As a human resources professional, have you thought about the implications of AI within your role — specifically, how it modifies your engagement with employees?

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence has ushered in transformative changes across numerous industries, and Human Resources is no exception. Delving into the potential of AI in HR reveals exciting possibilities with employee reward programs, that will drive automated processes and enhanced quality, customization, and individualism.

In this AI Blog Series - Part 1, we uncover the link between AI and employee rewards and recognition and understand how you can harness this cutting-edge technology for your workforce. Here's a look at seven ways AI is revolutionizing the HR landscape, particularly in the area of employee acquisition, engagement, and retention. 

1. Honing focused data for employee evaluations

Truly succeeding in employee recognition involves being able to provide specific feedback for employees, pinpointing their good work, and highlighting the areas that need improvement. With AI technology, HR professionals can gain access to highly specialized data about employee performance, allowing for more focused recognition strategies. 

Companies that adopt AI tools and software can see key details about each employee's productivity and performance. Tying this data into rewards and recognition programs can ensure that employees receive hyper-focused feedback to truly optimize performance moving forward. 

In the same strain, using AI technology can boost employee productivity (thus far by an average of about 35%, according to research from Stanford and MIT). Employees feel like they're doing more, and they want to be recognized for their increased productivity. A successful employee recognition program will do just that.

2. Empower employee happiness = engagement & productivity

Understaffing has been a significant problem since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. One study estimates that 78% of businesses are currently understaffed, placing huge burdens not just on leadership but also on employees and their mental state. 

With AI comes new opportunities to promote employee happiness within the workplace, especially for the new type of remote, hybrid, or office employees in the new workplace!  Many employees will feel less burdened by everyday tasks when they begin transferring some of the workload over to AI. The workplace culture may feel more at ease, and your HR team can craft employee rewards around that more lighthearted culture. 

Moreover, as a Human Resources professional, utilizing bespoke AI tools to boost employee involvement is mutually beneficial! Such AI technologies can contribute to heightened employee satisfaction and productivity across the entire organization. In a recent LinkedIn article titled "Top 5 AI Tools for HR and Hiring Needs", the author reveals the leading AI instruments that can effectively influence these elements, marking a new era in HR operations.

3. Increasing employee training during AI rollouts

As your company rolls out new AI technology, the need for employee training will temporarily increase. Long-time employees may feel overwhelmed by having to learn new processes and adapt to brand-new technology that is beyond their comfort level.

You and your fellow HR team will need to purposefully prepare for and recognize employees for their efforts in learning new AI technology to prevent frustration and dissatisfaction. 

For example, adding employee rewards like digital gift cards for completing each session, can maintain a lighthearted atmosphere and express your gratitude for your employees' willingness to learn.  Thus, decreasing the potential worry about learning new AI technology and ensuring employee engagement, alignment, and satisfaction. 


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4. Creating a culture of honesty 

AI software and other new technology allow you to keep a close eye on employee activity. You'll have access to precise data about how employees are spending their workdays, creating a culture of honesty and transparency within your workforce. Employees may be incentivized to work harder than they did previously because they know their behavior is being closely monitored. 

Your HR department can use this newfound attitude to shape human resources employee recognition programs. Perhaps you will focus your efforts on improving employee rewards for those who have increased performance over a certain period rather than reprimanding ones whose productivity has remained stagnant, implementing a reinforcement-centered reward structure. 

5. The need for employee reassurance

The AI boom has led numerous employees to fear for their jobs. One study found that between 75 million and 375 million workers worldwide will lose their jobs to AI by 2030. Employees are scared, and they may need additional recognition to be reassured that their jobs are not going anywhere for the time being. 

Even verbally recognizing hard-working employees goes a long way in fostering a sense of confidence and job security. But, implementing monetary or gift-based rewards programs goes a step further toward promoting employee reassurance in the ever-shifting job landscape. 

6. Personalizing employee rewards and recognition

As your HR department crafts effective employee recognition and rewards programs, you can use AI to personalize rewards. AI allows for in-depth data mining that can help you be more in tune with employees' wants and needs. Meanwhile, predictive AI may allow you to anticipate the types of rewards that resonate with specific employee demographics. 

7. Allowing for individualized rewards

Gone are the days of sending a blanket Amazon gift card to every employee and calling it a day. Modern technology enables your HR department to send individualized rewards to every employee.

For example, with Giftbit, you can enable each employee to choose their own gift card from a list of hundreds. Zapier and API integration can fully automate this process, allowing you to trigger rewards to individual employees when they complete specific actions.

Using AI to customize employee rewards and recognition will help employees feel valued in the workplace and instill confidence that your department understands them as individuals rather than a collective entity.