How Slack and Johnson & Johnson employees use AI

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When 62% of professionals admit to using AI on the job, according to a recent Glassdoor survey, some companies may already be considering creating an AI strategy to harness the tools that make work easier for their employees, including those in people functions. HR Brew caught up with three executives at SXSW about how they’re preparing for and deploying GenAI tools for their workforce.

Johnson & Johnson. The healthcare giant has relied on AI for “years,” according to Michael Ehret, head of global talent management at Johnson & Johnson. “Across the spectrum of learning and development, employee experience, [and] recruiting, we’re using AI,” he said.

In 2022, the company rolled out an AI-powered career mapping tool to its 135,000 global employees. “I call this a big career playground,” Ehret told HR Brew. Through the technology, employees can access different learning and development, career, and mentorship opportunities based on their skills and aspirations. It also creates a roadmap to advancement. AI creates a plan to say, in order to become competitive for that job, here’s what you need to do,” he said.

Slack. Employees at Slack can use AI for several HR-related tasks, according to Christina Janzer, SVP of data and analytics. Slack’s parent company, Salesforce, uses Ask Concierge, an HR chatbot that answers questions about anything from office locations to parental leave policies, saving the HR team valuable time. “That information is right at your fingertips.”

Janzer recommended that organizational leaders take a step back and consider their approach to AI. “What are the tools that we feel comfortable with? How do we make sure that everything’s done in a really secure way? That’s all sort of table stakes.”

Greenhouse. Donald Knight, CPO at Greenhouse Software, a talent software company, understands that integrating AI may feel overwhelming for leaders and their employees. But he also thinks that organizations that don’t embrace new technologies “will cease to exist because they didn’t train their employees.”

As employers navigate new technologies like AI, Knight recommended HR leaders work closely with their chief legal officers. “We needed to create the rules of the road and tell people on the front end, as we’re figuring this out, that policies [are] probably going to evolve like every other policy,” he explained.

Knight likened adopting AI to raising his newborn. “The cool thing about having a newborn is I get to do all these new things again…like, teaching her how to burp. She’s never had to burp before,” he said. “My peers and I have to be very intentional in creating spaces during the work week to be able to let people learn how to explore and test some of this technology and setting time aside for them to become skilled at the same way we became skilled in handwriting or cursive.

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