Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
How do you overhaul a fear-driven mindset to encourage AI adoption within your organisation?

How do you overhaul a fear-driven mindset to encourage AI adoption within your organisation?

One affirmative among our panel at Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024 was: AI will not take away human jobs. Instead, humans equipped with AI skills will take away jobs from the humans without AI skills. Arina Sofiah reports.

With the increasingly rapid rate of integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, many organisations are diligently striving to stay ahead of the curve. This, however, is easier said than done — with change often comes resistance, fear, and uncertainty. 

To gain a better understanding, our panel discussion at the recent Talent Tech Asia Summit (TTAS) 2024 in Singapore explored how to overhaul mindset within the organisation to encourage AI adoption

On the panel were (pictured above, from L-R):

  • Moderator: Isha Majithia Bhatia, Global Career Experience Lead, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Subhankar Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director & Head HR – Asia Pacific & Japan, Lenovo
  • Hanyan Goh, Director, National AI Group and Smart Nation Strategy Office, Ministry of Communications and Information
  • Debbie Ng, Senior Director, People & Culture, Singapore Pools

The discussion first set the context by highlighting some of the most cited reasons for not adopting AI:

  • Too expensive
  • Not having have the right skills
  • Unsure of what platforms to use

However, the panel urged to take a deeper probe into the true underlying reason for the lack of adoption — that many leaders and employees alike are worried about the impact of AI. What will job roles look like? How do you ensure effective reskilling to be ready for the future workplace? Where do human skills fit in all this?

AI is very quickly moving from an opportunity to a necessity; it has gone beyond bits and bobs, and non-expert users can now access such platforms. These large and fast-moving technological waves are therefore – and understandably – unnerving. 

As one speaker acknowledged, these tools and platforms will inevitably impact us — for good, or for bad. "With every wave, you either ride it, or it will overwhelm you." 

How do you therefore address your workforce's concerns? Some methods shared by the panel:

Preparing your people

This includes:

  • training your people, investing in training programmes;
  • providing company roadmaps, signposting how job roles will change, and
  • on a softer note, demystifying technology.

Providing the conditions for experimentation 

By doing so, users can see firsthand the value of AI, and this thus allows them to shift towards the mindset that it is "not that difficult" and that you can start somewhere when it comes to adopting it.  Similarly, another speaker backed up the benefits of creating use cases to allow employers and employere to experience the benefits.


Complementing all initiatives should be a strong communication culture — leaders must be transparent about what the organisation is doing internally, and how to adopt AI. 

In taking your workforce forward on the journey, one speaker emphasised that the fundamental basis for this process is trust from your employees. Citing a recent study she heard, an engaged employee is twice as likely to embrace the adoption of AI. 

Of course, we can't forget the challenges.

Even with the right programmes in place to facilitate adoption, the application of AI naturally does not come without its challenges. One speaker identified various spheres of challenges that companies have faced, or may face:

Talent challenges 

AI is a new domain that continues to evolve, and therefore, there is still a lack of a ready-made talent pool available. Thus, "there is an increasingly high demand for talent from a limited supply." The answer to bridging the gap here is reskilling, the speaker affirmed. 

The responsible use of AI

While using AI is a smart way of working, the reality is that your company's data is still being uploaded to AI platforms. In fact, employees are currently learning and picking up the quirks of AI faster than organisations are making infrastructures to work with it. 

To overcome such a challenge, leaders should look into educating employees (and even the management team) on the right tools and platforms to use. 


The use of AI is also inherently tied to biasness — you teach the machine what the machine will learn. So, how do you ensure that this bias does not impact the decision-making process as the use of AI becomes more prevalent, such as in interviews and applications? 

The answer lies in ensuring you "teach" the AI only factual information, and having in place a framework and guidelines to ensure that information fed into the system remains unbiased and factual. At the end of the day, there must remain the human touch in driving the end use of the system.

Lastly, the panel explored one of the most prevalent fears that come with AI; job displacement

If you simply start putting out machines, people will question the possibility of displacement and role changes. However, it is important to understand the distinction — AI replaces tasks, not humans. As one leader acknowledged, some tasks done by frontliners will be replaced by the machines. In response, what the organisation is really trying to teach is to get them to digitalise. 

What leaders can do is communicate effectively. 

"AI will not take away human jobs. Instead, humans equipped with AI skills will take away jobs from the humans without AI skills."

These are just some of the insights shared at our Talent Tech Asia Summit 2024 (TTAS). Head over here for the full coverage of some other sessions at the event. 

Held at Shangri-La Singapore on 15 & 16 May 2024, TTAS saw more than 200 HR professionals gather to gain insights on emerging technologies and megatrends that are profoundly changing people management practices and therefore forging a people-centred future of work in this tech-driven landscape.

Human Resources Online would like to thank all speakers, moderators, panellists, and attendees for being valuable contributors to this event. 

We would also like to extend our gratitude to our sponsors & partners for making this conference possible: 


Sterling Lexicon

Jobstreet by SEEK
Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP)


Lead image / HRO

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