Do you remember the metaverse?

In the latter half of 2022, the hype surrounding the metaverse had reached an all-time high. Employers and HR professionals were preparing to usher in this digital working world, and had begun to examine what considerations would have to be taken into account when working with an avatar of oneself.

However, as quickly as the metaverse came around, it seems to have faded. Disney and Microsoft are both closing their metaverse departments, and Tinder announced that it was abandoning its plans for virtual world dating.

This may be in part due to the fact that the concept of the metaverse started gaining traction in a time where we had only just emerged from global lockdown. With the pandemic making employers realise that remote working was a necessity, it was no wonder that Meta wanted to capitalize on this realisation by soft launching the metaverse on the back of it. After all, it was teed up to be the next step in the evolution of working from home.

But now, the world has started to fall back into old habits. We are seeing return to office mandates in all corners of the working world, and the hybrid model seems to be the ideal balance for most employers and employees.

This is all without mentioning the fact that AI has seemingly dethroned the metaverse as the latest technological craze, with 93% of employers expecting to use generative AI in the workplace in the next five years.

But why has AI stuck whilst the metaverse has waned?

The most obvious answer is that generative AI is relatively easy to use, and readily accessible for all. Leading voices in AI like ChatGPT have made it so that the creation of original(ish) content is at your fingertips, and it doesn’t cost anything. As long as employers are taking the time to invest in the learning and development of their staff around optimizing the use of generative AI, then they will be able to use it to optimize productivity by having AI absorb the more monotonous, admin-based tasks.

AI continues to make strides in the corporate world – at the end of last year, we were introduced to Harriet, an AI virtual assistant tailored to help HR professionals – but this does not mean that we have seen the end of the metaverse. After all, generative AI has been around for quite some time, and after years of development, has finally gained the capabilities needed for it to be used on such a large scale.

So maybe what we are seeing is not the metaverse fading away, but rather taking an educated step back whilst AI settles cozily into our everyday working lives. At this moment in time, there isn’t a clear need for virtual working worlds, but as we continue to digitalise, we may well see the metaverse come back into fashion in a few years’ time.

Until then, if you would like to discuss the training services we offer around the integration of generative AI into your workplace, please get in touch with us.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

He may have achieved fame as a country music singer in the 1960’s, but Jimmy Dean’s observation could easily have been about the current state of organizational change.

The winds of change have been howling through the working world; the disruptive forces of new technologies, generative AI, the broadening scope of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the assimilation of hybrid and remote working have created a HR hurricane.

These changes are all potentially positive for business, but they are happening at a pace that has been exponentially accelerated by the pandemic. What would have been a gradual integration of the hybrid working format became a sudden and forced shift to remote working which companies either had to adapt to or be left behind.

And yet, although lockdown posed a situation where employers were forced to adjust their sails, the changes that we are seeing now can be best navigated not just by responding to the direction of the wind – but also by anticipating its patterns so to be one step ahead of it.

Here lies the big question: is your organization ready for change?

A recent report from Gartner discovered that 82% of HR leaders believe their managers are not equipped to lead change – and this is exacerbated by the fact that 77% of employees are suffering from change fatigue.

Change fatigue occurs when the volume and pace of change becomes overwhelming for employees. This can have detrimental affects on employee wellbeing and productivity, but despite this only 8% of workers feel confident in their plan to manage their fatigue.

The pace of change in the working world is not predicted to slow, so for those organizations looking to keep in stride – and get ahead of – this new pace, they need to be building change fatigue prevention strategies into their equation for organizational transformation success.

Org Transformation Equation

Currently, most employers will integrate change through clear communication paired with good training. But as we watch the corporate world evolve, so do our approaches to how change is implemented. Weaving change fatigue management into this equation ensures that managers are better equipped to coach their teams on how to effectively identify fatigue drivers, fix any that arise, and start to look at how they can be prevented altogether (this looks like normalizing rest, microbreaks, employee involvement, creating a psychologically safe space, etc.).

What is critical to these prevention strategies being successful is understanding that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to mitigating change fatigue. Different types of employees are going to need different wellbeing support – and if employers are able to look at wellbeing needs through an intersectional lens, then they will be able to efficiently support their people through the intensity of these changes.

An example of this is midlife workers; many of our established wellbeing programs are centred around younger workers (parental leave, childcare support, etc.) whereas older workers will have entirely different needs to this (menopause support, working carers support, etc.). Bridging the wellbeing gap will strengthen your efforts when managing change fatigue and ensure that the other 92% of employees feel confident in their ability to manage their change fatigue as they will have the right support in place.

This will see your business set sail on the high seas of profit, productivity, and employee satisfaction.

If you would like to discuss how we can help implement strategies around wellbeing and change fatigue, please get in touch with me at

David Fairhurst, OrgShakers Founder

David Fairhurst is the Founder of OrgShakers. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading HR practitioners and is a respected thought leader, business communicator, and government advisor.

The evolution of AI and technology is more than just a trend – it is now driving a fundamental shift in the business landscape. Organizations aiming to stay competitive must embrace this transformation – starting with their People.

To begin with, organizations need to be redesigning their structures and processes – and working with someone who has expertise in this field is crucial for smooth and successful implementation.

This is where OrgShakers come in. We can help employers build a foundation to adapt and thrive in a tech-driven future by combining our expertise in leadership optimization, people strategy, and human capital risk management.

Focusing on strategic HR management in this way will see humans align harmoniously with the technology to unlock the full potential of this new opportunity. Our approach encompasses everything from talent acquisition to leadership development and is designed to foster a culture of innovation and adaptability.

And fostering this culture is not just about adopting new tools; it’s about strategic cultural and organizational transformation. This requires an approach which ensures that changes in structure and strategy are deeply rooted in the organization’s culture and values so to ignite a ripple effect that touches every corner of the company.

Embedding AI and new technologies requires a focus on learning and development opportunities surrounding this, as this training will mitigate any feelings of doubt or change fatigue that employees may be feeling when getting to grips with these new additions.

In 2024, staying ahead means embracing the evolution of AI and technology, with a focus on people and processes. Partnering with us offers organizations the expertise and support to navigate this transformative journey. By aligning HR strategies with technological advancements, companies can foster a resilient, innovative, and competitive workforce ready to excel in our hi-tech future.

If you would like to discuss our services in relation to AI and technology in more detail, please get in touch with me at  

Have you met Harriet?

Co-founders Cecily Motley and David Buxton have recently created ‘Harriet’, an AI tool that is designed to automate human resources processes. It has been specifically created to be smoothly integrated into a company’s Slack channels so to provide certain HR-related services.

AI assistants are not necessarily new – especially if Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have something to say about it. But what sets Harriet apart from these helpers is that it is able to scan users’ data – as well as the organizations policies and best practices recommendations – to answer HR-related questions and complete admin-based tasks. For example, she can pull up a specific payslip or book time off on behalf of an employee.

What is even more interesting is that all messages to Harriet from employees are kept anonymous, and the tool does not store any employee data for training. If Harriet deems that it cannot sufficiently deal with a situation, it will loop in a human HR worker (if granted permission by the employee).

Virtual assistants are continuing to increase in popularity, especially in the working world. With generative AI becoming more and more common in the workplace, and many employers eager to incorporate it into their business practices, it is no surprise to see tools like Harriet begin to make their way into HR’s territory. And considering it is very likely that the next generation of workers (Generation Alpha) will expect to have a virtual assistant, ‘Harriet’ may be the beginning of the era of AI helpers.

However, before companies can unlock all the potential of an AI assistant, they first have to ensure that they are offering appropriate learning and development opportunities to their teams around AI so that its use can be effectively optimized.

Whilst it can seem relatively straightforward to interact with a chatbot and with generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, knowing how to create content that evades potential biases will help to generate the strongest materials.

If you would like to discuss how we can help with developing your company’s knowledge surrounding generative AI and virtual assistants, please get in touch with us.

As we counted down to the new year in December, we adopted the theme of looking forwards. What are the essential topics of focus for employers to be considering in 2024?

Well, in case you missed any of them, here’s a summary of our essentials:

  • The Disability Pay Gap – an analysis from the Trades Union Congress discovered that disabled workers effectively work for free for the last 47 days of the year due to the sizable pay gap between disabled and non-disabled workers. With 17.8% of England’s population being disabled, working towards closing this gap should be a priority for organizations so to attract new, diverse talent and to plug talent shortages that continue to effect employers – read the full piece here.
  • Decision Intelligence – for our monthly reading recommendation, we recommended a book that all employers should get their hands on: Decision Intelligence by Thorsten Heilig and Ilhan Scheer. It acts as a practical and comprehensible guide for professionals who are navigating the decision-making and AI landscape by exploring the intersection of behavioral science, data science, and technological innovation. Check out our full summary here!
  • Weaving AI into Learning and Development – Access Partnership’s survey found that 93% of employers expect to be using generative AI in the workplace in the next five years. It has therefore become an essential point of focus for employers to be weaving AI-centric learning and development (L&D) opportunities into their L&D strategies – read the full piece here.
  • Leadership Legacy – with the average turnover rate for leadership roles at an unprecedented 18%, now is the best time for leaders to take a step back from thinking about where they are going next and, instead, take a moment to consider what it is they will be leaving in their wake. The impression that they leave, and the legacy of their practices, can make a big difference to the health of a company – so how do they want to be remembered? Read the full piece here.
  • The HR Fundamentals – Our Founder David Fairhurst identified four key areas of focus that he believes are essential for HR and employers to be preparing for in order to ensure organization sustainability:
    • The Workforce Cliff – the first is the Workforce Cliff, which predicted that around this time, we would start to have more jobs than we had people to fill them. To avoid the cliff’s looming edge, employers must be expanding their search and tapping into all pools of talent…read the full piece here.
    • Humans and Technology – The second point of focus will be the relationship between humans and technology. As organizations begin to introduce generative AI into their workplaces, HR will play a pivotal role in supporting these new technological co-worker relationships in order to successfully optimize its capabilities. Read more here!
    • Redefining Place and Time – With the mass adoption of remote and hybrid working styles, we are seeing the previous boundaries of time differences and geographical distances evaporate, opening companies up to a new, global pool of talent…and to embracing the concept of asynchronous work. Read on for the full piece.
    • The End of Jobs – in order to successfully respond to the rapid increase in the pace of organizational change, employers will begin to recognize that a more flexible and responsive methodology is needed to keep up. This will take shape in the form of adopting a skills-based approach to managing work and workers – read the full piece here.

If you would like to discuss the services we offer in regards to these essentials – or wider areas of HR – please get in touch with us.

After discussing the world of HR consulting with Sarah Hamilton-Gill on her podcast, Leap Into HR Consulting, we moved onto looking at the four fundamental shifts that I predict we will be seeing in the near future that HR professionals need to be preparing themselves for.

The first shift was the Workforce Cliff, and the second is the relationship between humans and technology.

There has been a lot of scaremongering in the media about the effects that AI integration will have on jobs – the most notable statistic being that 300 million jobs are predicted to be lost in American and European markets, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.

However, if you dig a little deeper into this report, you discover that the authors predict that just 7% of current US employment will be fully substituted by AI, with 30% being unaffected, and 68% being complimented by its introduction.

If we take a stroll back through history, there have been many instances where workplace automation has actually resulted in either the creation of new roles or the technology becoming ‘co-workers’ with us.

A great example of technology as ‘co-workers’ is the introduction of the ATM (automated teller machines) in the US in the late 1960s. While the initial objective was to replace bank tellers and reduce the real estate needed for bank branches, the graph below highlights how, in fact, the opposite happened:

Graph of ATMs being created in comparison to the amount of bank teller jobs available.

As the number of ATMs increased, so did the number of branches being opened, and the number of bank tellers. The key to this relationship being successful was employees understanding how to work with this new technology in order to deliver greater efficiency and better customer service (e.g.: the ATMs handled the basic transactions freeing up the bank tellers to deliver higher-value customer services).

As organizations introduce AI into the workplace, HR will play a pivotal role supporting these new co-worker relationships. As Melissa Swift describes in her book Work Here Now, HR will be ‘couples counsellors’ for humans and technology, coaching employees on how to successfully interact with newly integrated tech in order to optimize its (and their) abilities.

As AI has the potential to become a disruptive force within organizations – changing their structures, workflows, and processes – HR will be responsible for ensuring these changes are implemented in a way which maintains employee morale and productivity, and which secures a pipeline of future talent through enhancing a company’s reputation.

By acting as a pillar of this newly found co-existence with expanding technology, HR professionals will demonstrate how AI tools can help employees become their best selves. This will happen through nudging them to learn new behaviors, correct old habits, enhance key skills, and free up their time for more meaningful work as it can perform the more admin-based tasks.

As we continue to watch AI integration in the workplace take shape, it is important for HR to get ahead of this curve and be proactive when it comes to managing the impacts of this new technological age. If you would like to discuss how OrgShakers can help you do this, please get in touch with me at

David Fairhurst Founder Of Orgshakers

David Fairhurst is the Founder of OrgShakers. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading HR practitioners and is a respected thought leader, business communicator, and government advisor.

Learning and development (L&D) opportunities are a vital ingredient for employers when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. Research from the IMC confirms this, with 92% of job candidates using L&D opportunities as a deciding factor when considering job offers, as well as 52% of employees citing that they left a role due to a lack of personal and professional development opportunities.

One skillset that many workers are keen to learn is generative AI skills, with more than 50% of employees stating they were eager to acquire those skills, according to Randstad’s Workmonitor Pulse. However, only one in ten workers were offered any AI training in the last year.

Pair this with Access Partnership’s survey which found that an overwhelming 93% of employers expect to use generative AI in the workplace in five years, and what you begin to see is that employees want to learn to master AI, employers want to implement AI…but there is a significant lack of L&D training opportunities around AI.

In the past year, we have seen generative AI platforms like ChatGPT take the working world by storm – but the narrative surrounding its uses in the workplace have been inconsistent. While some view this technological change as something that will replace certain jobs altogether, others view it as a tool to be collaborated with [AS1] to improve and perfect the human skills that are paired with it.

In order to start getting the most out of AI and offering L&D opportunities that allow for this skill development, employers need to first get a good and clear understanding of what generative AI can do for their specific business and in what areas it should begin to be implemented. While this could be a very effective time-saving tool – freeing up time for employees to focus on more meaningful work – it doesn’t necessarily have to be used just for the sake of using it. Identifying its strengths and weaknesses will allow organizations to create a clear roadmap for navigating generative AI, unlocking its full potential.

But a key part of this journey is offering the appropriate training to employees on how to use these new tools. It can be daunting to attempt to use generative AI without having a proper understanding of it; if employers are able to provide the essential training, suddenly all the myths surrounding AI will begin fading away, along with that initial fear of misusing it. As an example, take a look at this infographic on how best to communicate your requests to ChatGPT in order to get your desired results:

Ai Infographic

As the tools at our disposal continue to expand, it is important for companies to keep in stride with this burgeoning toolkit and offer L&D opportunities that allow for the development of these new skills that are quickly becoming essential ones.

And it is of the utmost importance that these opportunities are made available to all workers; unconscious bias around age can perpetuate the idea that older workers are less tech-savvy and so will be given less opportunities to grow their technological skillset, but as proven by our recent article, this isn’t the case!

This holiday season, one of the best gifts you can give your team is the gift of nourishing their hunger for opportunities to learn and develop! Those employers who do will have the strongest talent as they venture into the year ahead. If you would like to discuss how we can help provide training and workshops around generative AI in your workplace, please get in touch with me at

For this month’s reading recommendation, we picked up a copy of Thorsten Heilig and Ilhan Scheer’s new book, Decision Intelligence: Transform Your Team and Organization with AI-Driven Decision-Making.

Thorsten is the Co-Founder and CEO of Paretos, a company with access to cutting-edge AI technologies that use Decision Intelligence to equip organizations to independently tackle complex challenges and gain a significant competitive advantage without needing any prior knowledge on data science.

Co-author Ilhan is a Managing Director at Accenture, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud, and security.

Together, they have authored a book which offers a practical and comprehensible guide for professionals who are navigating the decision-making landscape. Thorsten and Ilhan expertly explore the intersection of behavioral science, data science, and technological innovation and present the latest technologies and methodologies that are shaping these dynamic fields, highlighting how they can play vital roles when making business decisions.

As AI continues to become increasingly popular as a business tool, this book perfectly captures just how instrumental data and AI are in making informed future decisions by harmonizing human and business considerations across its five key points of coverage:

  • An exploration into the inner workings of AI models, and how to optimize these to tackle business challenges and unlock novel opportunities.
  • A business-centric introduction to decision intelligence, exploring why traditional decision-making strategies have become obsolete and how to transition effectively into decision-intelligence.
  • The evolutionary journey of Decision Intelligence, tracing its roots from analytics to modern techniques like process mining and robotic process automation.
  • An examination of decision intelligence at an organizational level, encompassing agile transformation, transparent organizational culture, and the pivotal role of psychological safety in facilitating innovative decision-making within modern companies.  
  • An overview of why – and where – AI still needs human expertise and how to incorporate this topic into daily planning and decision making.

In the age of working smart, organizations who are able to effectively integrate AI into the fabric of their company are the ones who are going to be able to best optimize its use. As the corporate world becomes increasingly digital, this book is a great way of keeping in stride with these sweeping technological changes.

To grab a copy of Decision Intelligence, head over here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in the UK.

And if you would like to discuss how we can help shape your HR strategy to seize the opportunities presented by AI technologies, please get in touch with us!

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