FRIDAY 9 FEB 2024 3:05 PM

IC PROFESSIONALS FACE ‘WILD WEST’ OF UNCERTAINTY AROUND AI TOOLS

New research finds that a lack of support around AI technology is creating uncertainty and fear, with three quarters of employers providing no guidance to internal communications professionals on how to use the tools.

Nearly three quarters of employers do not provide AI protocols for internal communications professionals, according to research by Gallagher consultancy. Furthermore, one in ten are unsure of whether their organisation is using AI at all, indicating a lack of communication, and contributing to a mood of confusion and fear.

Despite the vast majority (80%) of internal communications professionals depending on managers for information, 60% describe managerial communications as below expectations. Of the ‘State of the Sector’ report’s 2,300 respondents, 18% describe ‘poor people manager communication skills’ as one of the top barriers to success for 2024. “For many organisations, it’s the ‘Wild West’ with regard to how they are adopting and implementing AI,” says Gallagher global managing director Ben Reynolds.

“Because so few organisations have an AI plan, we can connect the dots to better understand why half of the respondents are sceptical or even fearful about the impact of AI.”

A lack of support may be further contributing to deteriorating mental health across the profession, as 38% of internal communications professionals claim their wellbeing decreased last year. Challenges around dwindling employee attention spans (12%), lack of leadership support and understanding of the profession (27%) and inadequate resources (23%) were described as potential causes.

Those who do use AI technology, however, have a positive outlook, being three times more likely to believe the technology will reduce workloads and 20% more likely to believe it will improve the quality of communications.

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