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Adapting to the Digital Workforce: 4 First Steps to Training Your Team on AI While it may seem daunting, entrepreneurs can help their organization take part in the AI revolution by following these simple steps.

By Emily He

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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A recent report from the World Economic Forum predicted that artificial intelligence will create 58 million new jobs in the next five years. And according to an Oracle study on AI at work, a majority of employees believe AI adoption will have a positive impact on their organization. While that does bring relief to the longstanding fear of an AI takeover, it also brings new workforce pressures.

Related: 5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of Marketing

Oracle's AI at work study found that 71 percent of employees believe AI skills and knowledge will be important in the next three years, yet the majority (72 percent) of organizations do not provide any form of AI training programs. This gaps needs to be addressed and is particularly important for entrepreneurs and small businesses, where team members often wear multiple hats and need to be able to quickly and easily take advantage of the latest developments in AI to improve productivity.

Future-focused entrepreneurs should be making AI investments in their businesses and teams by fostering the skills they need to succeed. Artificial intelligence can improve operational efficiencies, enable faster decision-making, significantly reduce costs, enable better customer experiences and improve the employee experience. But, if employees don't know how to leverage AI, the benefits will go untapped.

While it may seem daunting, entrepreneurs can help their organization take part in the AI revolution by following four simple steps:

1. Conduct an AI audit.

The first step to ramping up your business on AI is to audit your team's current AI knowledge. What do you or your employees already know about AI? Has it been implemented in any part of the business already? Is your business familiar, very familiar or not familiar with AI capabilities? This will establish a baseline from which necessary trainings can be designed.

Related: Want to Be More Like Amazon? Start By Making Your Startup More Data-Driven.

2. Find courses to fit your need.

The next step is to find AI training courses that will address the individual needs of your business and team. Did you find out your team doesn't know what AI stands for? Maybe it's best to start from the beginning with base level introduction to AI courses. Or perhaps, your team is somewhat familiar with AI through personal devices like Alexa, but not in the business context. In that case, a better option might be to jump into trainings that explain how AI can be implemented to improve productivity in businesses processes, such as implementing AI in sales, marketing, finance, etc. There are great online courses available on platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Lynda or Udemy for Business.

3. Share easily consumable content.

One of the biggest obstacles to training your teams on AI is the time investment to learn new skills and processes, especially for entrepreneurs and small business who may already be short-staffed. The key to navigating this challenge is to provide consumable content for different scenarios. Make it easy for employees to internalize new knowledge by delivering both short and long-form content. This way, quick content may be available when the team is in a time crunch, but they can also take a deeper dive with longer form trainings when they have the opportunity.

Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less Lucrative

4. Provide position-specific trainings.

AI can have an impact across the entire organization, but start employees off with trainings specific to their current role. This will help them quickly learn about the power of AI and see the most immediate benefit to their job. From there, continue to offer training courses around how AI can be used beyond their role's primary focus. This will enable teams to think about AI in new and different ways, and better prepare them to succeed in new roles they may take on in the future.

AI's impact on the workforce and the way businesses operate is real, and it's here to stay. For entrepreneurs, this is the time to adopt AI, train your teams to win with it and reap the rewards.

Emily He

SVP, Human Capital Management Cloud Business Group, Oracle

Emily He is Oracle’s SVP of the human capital management cloud business group. He has 18 years of experience in various enterprise software roles, including marketing, corporate strategy and business development at companies such as Siebel Systems, E2Open and Saba Software.

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