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By | Published On: 12 September 2023 |

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been developing our Copilot offerings and services, learning everything I can about Copilot, and delved into the technical and data challenges to those in end user adoption. One of the topics that started to really pique my interest was around the ethics of AI and how to use it in the most responsible way possible. 


The questions that have been on my mind:

  • Is it ethical to give one person in a team such an advantage? This can potentially create an unequal playing field within the team, compromising fairness and causing tension. 
  • How does this impact pay equality? If the chosen individual’s productivity soars using AI, are they then entitled to a higher pay compared to team members without the tool? 
  • Career Progression: If an employee excels due to the advantages provided by Copilot, they might be more likely to get promoted. What are the implications of this for career development within the wider team? 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The selective assignment of licences could have unintentional consequences on diversity and inclusion efforts. How can one ensure that license allocation doesn’t inadvertently favour certain groups over others? 
  • Team Morale: If one team member is super-charged by Copilot capabilities, how does that affect the morale and motivation of other team members who are performing at ‘regular’ levels? 

In a time where digital tools can significantly boost productivity, organisations are continually seeking ways to enhance efficiency using the software they’re already familiar with. One such tool that has emerged as a real game-changer is Microsoft Copilot. While the advantages are abundantly clear, there are ethical implications that leaders must consider—especially when licences are assigned selectively within teams. This blog post aims to delve deep into the challenges surrounding the ethics, diversity, equity, and inclusion of the distribution this powerful resource. 


The Performance Boost: A Double-Edged Sword

Assigning a Microsoft Copilot licence to an employee is like giving them a superpowered engine in a car race. Naturally, this results in improved outcomes, which in theory, is beneficial for the whole team and organisation. However, what happens when only one member gets the updated engine, leaving the rest with their standard engines? The performance gap that ensues can create a host of challenges. 


The Landscape of Ethics

The moral dilemma starts with the simple act of licence allocation. The chosen individual gets an incredible edge that could lead to better performance evaluations, higher pay or even a fast-tracked promotion. It puts the principle of fairness under scrutiny, as team members are no longer competing on a level playing field and rewards that come as a result of good work could come under doubt when AI is involved. 

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Pay Equality and Career Progression

One of the immediate considerations is whether the ‘boosted’ individual becomes entitled to higher pay. If their performance metrics are significantly better, it becomes difficult to correctly evaluate their contribution within the context of the team’s average performance. Additionally, the accelerated career progression for this individual may compromise similar opportunities for the rest of the team. 


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In addition to creating a sense of inequality among existing team members, the allocation process itself might inadvertently affect diversity and inclusion initiatives. If the licence allocation process isn’t transparent or lacks a well-defined criterion, it could result in favouring certain groups over others and potentially create a marginalised group of people within the team, adding another layer of ethical complexity. 


Team Morale and Cohesion

Last but not least, selectively upgrading one individual’s tools can have a substantial impact on team morale and connection. If one person is empowered to outperform their peers consistently, it might lead to a drop in motivation and a less cohesive team environment. 

The allocation of Microsoft Copilot licences raises vital questions about fairness, pay equity, career progression, and the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. While digital tools offer unprecedented advantages, it’s crucial to navigate the ethical implications of their distribution carefully and with serious consideration. Transparent processes and clear communication are key to ensuring that these resources contribute positively to both individual and organisational growth, without compromising ethical standards or vital team dynamics. 

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Why Changing Social Should Be Your First Choice for Microsoft Adoption and Change Management

The success of any technology adoption isn’t solely about understanding the software; it’s always about the people. At Changing Social, we keep your workforce at the heart of our strategies. Specialising exclusively in Microsoft technologies, our expert services in Adoption and Change Management are designed to guide your employees through the emotional and practical aspects of embracing new tools, fostering an organisational culture that’s equally as technically advanced and people-centric. 

Our approach is grounded in the Prosci ADKAR model, a framework that allows us to map out a highly personalised change management strategy for your business. This isn’t just about ticking off software features; it’s about fully aligning technological capabilities with human behaviours, values, ethics and moral considerations. 

By focusing on the ‘human elements’—such as employees’ needs, the organisational culture and ethical nuances—we ensure that your technology adoption serves the larger business objectives, while being embraced organically, responsibly and sustainably across all levels of your organisation. 


Tailored Change Management Strategies

Whether you’re looking to adopt Microsoft Copilot or any other Microsoft 365 application, Changing Social can customise a change management strategy that fosters not just adoption but also an inclusive, fair environment. Our Strategy and Change Management services focus on ensuring equitable access to technology, with specific modules designed to assess and mitigate risks related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


Real Results with Digital Champions Programme

As an added layer of support, consider our Digital Champions Programme. Our unique approach empowers employees to become technology advocates, ensuring that technological adoption is not just top-down but is embraced organically across all levels and departments. This ensures that the ethical implications of new technology are understood, addressed and welcomed throughout your organisation. 


Let’s Get The Conversation Started 

If you’re grappling with the complexities of technology adoption and its ethical ramifications, it’s time to talk to Changing Social. Our proven methods and experienced team are ready to guide you through each stage of your adoption journey, making sure you’re set up for long-term success that truly aligns with your organisational values. 

So, what are you waiting for? With Changing Social, you can be confident that your technology adoption strategy will be impactful, responsible and focused on the correct ethics. Contact us today to set the wheels in motion for a more equitable and efficient future. 


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