Updated: Oct 2
A practical view of Natural Language Generation (NLG) and People Decision Making
In the bustling corridors of modern corporate culture, the words we use and how we choose to convey them play pivotal roles in decision making. With the emergence of cognitive models and Natural Language Generation (NLG) techniques, we're seeing a new revolution in understanding organizational communication, particularly in the realm of human resources.
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Let's journey through the world of decision-making processes backed by this technology, shall we?
Imagine being a part of a vibrant team at a creative agency. Here, new ideas constantly collide, and experimentation isn't just encouraged; it's a way of life. Your team's cohesion is the stuff of legends, with every member engaged and loyal. The respect for each other's work is palpable, and the morale is sky-high. However, all it took was one miscommunicated email, and the tide changed. Disunion crept in, loyalty wavered, and morale plummeted. What went wrong?
The words chosen to convey a message, even with the best of intentions, can sometimes fail to uphold the spirit it intends. If you take a closer look, using a subtle lens tinted with cognitive models and NLG, you'll uncover the nuances. Words have vector meanings, going beyond their dictionary definitions. They capture sentiments, values, and cultural contexts.
For instance, consider the word 'cohesion.' Within a human resources framework, this isn’t just about people sticking together. It captures the essence of teamwork, mutual understanding, and a shared vision. On the other hand, a term like 'disunion' isn’t merely about separation; it hints at deeper rifts, maybe unresolved conflicts or difference in visions. And when we talk about neutrality, it's more than just ambivalence. It can represent a sense of equilibrium, a balanced viewpoint, or simply a moment of observation, where judgments are reserved.
But how does this all tie into human resources and decision making?
Let’s get experimental and craft a hypothetical scenario.
Example: The change in team structure
Sarah, a manager at a fashion start-up, had to communicate a change in the team structure. Instead of leveraging the power of words reflecting 'engagement' and 'loyalty', she unknowingly used language that resonated with 'disengagement' and 'disrespect'. Without realizing it, Sarah had sown seeds of doubt and disunion in her team. A cognitive model powered by NLG could have flagged these potential pitfalls and suggested a more cohesion-centric communication strategy.
This isn’t just about one email or one meeting. The ripple effects of communication are vast. An environment where positive sentiments are reinforced subtly through communications leads to a more engaged, loyal, and motivated workforce. On the flip side, even inadvertent negative connotations can lead to mistrust, decreased morale, and disengagement.
Example: The Casual Friday Dilemma
Jared, the head of HR for a tech firm, wanted to implement a "Casual Friday" policy to boost morale and encourage a more relaxed atmosphere. When drafting the announcement, instead of using phrases like "We value your comfort," or "We trust your judgment on appropriate attire," he inadvertently wrote, "Since some can't bother dressing up every day, we’re giving everyone a break." The communication came across as sarcastic and condescending, implying that employees were lazy in their attire. Had Jared used a cognitive model powered by NLG, it could have highlighted the negative undertones and suggested a more encouraging phrasing. Instead
of feeling valued and trusted, employees felt insulted and underappreciated, and Jared's attempt to boost morale backfired.
Example: The Shift in Client Handling
Melanie, the director of client relations at a PR agency, decided to redistribute some clients among her team for more efficiency. In an email to her team, instead of emphasizing the opportunity for fresh perspectives and thanking them for their flexibility, she wrote, "Given the obvious inefficiencies and the complaints I've heard, it's time for a shuffle." This message, unintentionally, implicated that the team wasn’t doing a good enough job and had caused client complaints. An NLG model could have redirected her to craft a message that celebrated growth and evolution instead of highlighting shortcomings. Her approach, rather than fostering excitement for change, resulted in her team feeling blamed and unappreciated.
By integrating cognitive models with NLG, companies can ensure that the sentiments conveyed in their communications align with their intent. It's like a dance where technology is the shoes, guiding each step, while human understanding shapes the rhythm and flow of the performance.
Concluding our exploration, one can’t emphasize enough the significant impact subtle communication nuances can have within the human resources realm. As we progressively venture into a digitized age, the amalgamation of NLG insights with HR communications becomes not just beneficial but essential. A refined communication ambience, supported by technology, can significantly elevate the human resources approach, making organizations more harmonious, efficient, and human-centric. After all, in the intricate dance of corporate culture, it's often the unsaid or subtly conveyed that holds the true power.
To make it happen in your company, talk to us.
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Content Curation: Adelino Gala at The AI Academy