Workday Global Survey Exposes Widening AI Trust Gap Between Leaders and Employees

Workday, Inc., a prominent player in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, recently released its latest global study, uncovering a concerning AI trust gap within the workplace. The study, conducted by FT Longitude in November and December 2023, surveyed 1,375 business leaders and 4,000 employees across 15 countries, providing insights into the perceptions of both leadership and the broader workforce.

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According to the findings, there is a consensus among business leaders and employees regarding the transformative potential of AI for business. However, a notable lack of trust exists in the responsible deployment of AI, with employees expressing even deeper skepticism than their leadership counterparts.

Key findings from the study include:

  1. Only 62% of business leaders welcome AI, and this number drops further to 52% among employees.
  2. 23% of employees lack confidence that their organizations prioritize employee interests over their own when implementing AI.
  3. 70% of business leaders agree that AI should allow for human review and intervention, yet 42% of employees feel their companies lack clarity on which systems should be fully automated or require human intervention.
  4. A staggering 3 in 4 employees state that their organizations are not collaborating on AI regulation, while 4 in 5 employees report a lack of guidelines on responsible AI use.

Jim Stratton, Chief Technology Officer at Workday, acknowledged  :Our research shows that leaders and employees lack confidence in, and understanding of, their organizations' intentions around AI deployment within the workplace,". He urged a balance between innovation and trust to bridge the existing trust gap.

The study also revealed concerns about organizations' readiness to implement AI responsibly, with 72% of leaders admitting a lack of skills for full AI implementation. Additionally, 76% of leaders acknowledged the need for improvement in their own knowledge of AI and machine learning applications.

As part of the research, leaders and employees expressed the importance of ethical standards in AI use. Notably, 42% of leaders and 36% of employees emphasized the significance of organizational frameworks and regulation in building trustworthy AI for everyday life.

The data, unveiled leading up to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, calls for increased awareness and collaboration to address the challenges posed by the AI trust gap. Workday, with its leading position in cloud applications, remains committed to supporting organizations in navigating the evolving landscape of AI and ensuring responsible deployment.

The study underscores the imperative for organizations to prioritize transparent AI governance and responsible deployment practices to build trust among both leaders and employees in the rapidly advancing realm of artificial intelligence