AI and IC – a good collaboration!

While technological progress is revolutionizing collaboration within companies, it is important to ensure effective communication in this new way of working together. This requires a broad spectrum of new and existing competencies and skills, particularly from Internal Communications employees.

It is well known that change is a constant companion of the modern working world. It also changes the demands on companies, especially on internal corporate communications, whose main task is to accompany the “permanent change” and – especially in times of skills shortages – to do the best possible justice to all employees.

Technological innovations have a major impact on collaboration in companies. Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role and will continue to grow in significance in the future. This is also shown by the survey results of “Internal Communications Monitor 2024 Europa“ as well as “Trendmonitor `Hybride Interne Kommunikation 2024‘: Künstliche Intelligenz in der IK”. From the automation of processes to the creation of content and the improvement of decision-making, AI offers numerous opportunities to increase the efficiency of one’s own work.

This new working environment requires a wide range of existing and new skills and abilities, especially from Internal Communications (IC) employees.

During our many years of working with corporations and medium-sized companies, we have repeatedly encountered topics that need to be considered and developed in Internal Communication, especially in the age of AI.

New demands on the IC team

A basic technological understanding and know-how of AI is essential. How does AI work, what tools are available and how can they be used effectively? This also includes the ability to analyze and evaluate data. Data expertise is important for making meaningful use of the information derived from AI systems and  for making data-driven decisions. There should be sufficient resources available to continuously stay on the ball in these important areas.

Communication content can be personalized with AI. Experts should therefore be able to create customized messages that address the individual needs and preferences of employees. This requires a deep understanding of target group analysis and the application of AI algorithms to deliver relevant content to the right person at the right time.

When dealing with AI, awareness of ethical issues and data protection is among the most important things. IC teams should also keep an eye on this. The technologies used should be transparent and fair and the privacy of employees should be protected. This requires knowledge of data protection laws, data protection guidelines and ethical standards before AI is used operationally in communication. As a result, fears among the workforce are mitigated, while providing the necessary security.

Despite the technological possibilities, creativity remains a central component of successful communication. Finding new and innovative ways to make messages appealing and effective is an important task. This includes the ability to develop creative solutions and use the technical possibilities to reach and touch the target groups.

The introduction of AI in the company requires particular sensitivity on the part of the Internal Communication team. Guiding the employees through this transformation process, confronting fears and resistance, and not leaving anyone out in the cold is a balancing act and requires a good deal of empathy. The task of the IC team is to create an understanding through transparency, education and co-determination that AI offers great added value as a support tool and does not pose any danger.

The integration of AI into internal communication also requires close interdisciplinary collaboration with IT experts, data scientists and other specialist departments. Being able to develop optimal solutions together is a new challenge for the Internal Communications team.

AI as a useful tool

It remains to be said that the IC team should continue to develop in various key areas in order not to be left behind in the age of AI.

As the studies mentioned in this article also show, it is not only the obvious skills, such as sufficient know-how to operate the AI tools or analytical and ethical competence, that are important, but above all a deep understanding of the employees and a generous portion of empathy.

It is advisable to pay attention to the corporate culture, the employee structure and the employees’ acceptance of change to be able to deal with the upcoming challenges in this change process. An open ear for the often anxiety-ridden concerns in connection with the new tool is crucial. AI will never be able to do this, not least to put people’s minds at ease.

AI is therefore proving to be a multifunctional tool that can facilitate and accelerate processes and provide the internal communications team with necessary resources to deal with overarching strategic issues as well as the necessary sensitivity in dealing with employees. Communicating this to colleagues and getting them excited about the new possibilities of using AI will make a significant contribution to the company’s success.

Where do I start? How do I set the necessary courses? What does a suitable roadmap need to include? We would be happy to support you with your challenges. Meet our experts for a non-binding expert discussion. We look forward to hearing from you!

What’s the next step?

For a personal consultation, feel free to contact me at any time.

Mirja Ng-Metzker

Client Relations Manager