Many employees fear being replaced by artificial intelligence: here’s how to integrate it into your company without scaring them.

The opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s understandable that people are generally concerned that automation could replace jobs, but getting buy-in for AI integration isn’t just about alleviating fears. Instead, leadership’s job is to build trust that this technology can help us achieve our goals faster and to a greater advantage. If companies want to successfully navigate this transition, people need to know that leadership is incorporating AI in a way that enhances and maximizes their contributions and optimizes business growth, ultimately leading to greater experience and compensation for the team.

We have a curated list of projects for next year, and people have already dedicated many months of their time to prioritizing them. Therefore, I am very transparent about what we can achieve from AI and machine learning, which builds on our existing roadmap with the end result of a more robust and powerful product suite. This won’t happen all at once. A phased approach to integrating AI into workflows and products emphasizes strategic resource allocation and a commitment to continuous learning. Leaders are on an AI journey as much as anyone else, so it starts at the top.

Related: Building an AI-empowered workforce while staying human-centric

Integration: a step-by-step approach

The first goal of AI integration should be to understand the quickest way to start having a positive monetary advantage. While our AI project is still a work in progress, we expect to raise revenue by $2 million to $20 million as a result of a first round of investment of less than $100,000. But to achieve this kind of result, leaders need to get used to AI and understand the challenges and complexities it may encounter.

I’m hiring outsourcing companies to build the smallest prototype possible so we can engage in an ongoing conversation about the most feasible way to integrate AI. It was similar to when I met with my CTO every morning to talk about building the core product of our business today. We would combine his knowledge of programming and my knowledge of our business goals to make daily improvements and get a minimum viable product to market for testing as quickly as possible. Getting real-world feedback and seeing real job performance is where you really start to improve and refine your product.

My initial goal with the AI ‚Äč‚Äčtest is to augment our push messaging system. We send millions of messages every day with one person managing the creation, scheduling and optimization of hundreds of different messages. With AI, we can customize them to a previously unthinkable level, leading to significant performance optimizations that AI can handle automatically. We also have other products that should have a machine learning component at their core. By exposing my product and development teams, as well as myself, to the potential of AI, we won’t waste resources without seeing a solid increase in performance. And for this to work, communication must be consistent throughout the process.

Related: 3 Practical Ways to Let AI Work for You

Communicate our direction

I am a big believer in transparency in all aspects of business. I want employees to know how any changes we consider will impact them. But if I don’t express my goals clearly, misconceptions can take hold. It’s important for leaders to express certainty about their direction with AI integration and provide a clear vision of where their investments are taking the company.

As a company grows and more and more people’s ideas compete for limited resources, leaders need to be as precise as possible in how they prioritize. For example, spending $1 to earn $14 should take priority over projects that cost $1 for a $3 return. This may seem obvious, but a triple return on investment is compelling. Prioritizing the project with the best return will therefore allow you to finance the construction of many more products with the lowest return.

When people see that we are risking less money to get positive results as quickly, we are more likely to get everyone’s buy-in. Start small and build from there. If we can increase response rates to marketing messages by 2%, we will have more confidence in applying the prototype to our external products. It’s also an opportunity to reinforce our message.

Paying attention to red flags

As leaders share ideas for AI integration among a wide range of people, they may come across important warning signs about what you’re missing. Everyone has different perspectives. If you’re a glass-half-full person, listening to the glass-half-empty kind of person offers a complementary perspective.

Whenever I have ideas to really move the numbers, I tend to act quickly. It’s critical that people understand that I’m not accelerating AI integration because I’m unhappy with our current process or people. AND Why I’m happy not to risk what we already have unless I’m completely convinced of the size of the upside, and I want to accelerate the learning process to get those benefits faster.

I still want to talk to as many people as possible – employees, developers, marketers, product managers, external investors – both about the tone of the answers and about any important questions. Those red flags might be great things to look at or I need to give people more information. In any case, my answer may ease their concerns.

Related: I Transformed My Business With AI 15 Years Ago: Here’s What I Learned

Artificial intelligence and man: complementary growth

I believe people should embrace AI in much the same way they embraced computers 20 years ago. Computers have opened doors to new jobs and greater diversity than those they replaced, so leaders must emphasize that AI represents a great opportunity for employees with a growth mindset, balancing efficiency and Capacity gains with the human elements of creativity, empathy and ethical judgment. Think about how to engage curious employees through workshops, courses, webinars and industry conferences. With transparent communication and a commitment to continuous learning, people will come to see AI as a complement to our human efforts.

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