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How can an AI Assistant make your HR processes more human?

11 Mar 2021

How can an AI Assistant make your HR processes more human?

Improving employee engagement and experience is a critical factor in business success.

The beginning of 2020 brought unexpected levels of disruption to employees and businesses alike. But as challenges grew, employee engagement rose as teams became more engaged with what was happening in their business.

According to research by Kincentric, employees have become increasingly engaged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many wanting to know more about their business’ strategy and plans to help move the business forward.

At the same time, the next generation of recruits are becoming more expectant that they’ll be given options for remote working. They also want to know what health and wellness procedures and policies are in place at work if they’re not able to work remotely.

Businesses are also seeing more of the current workforce working for longer than previous generations. These employees are seeing a technological revolution happening around them and don’t want to be left behind. They want to know what opportunities are available for them to advance further as they remain in work for longer.

All of this is putting incredible pressure on HR teams and the recruitment process to improve processes and ensure information is passing between businesses, employees and recruits rapidly.

To do this, HR teams and the wider business need help.

And this is where embracing AI Assistant technology comes into play.

How to modernise the HR team with AI

While new technology is disrupting many parts of the workplace, HR has been left largely untouched. But businesses are realising the potential for adding HR assistive technology.

As far back as 2018, CEOs had already started to investigate how they could use AI to help modernise their HR function and improve the employee experience.

In part this is because businesses are beginning to understand the importance of supporting employees and creating a culture they can believe in and support.

Today, the employee experience is becoming just as important as the customer experience and is something businesses are increasingly being judged on by new recruits.

A PwC HR Technology Survey identified six issues driving this HR technology surge:

  • 58% said it’s for finding, attracting and retaining talent
  • 43% said it’s for developing people to reach their full potential
  • 42% said it’s for improving the employee experience
  • 40% said it’s for creating collaborative work environments
  • 38% said it’s for workforce planning
  • 34% said it’s for ensuring well-being, diversity and inclusion

So, how can AI chatbots resolve these issues? Let’s find out.

Using AI to improve the employee experience

Businesses gather huge amounts of data on customers to try and figure out what they want, and how to give it to them. It’s time to start putting that same emphasis on employee engagement.

According to a Gallup study, 33% of global employees strongly believe the statement “The mission and purpose of my organisation makes me feel my job is important.

The study found that businesses that increased this ratio to eight in 10 employees had a 51% reduction in absenteeism and 29% increase in the quality of work produced.

However, creating this level of employee engagement is reliant on having the policies, systems and people in place to make it happen.

One of the challenges for HR teams in particular, is getting the time to focus on these big picture employee strategies, when they’re dealing with thousands of repetitive questions about illness, time off, booking holidays or procedures for new starters.

We’ve all experienced some friction as an employee at some point when it comes to finding information. Whether it’s emailing HR about procedures for booking time off or recording sick days. We send the email, and then have to wait until HR gets to it and replies.

An AI assistant can manage all this from one place. Providing instant answers to frequent questions so employees get information quickly, without HR having to take time away to answer. Similar to how businesses are using self-serve options to create a better customer experience.

To give an idea of how these repetitive questions impact the time of HR teams, when IBM launched their chatbot to manage new starters, it was answering 700 questions each day.

By letting the chatbot take over answering these questions, it meant HR teams had more times to put into more strategic employee wellness policies.

Through a single app that can be used on any mobile device, employees can get access to all the latest information on company policies or public information announcements. The app could also be set up to send updates to notify employees so they don’t miss any information.

If an employee is unable to find an answer via the AI assistant, the platform can transfer them to the HR team (with a record of the question and the issues already discussed) who can provide the answer.

These systems can constantly evolve so that once resolved, HR can add the answer to the assistant. Then, the next time an employee asks a similar question, the answer is available to them via the AI assistant.

Proving the value of a HR AI assistant

Several businesses have already started to roll out the technology to staff, with positive results. Spanish HR start-up Vidahora launched an AI assistant to take away repetitive tasks and administration from its HR team, allowing them to focus on talent development.

After adding the AI assistant to their app, they recorded a 40% reduction in time spent on repetitive administrative tasks in their HR team, along with improvements to employee happiness and wellbeing.

In another future workforce study, 65% of employees said they’re happy to see AI built into the business functions like HR.

And with Gartner predicting that by the end of the year, 25% of workers will use a virtual employee assistant daily, businesses need to get employee buy-in for their use.

Create your 24/7 HR centre

In today’s remote focused workplace, employees need access to the latest available information directly on any device whether they’re working from home or remotely from a customer’s location.

For example, when it was announced that schools would close suddenly, employees needed to know as soon as possible so they could arrange alternative childcare or arrange to work from home.

Their AI assistant app could provide them with instant advice on what is happening so they can plan.

Whether employees are working remotely, from the office, or a mix of both, providing speedy information is essential to increasing employee happiness and engagement.

With a 24/7 virtual AI assistant, you have complete control over what content to include and where to direct employees.

And as your business grows, the AI assistant can be scaled to take on more functions.
Your business can easily create and scale a 24/7 virtual agent that is contactable at any time.

The assistant can be programmed based on common employee questions. This means you provide them with the answers they need and the AI system helps them to access the information.

Over time, your AI assistant will improve the quality of the responses it can provide based on new questions and answers, all while providing your HR team with more time to spend on employee engagement and welfare.

A new age for employee welfare

Personal contact is the cornerstone of the HR teams in any business. They’re there to provide information quickly and accurately, so employees know what is happening in their business.

HR teams are also becoming more responsible for company culture and employee welfare — particularly as teams adapt to remote working.

By using AI to proactively manage the administration and repetitive tasks of the HR team, you can be confident that your employees are being taken care of and remain happy in your business.

Ready to find out more? Download our guide to using an AI Assistant for HR and improve the employee experience across your operations.

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