How AI Can Help Improve Employee Satisfaction Through Lean Thinking
Business + Managementposted by April Miller November 14, 2022 April Miller
Combining AI tools and lean thinking principles can be one of the most effective ways to improve employee satisfaction. Lean thinking provides a framework for building supportive, productive workplaces. AI can be the perfect way to implement lean thinking, leading to more engaged employees and higher productivity.
How Lean Thinking Can Improve Employee Satisfaction
Lean thinking is a workplace and business management approach that prioritizes minimizing waste and creating value. Although the framework began in manufacturing, it can be applied in any industry. This methodology can be particularly helpful in improving employee satisfaction in the workplace.
For example, employees may feel dissatisfied at work because they are bored or bogged down by monotonous tasks. Lean thinking tells us that these employees are likely wasting a significant amount of time doing things that aren’t rewarding. Eliminating these jobs and reducing wasted time and energy allows employees to redirect their efforts toward more important duties. This is likely to result in a boost in satisfaction.
Lean thinking also encourages a workplace community that strives for open communication. This mindset lets management boost employee satisfaction by opening the door for honest feedback and concerns. This helps workers feel heard and valued while assisting managers in meeting their needs and improving their experience on the job.
Applying AI to Lean Thinking for Employee Satisfaction
AI tools can be helpful and effective for implementing lean thinking in the workplace. There are several ways managers and employers can apply AI to help boost employee satisfaction through lean principles.
Automating Mundane Tasks
Managers must find ways to reduce all types of waste and create value. Wasted time and energy are big drains on employee productivity and motivation. Managers can use AI to automate many of these tasks, which contributes to the lean thinking goal of reducing waste. At the same time, workers can redirect their time and energy to more rewarding jobs, improving satisfaction and motivation.
McKinsey & Co. found that an estimated 30% of tasks in 60% of all jobs could be automated. Few jobs can be completely automated, so employees don’t need to worry about being replaced by AI. However, robotic process automation tools can take over mundane, repetitive, or distasteful assignments.
AI Analytics for Scheduling and Work-Life Balance
One of the top causes of employee dissatisfaction is poor work-life balance. Intelligent scheduling processes can help alleviate this issue and improve worker experience. In fact, helping people improve their work-life balance can make them feel more energized and motivated and reduce days missed at work. Surveys show that workplaces with engaged employees experience 17% higher productivity and 41% lower absenteeism.
Smart scheduling tools can use AI data analysis to manage employee schedules efficiently. This saves time and helps meet as many worker scheduling requests as possible. Ultimately, everyone is more likely to get the hours and time off they need, improving satisfaction.
AI Chatbots for Internal Communication
A core principle of lean thinking is open communication and a culture of continuous improvement. Similarly, surveys show that many employees are dissatisfied at work because they feel their contributions are not acknowledged and they are stressed on the job. Resolving this is vital for creating a lean workplace. Luckily, AI can help.
AI chatbots can be a great tool for improving internal communications. Some people don’t like communicating with AI in customer service, but the robotic nature of it can actually be useful for worker communication. Employees may hesitate to share honest concerns with their bosses for fear of backlash or personal offense. Shifting reporting to AI platforms reduces that stress.
As a result, managers can get more feedback from employees about their experiences and needs. This information is invaluable for creating a more supportive, productive workplace. Plus, open communication can help workers feel their employers care about their needs and achievements. This can result in more effective, engaged teams.
AI-Powered Onboarding and Gamification
AI is an excellent tool for onboarding and workplace gamification. AI can automate many necessary but time-consuming tasks, such as data entry. At the same time, it allows new employees to access things like AI tech support whenever needed. AI-powered quizzes and educational tools help people learn workplace duties and concepts at their own pace, as well.
AI isn’t just useful for new employees, either. Gamification is an increasingly popular workplace practice that improves motivation and engagement through game-like achievement systems. Implementing gamification can improve motivation and reduce stress, improving employee satisfaction.
AI can track key metrics like tasks completed or benchmarks met. These are vital for any gamification system. They allow achievements to be recognized and inspire friendly competition that motivates everyone to be more engaged and productive. Gamification is a fantastic way to build a culture of continuous improvement, a core principle of lean thinking.
Combining AI and Lean Thinking for a Better Workplace
The lean thinking framework can be highly effective for improving employee satisfaction and creating more supportive work environments. AI tools are the perfect complement to lean principles. Applying AI solutions in communications, automation, and gamification allows managers to build more engaging, motivating workplaces that leave employees feeling appreciated and energized.