864