More companies see ChatGPT training as a hot job perk for office workers

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  • Workplaces filled with artificial intelligence are closer to becoming a reality, making it essential that workers know how to use generative AI.
  • Offering specific AI chatbot training to current employees could be your next best talent retention tactic.
  • 90% of business leaders see ChatGPT as a beneficial skill in job applicants, according to a report from career site Resume Builder.

Workplaces filled with artificial intelligence are closer to becoming a reality, making it essential that workers know how to use generative AI. Whether or not companies embrace or reject AI, offering specific AI chatbot training to current employees could be the best way to keep those workers.

"More employees are going to ask whether potential or current employers are adopting and adapting to the new world of generative AI," said Joe Atkinson, chief products and technology officer at professional services firm PwC. "It's important to offer [AI] training to help employees but also maintain the posture of your company; it's about embracing emerging technologies and moving quickly."

Many companies are already looking for candidates with ChatGPT experience, with nearly 90% of business leaders seeing ChatGPT as a beneficial skill in job applicants, according to a report from career site Resume Builder.

The labor market remains hot for many job seekers, despite a recent cooldown, so business leaders are still looking for ways to attract talent, remain cutting edge, and fend off competition for talent, says Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at Resume Builder.

In terms of retention, she added that companies need to figure out how to assess the skill level of people with AI experience and how and where they'll use AI within their company.

"AI is impacting everybody's job in one way, and generative AI will have a particular impact on knowledge work," Atkinson said. "Because it's going to impact everybody's jobs, and it prompts a question for us as an employer: What's our obligation to help people navigate through the new world of generative AI?"

He added that "generative AI skills will become table stakes for future employees and you have to help people understand and adopt it in a responsible and thoughtful way."

Helping employees feel less threatened by AI

Knowledge workers, specifically in industries like advertising, marketing, and business support, are worried AI will make their positions obsolete. But largely, jobs that require adaptability and flexibility are going to be harder for AI to kick out.

"The best thing to do is to empower and enable employees to completely embrace new technologies, and with the right kind of governance and guardrails, companies can help [employees] understand the technologies and facilitate the usage of it," said Apratim Purakayastha, chief product and technology officer at Skillsoft, a learning management platform.

This will not only alleviate job loss concerns, but it will retain employees, Purakayastha said. "The first and foremost way to retain your employees is to motivate them by looking forward and conquering the fear of the unknown," he said.

Give employees time to learn about generative AI, specifically ChatGPT, and offer internal information sessions with subject matter experts in innovative tech fields, Purakayastha said, so they'll feel ready to adopt technology and understand how it can be used as a tool.

"They'll then understand the value of the technology in what they are doing in their daily work," Purakayastha said. "An HR person could understand how he or she could [create] more efficient job descriptions, or a marketer could understand how quickly a first draft can come out. Employees will feel more empowered and less threatened, and that's a big key to retention."

Unlock employee potential through AI tools

With technological innovations in the workplace, efficiency, productivity, and engagement are bound to increase, as seen with things like virtual reality and earlier AI efforts. Though, Atkinson says efficiency isn't the biggest win that AI training in the workplace can achieve.

"If you're only after efficiency, as employers and as organizations, you're missing a big opportunity here in which AI augments human potential," Atkinson said.

"Start to think about putting AI as tools in the hands of your people that will help them do what they're great at even more effectively. But in striving for efficiency, it's not because you want to eliminate jobs," Atkinson said. "It's because you want to unlock the human capacity to deliver more and better, which benefits the individual, benefits the organization, and ultimately, I think it will benefit society."

Not only does offering generative AI training help employees feel more empowered and secure in their jobs, the rate that which technology is evolving outpaces the rate that companies can recruit candidates, Purakayastha said, so this is where training internal teams becomes imperative.

"What we've seen is that companies have a tendency to field [candidates] externally, but for the last three or four years that's turned on its head because the rate of change of technology, and the rate of geopolitical change, has made it almost impossible to hire as fast as you need," Purakayastha said. "Think of generative AI as a case in point. There's a massive skills gap."

People can talk about generative AI, hear about it, read about it, Purakayastha says, but it doesn't mean there are skilled workers who can effectively write a chatbot prompt, define a prompt, or oversee prompt engineering as a discipline.

"Training employees in generative AI and how to use the tool more effectively is the modern-day version of training employees how to use productivity tools like Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel," Purakayastha said. "It's going to become a pervasive tool that people use in their work lives going forward and training people starting today is the best investment a company can make."

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