Companies with the ablest leaders have the most productive employees. Great leaders bring out the best in workers. They make them productive, happy, and likelier to remain with their employer for a long time. A company that lacks good leaders will see high employee turnover, which will result in high recruitment and training costs. Over a short period, these costs will add up and have a significant impact on the firm’s bottom line.
That’s why it’s no surprise that businesses that have great leaders are more profitable and have a ready reservoir of talent. Such companies are likely to beat rivals that have less able leaders.
Today businesses know the advantages of having a great leadership team. They understand that they need to identify their best leaders and assign them to roles where they will be most effective. One way businesses are identifying their best leaders is by using technologies like artificial intelligence and people analytics software.
Artificial intelligence and analytics supplement mentors
Traditionally, most leaders are groomed through mentorship programs. In mentorship programs, the most promising leaders are paired with mentors who further hone their leadership skills. While mentorship programs are an effective way to hone the leadership skills of promising leaders, they often rely on hunches and gut instinct to identify promising individuals. While gut instincts can often be right, they are not always correct. An over-reliance on gut instinct can lead one astray.
One way to overcome a reliance on gut instinct is by using technologies like artificial intelligence and people analytics software. The predictive powers of these tools are immense. When an artificial intelligence system is fed information about an employees’ performance, it can predict whether the worker has what it takes to be a leader. While managers can also judge whether an employee has what it takes to be a leader, an AI system can process more information before reaching a decision. Furthermore, an AI system can account for data that a manager would overlook.
Today, artificial intelligence and analytics tool are ideal for mentors who want to make the most of their mentorship. A few ways AI helps businesses develop leaders at all levels are mentioned below.
Spotting talent in a sea of employees
A large organisation has thousands if not tens of thousands of employees. Spotting the right talent in this sea of workers is not easy. Furthermore, given that many employees are working from home, spotting those with the most leadership potential has become even harder.
This is where AI has an edge. Artificial intelligence can spot self-motivated employees who are problem solvers and value-driven. At a time when managers are working far from their teams, AI can help organisations retain their competitive edge by letting those with the best skills lead the organisation. In addition to finding the ablest employees who are well suited for leadership positions, AI can also reveal areas in which these workers need mentoring and coaching so they can become strong leaders. Assessment tests can help AI spot the strengths and weaknesses of employees so that suitable coaching programs that add value to the employees’ career trajectory can be created.
Identify skill gaps
In addition to helping identify leaders, AI can help organisation spot skill gaps across every function and department in an organisation. Once an organisation knows which skill gaps exist in the company, it can undertake personalised coaching for each employee. Such coaching happens at scale in a consistent and structured manner across the company.
Conversations of a qualitatively higher order
Artificial intelligence and analytics software can provide penetrating insights into employees. For instance, self-assessment tests completed by workers and analysed by software can reveal an employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and give insights into their behaviour.
Once a mentor has this information, he or she can have a more in-depth, more meaningful, and productive conversation with employees. With such data, a mentor and employee can identify pain points and take steps to solve them.
Drive productivity and engagement
In organisations where employees are engaged, productivity is higher. When an organisation takes the step to implement AI and analytics software to assess employee productivity, it sends a signal to workers that their performance and growth matter to the company. Hence workers feel more engaged, and productivity increases.
The use of AI and analytics software helps complement existing tools when it comes to developing leaders. These tools help businesses gain insights into employees that elude even seasoned managers. By using these tools to evaluate leaders, an organisation is fairer to its workers and becomes more competitive.
By Vikram Wadhawan, Founder and CEO, Vasitum