Artificial Intelligence and Performance Reviews

Artificial Intelligence and Performance Reviews

A look at HR of the future

      Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that computers and artificial intelligence are taking over every aspect of our lives; you may even have your own Alexa or Google Home. With the amount of information that is being shared on the web and tracked in thousands of programs, it makes sense that artificial intelligence could soon be used in the workplace for employee related issues, in particular performance management.

Artificial intelligence or AI is defined as:
The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

There are several unique benefits to using AI in the performance review process, such as: 

  • Collecting and integrating employee data from multiple sources
  • Increasing the speed and frequency of reviews
  • Creating predictive outcomes based on aggregate data from prior employee reviews
  • Eliminate biases 

Collect information from multiple sources
By utilizing AI, companies can collect, integrate, and analyze information from multiple sources. As a manager, you would not have to take notes and place them in a file cabinet somewhere or spend hours trying to remember the good and bad things that your employees did throughout the review period. AI can deliver information from a payroll system for attendance and information on how well the employee achieved their goals, as well as information from your CRM or any of the systems that you have in place. The ability to collect this information from multiple sources will give you a more accurate picture of your employee's performance in a fraction of the time it currently takes.

Increase the speed of reviews
With an AI-assisted streamlined review process, reviews could be briefer and more frequent. This would not only be a benefit for managers, but for employees as well. Employees would have more relevant and regular feedback, allowing them to better understand their performance and correct any issues they may have. This ability will lead to better performing teams and better outcomes for the organization. The increased speed will allow companies to shift priorities more quickly, an essential component of today's workplace. 

Predictive outcomes
With enough data, it is possible to compare the performance of one employee to the performance of another and predict outcomes. Although this seems scary, humans are predictable. The benefit to understanding and predicting outcomes is that, as a manager, you can intercept and alter the performance of an employee before it is too late. As a manager, it is part of your job to make your employees successful. Being able to understand how an employee compares to other employees could also help with promotions and future growth. No company wants 100 of the same employees. We need the diversity every employee brings to the table, but there are traits which are better for each type of industry. Pre-employment assessments have been around for ages and these have helped companies find these traits; AI will do the same thing. With enough historical data, AI can better predict success and failure of your employees.  

Eliminate biases
Maybe the best part of allowing technology to create performance reviews is that it takes the human out of the process. Whether you know it or not or realize it, when you think about your team, you have a favorite and a least favorite. If your team is all the same sex and race, then there may be no underlying bias, but when you add race and sex, then your employees may feel that is why they got a worse review than their co-worker. By using AI and letting the systems create the hard facts that are stored within, then there is not bias. The computer does not care what your race or sex is.  
It is intimidating to think about giving up our authority to intelligent computers. We might even have thoughts of computers rising up and taking over the world, like some scene from the Terminator movie. In the future, we will not need Arnold Schwarzenegger to come and save us from the robots, but AI can be used to help managers with performance reviews, among many other tasks they are faced with in today’s workforce.

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