As if getting a raise in salary was any less difficult, IBM will now, with the help of artificial intelligence, judge not only past accomplishments of employees but also how they might perform in the future, according to report by Bloomberg.
Using artificial intelligence, Watson Analytics looks at an employee’s experiences and projects to infer the potential skills and qualities each person might have to serve IBM in the future. Watson also scours IBM’s internal training system to see if an employee has gained new skills. Managers then take Watson’s assessment rating into account as they make bonus, pay and promotion decisions.
IBM claims Watson has a 96 percent accuracy rate, as compared to IBM’s internal analysis with HR experts. The company spot-checks employee performance against its predictions.
Historically, employers used past accomplishments as the sole metric for compensation decisions, premised on the idea that the past is prologue. The method worked when job tasks stayed relatively static over time.
To motivate employees to learn new skills, more employers are starting to focus on the future during evaluations. A survey of more than 2,000 organizations by the consulting firm Willis Towers Watson, found that over 40 percent of respondents are planning on or considering changing the focus of performance management to include future potential and possession of skills.
Not all companies use analytics to predict their employees’ futures. The Intern Group, an internship matching organization with 80 employees, ranks its workers on what it believes are the 15 skills—such as flexibility and communication—needed to succeed in the next 100 years.
The company has used the rating system to identify what Chief Executive Officer David Lloyd calls its top 10 percent future talent. These theoretical future high performers benefit from internal mentorship, job rotation opportunities and compensation rewards, which suggests the rankings are a self-fulfilling prophecy.