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How to use an AI Assistant to improve employee engagement

12 Mar 2021

Customer-facing chatbots have risen in popularity in the last few years. According to Drift, more than a third of people have used one to either resolve a complaint or find information quickly, rather than call customer support.

Of those who have used chatbots to automate their customer service, most see the benefits: fast access to basic information, quick issue resolution and around-the-clock support.

It’s not surprising then, given how effective chatbots and automation are, that in the last few years, automation, AI and chatbots have become a part of employee engagement and HR strategies too.

According to research by Gartner, only 17% of organisations use AI-based solutions in HR.

But by 2022, that number is expected to be closer to 30%.

For those HR departments already using AI, these are their main objectives:

  • 62% use AI to improve data-driven decision making
  • 57% want to improve the employee experience
  • 56% want to automate repetitive tasks
  • 51% want to try and save costs

But there’s another key driver for HR professionals wanting to use this technology and that is employee engagement and wellness, especially following the unexpected challenges brought about by COVID-19.

With businesses moving to more remote-based working in the long term, using AI to enhance the HR function offers several key benefits to businesses and employees alike.

Let’s explore what it can do and how it should form part of a wider health and wellness system for the modern workplace.

  1. Real-time, scalable support for Human Resources

Many large tech companies are already using AI to improve the employee experience.

Google currently uses AI to record interactions employees have with HR teams and models the responses. That way, any new questions asked are added to future responses through the AI Assistant.

IBM similarly use AI assistants, but to help HR teams with onboarding new employees.

It’s helping them provide answers to the most common questions and gives the necessary information to new starters. HR teams are then freed up to focus on more challenging enquiries and strategic employee wellness and engagement activities.

Using automation, HR can provide a 24/7 service, something that will become more important as businesses offer more flexible working environments.

  1. A single source of truth

During COVID-19, business policies and processes are changing quickly in response to guidance from government officials and health organisations.

When businesses need to react quickly and give employees information, they need to do so clearly and efficiently. In these circumstances, emailing employees or calling them might not be the best method.

Using AI Assistants, businesses can ensure that all the latest guidance and information for employees is published to a single place.

  1. Personalised responses

While guidance from public bodies is often different based on where people live, every employee will have different circumstances.

In the UK, the government has operated with a tier system at times during the pandemic, so the information provided to employees in one tier will need to be different to employees in another.

For employees that can work from home, versus those that are required on-site, the responses and information need to be tailored.

An AI assistant can manage this process by providing personalised information to employees based on their individual needs already noted in the system.

  1. An evolving knowledge base for employees

As we touched on before, in circumstances where an AI Assistant doesn’t have a response – either because it’s the first time an enquiry has appeared or that enquiry hasn’t been accounted for – then the tool will simply redirect an employee to someone on the HR team.

Backed by machine learning, this question will also be logged for the future. This means that over time, AI Assistants can learn and update with new information so next time, it will have the answer.

Additionally, because this is continually happening in the background, it can operate with minimal management or supervision. Again, freeing up staff to deal with other work.

If HR teams do need to add an update manually, they only need to update a single platform, rather than updating multiple resources such as employee handbooks or company intranets.

Being able to get the information to employees much quicker is critical when circumstances are changing all the time.

As remote working continues to become more common in the future and HR teams work from scattered locations, centralising internal information will become more important. And as employees push for a more personalised approach, AI can help teams manage an increasing workload.

If you want to improve employee engagement and ensure your communications with them, wherever, whenever, are transparent, it’s time to make your HR processes more human.

Ready to learn more? Find out how an AI assistant can support your HR processes.

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