The Misconception of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

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We know that technology is evolving.

However, is it possible that artificial intelligence is demotivating and disengaging your team?

Is it possible that artificial intelligence is demotivating and disengaging your team? Click To Tweet

Technology in the Workplace

Fredrick Taylor, decades ago, came up with a scientific method of management. In his theory, he states, “If engineers could design the work to be perfect using the principles of industrial engineering, then we would plug workers in to execute those systems.”

Today, we are beginning to see this take effect. Large volume retailers are measuring all the steps that employees take, prompting them, or even disciplining them for not keeping up with work according to the algorithm.

What Happened the Last Time Everyone Focused on the Scientific Method for Managing Employees? 

Employees became systematically demotivated. They did not like to be tracked doing everything that they were responsible for. They found it insulting that the machine, or the engineers, would tell them what to do all the time.

This evolved into the “Human Relations Movement” in leadership development. From this we saw:

  • People work on empowerment, inclusion, and involvement of their teams 
  • A corresponding rise in employee engagement
  • Employee satisfaction 
  • Reduction in employee turnover
  • Positive impact on operating results

However, managers are easily seduced. They are attracted to this idea of designing the “perfect workflow” and letting the machines manage the people.

A note of caution in your Front Line Leadership or management role: Be careful that artificial intelligence does not replace the need for human relations in your relationships with your employees.


What Does it Mean for a Supervisor to Work Alongside Artificial Intelligence?

If employees can have a say in how they interact with artificial intelligence and use it as a tool (just like you use some of the apps on your smartphone to make your life easier and more convenient), we can empower our employees to use AI in the same way. This will allow them to put it to good use to generate the results you are looking for. 

It is possible to marry technology and human relations together. That is what we are working towards in our Front Line Leadership Course.


How to Re-Humanize Your Workforce

  1. Remember that employees need relationships with others. Your employees need to interact with each other. It is part of their well-being. If they are spending a lot of hours in the workplace, then they need to have connections with others as part of that workplace experience.
  2. Employees need to feel that their work matters. When someone is micromanaged, whether it is by a manager or by a computer, you start to lose the desire or the understanding of what you are doing and how it makes a difference. The human side means people need to feel that their work is of value and that they are contributing to the end result. This could be their impact on the customer or under a downstream department.
  3. Involve your people in decisions. It should not be about using AI to replace humanization, it is about how to marry the two together.  You will still need to involve your employees in coming up with the best way of using the science of machine learning with their goals so that they remain engaged in the work.

Once you have dealt with this issue of artificial intelligence, machine learning, or industrialization 4.0 or 5.0, you are going to want to work on some of your other leadership skills. That is where we come in. 

We train people on how to be exceptional leaders from a humanistic standpoint, to drive exceptional results and great employee engagement. That begins with a conversation. You can reach out to us on our website at or connect with us on one of our social media channels.

No matter what, we look forward to helping your organization achieve its full potential.